Get expert tips on language, grammar, style and vocabulary
Linking Words to Connect Sentences
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.
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.