S1E4: Emailing Functions and Phrases – Linking Words Part 1 Transcript
Hello again and welcome to episode 4 where linking words is our focus. But, as usual, there is some vocabulary to go through.
- Contrast (verb) compare in such a way as to emphasize differences.
- Proposal (noun) a plan or suggestion, especially a formal or written one, put forward for consideration by others.
- Informed (adj) having or showing knowledge of a subject or situation.
- Inconvenience (noun) a state or an example of problems or trouble, often causing a delay in loss of comfort.
- Contrary (adj) opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.
Linking words are an excellent way to connect ideas when writing an email. Let’s look at some examples:
First, we have linking words to contrast ideas
‘I have read the new proposal and agree with a lot of it, nevertheless, I still think we should go for the original plan.’
In this sentence the writer of the email states that they’ve read the new proposal and agree with a lot of it. This could be all there is to say until the writer uses the word ‘nevertheless’ which tells the reader there’s something else coming.
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.’
Here’s my second example: ‘The client won’t be making a complaint however they do want a full refund.’
‘However,’ is a formal way of saying ‘but’. I urge you all to start using ‘however’ in your emails immediately. It shows professionalism and an ability with language. From now on, any time you go to write ‘but’ in an email, write ‘however’ instead.
And here’s another example: ‘You always meet your deadlines despite the fact you are often late to the office.’
The writer of the email has began by saying that the person they’re writing to ‘always meets their deadlines’ but then the writer uses the word ‘despite’ thereby contrasting the first part of the sentence with the second ‘you are often late to the office’.
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.
Secondly, we have 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?
Thirdly, we also use linking words to talk about ideas in a general way:
For example: ‘In general, I would like to discuss…’ / ‘Meetings usually last about an hour.’ / ‘On the whole our profits are up.’
Fourthly, we have linking words used to give examples…
You may want to use examples in your email, especially when writing a cover letter where you give your potential employer a lot of information and facts. Repeating the conjunction ‘like’ not only will get repetitive but it sounds quite informal. A better way of referring to examples in the text is by saying, ‘for example’, ‘for instance’ or you could say ‘e.g.’ This is an acceptable abbreviation even when writing emails to potential clients, employers, etc.
You’ll have to head over to episode 5 to listen to the remaining four types of linking words that will make your emails sound crisp and clear.