An Introduction to Linking Words

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An Introduction to Linking Words

An Introduction to Linking Words

 

An Introduction to Linking Words

 

Need to improve your score in IELTS Writing Task 2? Or do you get stuck in PTE Academic with Fill In The Blanks, Re-Order Paragraph or Summarize Written Text? Then get to know your linking words!

 

What are they?

 

Linking words (also know as conjunctions, joining words, transition words, cohesive devices - they have many different names) are words that we use to link or join together ideas and sentences.

 

Take for example these two sentences:

 

1. We went to the park. We had a picnic.

 

Two very nice sentences. However, we could link them together and give them a better “flow” by using a linking word.

 

We went to the park and we had a picnic.

 

The word “and” is one type of linking word.

 


Another, little more complicated, example:

 

2. Gambling should be illegal. It is detrimental to society.

 

Instead we could say:

 

Gambling should be illegal because it is detrimental to society.

 

We can use the word “because” to link these two sentences together, making one long sentence. This joins our ideas together and makes it easier to connect them when reading. By doing this, we’ve also just made what grammarians call a complex sentence (something that will score you extra points on your test!).

 

Types of Linking Words

 

Linking words, as I said, are also known as conjunctions. There are many different types of conjunctions but here we’re just going to look at the two most important:

 

Coordinating Conjunctions

 

Probably the conjunctions you use the most. There are seven coordinating conjunctions and they are easy to remember by remembering this phrase:

 

FAN BOYS

 

Why “FAN BOYS”? Because each letter of this phrase stands for one of the coordinating conjunctions (we call this method of remembering a “mnemonic”). See here:

 

F = For

A = And

N = Nor

 

B = But

O = Or

Y = Yet

S = So

 

Coordinating conjunctions join together two independent clauses.

 

As in our first example:

 

We went to the park. We had a picnic.

We went to the park and we had a picnic.

 

“We went to the park” and “We had a picnic” are both examples of independent (or “main”) clauses. For more information on coordinating conjunctions, including examples and how to punctuate correctly, click here. To learn more about independent clauses, click here.

 

Subordinate Conjunctions

 

A very important kind of conjunction. Subordinate conjunctions also link two ideas together, but the grammar is slightly different. Subordinate conjunctions link an independent clause and a dependent clause. Just like in our second example.

 

Gambling should be illegal. It is detrimental to society.

Gambling should be illegal because it is detrimental to society.

 

“Gambling should be illegal” is our first independent clause. Then by adding the subordinate conjunction “because”, we make the second clause (“it is detrimental to society”) into a dependent clause.

 

Subordinating conjunctions are great because they create stronger, clearer relationships between your ideas. What’s more, when used correctly, they demonstrate a much higher level of English.

 

For more information on subordinate conjunctions, including examples and how to punctuate correctly, click here. For more information on dependent clauses click here.

 

Put it into practice!

 

Sounds tricky? Don’t worry, you don’t need to know all the grammar, but you do need to understand how conjunctions work. The best way to do that is with practice! So here is a list of online exercises to get you started:

 

English in Chester

 http://www.english-in-chester.co.uk/e-learning/lesson/linking-words/

 

A series of exercises and explanations from RMIT

 https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/lsu/content/4_writingskills/writing_tuts/linking_LL/sentence.html

 

Chomp Chomp

 http://www.chompchomp.com/exercises.htm

 

Perfect English Grammar

 

 http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/linking-words-contrast-exercise-1.html

 


Agenda Web

 http://www.agendaweb.org/grammar/conjunctions-english-exercises.html



And don’t forget to try using them in your own writing. As a student at English Key you can send us essays which our experienced and qualified teachers will correct and send back to you with comments and advice. If you’d like to know more about attending a PTE Academic coaching course, or an IELTS coaching course, contact us online or come in to our centre in Melbourne and have a chat to one of our lovely staff. We’d love to help you achieve your best!

 

 
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