Most commonly used connective words and phrases

Linking words | Connectives | Connective words and phrases

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Connectives, or linking words, are essential in formal English writing to link clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and ideas together to form a cohesive unit of written work. Connective words and phrases that are appropriately used count towards a higher Writing Test Band Score. Look at the table below.

TABLE OF SOME OF THE MOST COMMONLY USED CONNECTIVE WORDS AND PHRASES
(Refer to an academic writing textbook or teacher for a detailed discussion of appropriate usage.)

Note:

  • Connectives marked with an asterisk (*) do not usually occur in the middle of sentences.
  • Inclusion in a particular group does not mean that the connectives are always interchangeable.
No.GroupDescriptionWords & Phrases
1Sequencing/ListingUse to catalogue (make a list of items or
sequence (place in order) what you say.
First of all,...* | In the first place,...* | To begin with,...*
First(ly),...* | Second(ly),...* | Third(ly),...* | First,...*
Next,... | Then,... | After that,... | Finally,...
2ReinforcingUse to add to and strengthen what you
have said.
Also,..
Besides,,..
Furthermore,...
In addition,...
Moreover,...
3EquatingUse to indicate similarity
with what has been said.
In the same way,...
Likewise,...
Similarly,...
4SummarisingUse to introduce a generalisation
of or conclusion
to what you have said.
In conclusion,...*
In summary,... *
To conclude,...*
To sum up,...*
5Referring(e.g.) Use to indicate you will give (or
have given) one or more examples of
that you have said.
(i.e.) Use to indicate an explanation of
what you have said.
For example,...
For instance,...
In particular,...
particularly,...
... such as...
,... that is,... / ,... that is to say,...
..., namely,...
6Showing ResultsUse to express the consequence of
what you have said.
As a result,...
Consequently,...
Hence,...
So...
Therefore,...
Thus,...
7InferringUse to deduce from what you lave said.
(Either what might or might not have
happened, is happening, or will happen.)
In other words,...
In that case,...
Then...
(Or) else,...
Otherwise,...
8Giving AlternativesAlternatives Use to refer to an alternative
to what you have said.
Alternatively,...
On the otto hand,...
Then again,...
9RestatingUse to express what you have said in
another way (usually more simply.)
In other words,...
That is to say,...
To put it simply,...
10ContrastingUse to compare or contrast with what you
have said.
Conversely,...
In comparision,...
In contrast to his,...
Instead,...
On the contrary,...
,... whereas,...
..., while... /..., whilst...
11ConcedingUse to indicate other ways of considering
what you have said.
After all,...
All the same...
Although...
Though...
Even though,...
Even if,...
In spite of,...
Despite this / that,...
Nevertheless,...
Nonetheless,...
Still,...
Yet,...