How to use Linking Words Effectively

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Linking words are such a useful tool that help us express our ideas. We use them in both business and personal settings, thereby advancing our ideas and expressing ourselves properly. In this blog, you will learn about many different kinds of linking words.  

Don’t forget to download your free Linking Words Cheat Sheet at the bottom of the blog.

Linking words to contrast ideas

Nevertheless

Let’s start with an example: ‘I have read the new proposal and agree with a lot of it, nevertheless, I still think we should go for the original plan.’

Using nevertheless gives the impression you have considered all of the available facts and have made an informed decision. Which is what the writer of the email has done when they say, ‘I still think we should go for the original proposal.’  

However

For example: ‘The client won’t be making a complaint however they do want a full refund.’

However is a formal way of saying but, it is used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously.

Despite

For example: ‘You always meet your deadlines despite the fact you are often late to the office.’

The speaker has begun by saying that the person they’re speaking to ‘always meets their deadlines’ but then the speaker uses the word despite thereby contrasting the first part of the sentence with the second ‘you are often late to the office’. Despite means without being affected by; in spite of.

Other examples of linking words that can contrast ideas are…

On the contrary, nevertheless, although, though, even though, even so, on the other hand, then again.

Linking words to offer alternatives

When we want to offer alternatives, we can use the generic or but there are some more interesting linking words that can be used, such as:

Either

For example: ‘Either you talk to him, or I will.’

The ‘you’ in the sentence is supposed to do the talking but the alternative is somebody else will. This is established by the use of the linking word either.

This structure is seen with the other linking words Alternatively, for example: ‘Alternatively, we could pull out of the deal’ and Instead, for example: ‘Instead of taking them to court, why don’t we talk to them?’

Linking words used to add more information

Furthermore

For example: ‘I apologise for the delay in getting back to you, Ms. Brown. I wanted to inform you that we are willing to offer you a full refund, furthermore we want to offer you a 50% gift voucher to apologise again for any inconvenience caused.’

The writer of this email has started with an apology to Ms. Brown. The writer then goes on to say that Ms. Brown will receive a refund. The writer then uses the linking word furthermore to add more information into the sentence. This information being that Ms. Brown will receive a 50% gift voucher.

Furthermore is interchangeable with other linking words such as and or in addition but, in an example such as this one, when writing to a customer, especially a customer you’re apologising to, you want to be as formal and professional as possible.

In addition

For example: ‘I am writing to request the WordPress documents in addition to my previous request for the screenshots. Thank you in advance.’

The person writing this email has done the same thing as the previous one. They’ve used the linking words in addition to add extra information into the sentence. The writer states that they’ve written a previous request (for screenshots) and are now asking for something new (the WordPress documents). In addition brings those two clauses together and links them.

Also

For example: ‘I will be at the meeting for 3pm. I will also bring the appropriate documents.’

The writer of this email has chosen the linking word also to add more information into the sentence. It’s important to note that linking words can sometimes be used to begin sentences. For example, the previous sentence could say: ‘Also, I will bring the appropriate documents.’

Other examples of linking words that can contrast ideas…

And, moreover, what is more, as well.

Linking words of sequence

Sequence linking words are: firstly, secondly, thirdly, fourthly, finally, etc. These words are a good way to guide your reader and show that you have confidence over what you’re writing.

Linking words show a result or consequence

As a result

For example: ‘As a result of the argument both companies pulled out of the deal.’

This sentence tells us that the result/consequence of an argument is that both companies have dropped out of a deal.

Other examples include: therefore, for example: ‘Therefore it’s in our best interest to take the deal’ and for this reason, for example: ‘For this reason I believe I will make a good addition to your team.’

Linking words to introduce a new topic

In relation to (the documents you sent over to me).

Regarding (our previous conversation).

With reference to (our talk yesterday).

And there you have it! Linking words are a perfect way to bring ideas together in your business emails, your speech and everyday conversations. Head over to the Writing Emails course for more details and practice exercises. You can also experience it as an audio course! You can also download the PDF cheat sheet so you can revise this blog on the go!

This content was written and recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Thomas.

You can find out more about Thomas on his Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

Book a free trial lesson today to discuss this topic in more detail, and talk about your English learning goals with an experienced and friendly native English teacher.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us using the chat box, send us an email, or even drop us a message on any of our social media channels.

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