Linking Words and Phrases

We use language to express our thoughts, opinions, observations, beliefs etc. One kind of thought or idea may be, and in most of the cases is, followed by another kind of thought or idea, which may or may not be closely related to the former. Hence when we express various kinds of thoughts in sentences or phrases, we have to ensure that one kind of thought flows smoothly and logically into another. This, consequently, necessitates the use of some words/phrases which link one kind of thought with another. These may be called linkers. We need to use linkers not only to write effectively, logically, smoothly, and lucidly, but also to facilitate easy and comfortable reading. We need such linkers for various purposes, the most important of which are, as learnt from experience, as follows:

1. Enumeration

2. Reinforcement

3. Equation

4. Transition

5. Summation

6. Apposition

7. Result

8. Inference

9. Reformulation

10. Replacement

11. Contrast

12. Concession

For this linking purpose, various words and phrases are used most of which are adverb phrases or prepositional phrases. These are commonly known as conjuncts. You need to know almost each and every of them if you want to be a good writer. These conjuncts, as you’ve already known, are of different types. They’re named according to what function they serve in the sentence. So, take a brief look at the following conjuncts and then carefully see the examples that follow.


First, second, third… etc.; firstly, secondly, thirdly… ; one, two, three… ; for one thing… (and) for another (thing); for a start (informal); to begin with, to start with; in the first place, in the second place; next, then; finally, last, lastly; to conclude; last but not least; there is still another thing, I want to make one final point; another thing; one final point.


(To give more of the same type of information):

Also, moreover, above all, in addition, furthermore, what is more, then (in spoken English), equally, likewise.


Equally, likewise, similarly, in the same way/ manner.


(To pass one type of idea to another):

By the way, incidentally, now, as for/ to ( in British English as to), let us now turn to… , regarding… , to turn to… , talking/ speaking of… , that reminds me of…


Then, (all) in all, to sum up, in conclusion, I will sum up by saying… , I will conclude by saying that…


(To give additional information about something or to define something):

Namely (=viz), in other words, for example (= eg or e. g.), for instance, that is (= I. e. or ie), that is to say, or what is the same thing, another way of putting it is… , an example would be…


Hence, consequently, as a result, so, therefore, thus, somehow (for some reason or other)… -God knows why-… , with the result that… , the result is.., the consequence (of that) was…


Else, otherwise, then, in other words, in that case, if so, if not, (and) that implies, from it you can conclude that…


Better, rather, in other words, or, a better way of putting it is,… it would be better to say…


(To replace a statement made earlier):

Alternatively, rather, on the other hand, or again, or( on the other hand), the alternative is… , it might be better if…


(To show contrast):

Instead (it works as a replacive also), then, on the contrary, in contrast, on the other hand, by comparison, on the one hand.


(These adjuncts signal the unusual or unexpected or something surprising):

Anyway (informal), anyhow (informal), besides( blend of reinforcing with concessive), else, however, nevertheless, still, though, yet, in any case, at any rate, in spite of that, after all, all the same(= nevertheless), on the other hand, even.

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