Linking Words


Linking phrases, Connectives, Conjunctions and other small boring words

Linking words and phrases are important for your Reading, Listening, Writing and Use of English Papers. It is amazing how much you can improve your score – and your confidence – by taking the time to really concentrate on the little words that so many people make mistakes with.

Reading and Listening

A great technique to use when you first skim a passage that you are going to answer questions about is to circle all the linking words. They are the ‘map directions’ in the piece which tell you if the writer is continuing straight ahead or changing direction.

In gapped texts the linking words in the first sentence can give you a clue about what has gone before.

One of the best tips for success in Reading tests is to notice small boring words, not just the big exciting ones! In both Reading and Listening noticing and correctly identifying a connective word can make the difference between getting your answer right or wrong!


Examiners give good marks for using linking words correctly and appropriately.

Use of English

The Open Cloze exercise often tests linking words or parts of connective phrases. You can only choose the right one if you correctly identify whether the writer is adding to what s/he has said before or contrasting with the previous statement for instance. So pay attention to the prepositions and articles that belong with particular connective (linking) phrases as it is often these that are tested. Also remember your transformation exercises (FCE and CPE people) – you will also find a lot of help with these in the following exercises if you make an effort to really remember the small words.

Here is an excellent tutorial on connective words from Gallaudet:

Here are some exercises and tables from the Web to help you practise (and practise and practise!) these important and useful words. Don’t forget, look out for any prepositions and articles or other small details in the phrases.

Good Luck!

Another angle on joining sentences together:

This one is terrific for the tricky little words and inversions that come in transformation exercises. Not really about connectives but I didn’t have anywhere else to put it!

as and like

Because or Because of


In case or In case of


Another, other, others

Each and every

While and During



6 thoughts on “Linking Words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s