Linking Words

Adding information


  • conjunctions: and, as well as
  • adverbials: also, anyway, besides, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly

We use these expressions to give additional information:

  • Fish supplies as with substances that might protect against heart disease. Moreover, in many cultures fish is known as a 'brain food'.

Sequencing


  • adverbials: first, next, after that, then; firstly, secondly, finally

Firstly, secondly and finally are used to order points in an argument:

  • Firstly, in terms of heart disease, it has been shown that consuming even small quantities of fish can lower your risk of heart disease by 17%. Secondly, consuming fish is known to have a beneficial effect on brain development. Finally, ...

First, next, after that and then describe the order of activities in a process:

  • First the fruit is picked by hand. Then it is transported to the factory.

Cause, reason, result


  • conjunctions: because, so
  • adverbials: therefore, consequently, so, thus, as a result
  • prepositions: because of, due to, on account of, owing to

Because introduces the reason for something, and so introduces the result:

  • I eat fish three times a week because it protects against heart disease. (reason)
  • Fish protects against heart disease so I eat it three times a week. (result)

Therefore, consequently, so, thus, and as a result introduce the result of a situation or action:

  • As a result, people are 'unsure whether to increase or decrease the amount of fish they eat.

We use because of, due to, on account of and owing to to introduce the reason for something:

  • The match was cancelled because of the snow. (not because of it was snowing)
  • The buses were all running late owing to the bad weather.

We can use due to, on account of and owing to + the fact that with a clause:

  • The match was cancelled due to the fact that it was snowing.

Contrasting


  • conjunctions: but, although, though
  • adverbials: alternatively, however, in contrast, nevertheless, on the contrary, on the other hand, yet
  • prepositions: in spite of, despite

We use but between two contrasting ideas:

  • Fish has long been a staple .food in many cultures, but there has been sonic controversy recently about the benefits and risks of consumption.

Although can come at the beginning or in the middle of two contrasting ideas. We use a comma between the two clauses:

  • Although the work was supported by grants from the Fisheries Scholarship Fund, this did not affect the research findings.
  • The work was supported by grants from the Fisheries Scholarship Fund, although this did not affect the research findings.

We use in spite of and despite + noun/-ing at the beginning or in the middle of two contrasting ideas:

  • In spite of the considerable amount of literature on the risks and benefits of fish consumption, there are still important gaps in this information. (not in spite of there is a considerable amount)
  • I eat fish regularly for health reasons despite not liking it much. (not despite I didn't like it)

We can use despite and in spite of + the fact that with a clause:

  • I eat fish regularly for health reasons despite the fact that I don't like it much.

Giving examples


  • adverbials: that is to say, in other words, that is (i.e.), for example

We use these expressions to link two clauses that give the same information in a different way or to give examples:

  • There has been some controversy recently about the benefits and risks of fish consumption. for example, we know that fish supplies us with polyunsaturated fatty acids, substances that might protect against heart disease.

Grammar exercise


Complete the answer to the Writing task below by choosing the correct linking words from the box and adding the relevant figures from the table.

The table below gives information about the daily cost of water per person in five different countries. (Figures are based on the minimum daily requirement per person of 11.5 litre.)

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information below.

IELTS Writing Task 1

while
for instance
both
respectively
however
overall
whereas
also
first of all
despite

The table compares the amount people have to pay for their minimum daily water in five countries. It .................... shows the percentage of the average daily wage this represents in each place.

...................., we can see that Tanzania and Uganda have the highest daily water costs .................... the UK and US have the lowest. This means, ...................., that Tanzanians pay ...................., .................... Americans pay a mere .................... for the same amount of water. These differences are even greater when we consider the percentage of the average daily wage this cost represents. In .................... Tanzania and Uganda, the cost is significant, representing .................... and .................... ..................... In the UK and US, ...................., the cost is only a tiny fraction of the daily wage at .................... and ..................... And, .................... the daily cost of water in Pakistan being similar to that in the UK, it represents as much as .................... of the daily wage.

...................., the table shows that there are huge differences between the cost of water in the developing countries and the industrialised west.

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