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Linking Words and Phrases

Improve your language with the following list of linking words and phrases.

Hand writing on a keyboard. Photo.

Linking words and phrases can be divided into three main categories: coordinators, subordinators and transitions.


Coordinators are used to join two independent clauses, usually with a comma before the coordinator. Examples of these are: and, for, so, but, yet, or and nor.

  • The office is closed for the next two days, but you can still phone to leave a message.
  • I forgot my computer, so I will not be able to hand in my assignment.


Subordinators join a dependent clause to an independent clause. Examples of
these are: before, when, if, because, if, unless, while, as, since, though and although.

  • Matt drinks coffee because it wakes him up in the morning.
  • Lucy drinks milk although it gives her a stomach ache.
  • When he grows up, Charlie wants to be a teacher.


Transitions are used between two independent clauses and can express many different relationships between ideas.

  • To add another idea: furthermore, moreover, besides, also, in addition
  • To restate, explain or emphasize an idea: that is, in other words, in fact, actually, namely
  • To give an example: for example, for instance, to illustrate
  • To show a difference: in contrast, on the contrary, on the other hand, instead, however, still, otherwise
  • To show the opposite of what you might expect: nevertheless, admittedly, even so, nonetheless
  • To show a similarity: similarly, likewise, in the same way
  • To show a result or effect: as a result, consequently, as a consequence, therefore, thus, hence, accordingly
  • To show a time relationship: previously, subsequently, finally, afterward, meanwhile, first, second, etc., after that, next, since then, then, at first


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