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Linking Words to Connect Sentences

2 min read
30 July 2014
Kaplan English school in Sydney - Photo Gallery 21

Linking words, also called connecting words, are words that you use to combine two different thoughts into one sentence.
Each part of the final sentence is called a clause. A clause is a part of a sentence that has a subject and a verb.


The formula for a sentence with connecting words is...

clause + connecting word + clause

Three of the most common connecting words in English are and, but, because. Here's how to use them.

Use and to add more information.

  • Alan likes music. He often goes to concerts.
  • Alan likes music and he often goes to concerts.

Use but to show a difference.

  • Alan likes music. He rarely buys it.
  • Alan likes music but he rarely buys it.

Use because to show a reason.

  • Alan likes music. He grew up in a musical family.
  • Alan likes music because he grew up in a musical family.


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What are some uncommon linking words? 

There are many more linking words, some are more common than others. Here are others that you might find useful.

Use instead to show a substitute.

  • Alan couldn't afford to attend the concert. He watched it on YouTube.
  • Alan couldn't afford to attend the concert, instead he watched it on YouTube.

Use so to show cause and effect.

  • Alan won a contest. He went to the concert.
  • Alan won a contest, so he went to the concert.

Use then to show before and after.

  • Alan went to the concert. He met with friends for drinks.
  • Alan went to the concert, then he met with friends for drinks.

Using linking words to combine different thoughts also helps you avoid run-on sentences. We have some other tips for avoiding run-on sentences. You can also find out the difference between either/neither and or/nor, which are other linking words.


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