Improve Your English Fluency by Using 6 Types of Connectors

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Sentence connectors are linking words that are used between two separate ideas or sentences. It’s essential to learn these if you want to take your English proficiency to the next level and obtain the fluency you like to achieve. Knowing how to use connectors or linkers is fundamental when you want to improve your English writing or speaking skills. 

 There are many different connectors that you can bring to your speech and into your writing that will help others understand you better. These words are used to connect, join, or link ideas together. Linkers show cohesion or a smooth flow and harmony in your sentences. 

 Today, we’ll look at six types of connectors to show condition, result, more detail, time, reason, and purpose.

6 Types of Connectors

CONDITION

if so, if not, otherwise

  • I hope the bus comes soon. Otherwise, I’ll be late for my appointment with the doctor.”

This also means: 

  • “I hope the bus comes soon. If not (otherwise), I’ll be late for my appointment.”

We use ‘otherwise’ to join the two sentences together so that they are coherent. This is to show that if a condition does not happen (if the bus doesn’t come soon), then I’ll surely be late.

  • “Are you going to the store? If so, can you get me some milk?”

This also means: 

  • “Are you going to the store? If yes (if so), can you get me some milk?”

Note also that ‘if so’ is the opposite of ‘if not.’

As you can see, we use sentence connectors for joining sentences or for joining clauses in a sentence. One sentence that has two clauses can be joined by sentence connectors, but the punctuations are a little bit different. You don’t use the period for when you join two clauses in one sentence.

RESULT

as a result, because of this, consequently, so (that), such (that), therefore, hence, thus

  • “I missed the train. As a result, I missed my flight.”

The result of missing the bus was missing the flight as well.

  • “I’m expecting the traffic to be heavy. Therefore, let’s leave early.”

I expect there’ll be a lot of cars on the road, so as a result, we will leave the house early. The sentence also means, “we better start our trip now to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic.”)

  • “Drake lived in Spain for 5 years, hence his perfect Spanish.”

The result of living in Spain is speaking perfect Spanish.

  • “The best player got injured. Thus, they had no chance of winning the final.”

The result of the best player’s injury is losing the chance of winning the game.

 We seldom hear or use hence and thus, especially in speaking. But you’d find them in writing tests, and you’d be able to use them as well for advanced level. So, try to bring them into your speech and your writing as they help improve your fluency.

  • “It was raining so we couldn’t go to the zoo.”

The result of rain was we canceled our trip to the zoo.

  • “She was so tired that she had to go to bed.”
  • “It was such a hot day that I had to go to the pool.”

Her going to bed is the result of her tiredness, and my going to the pool is the result of the warm weather.

GIVING MORE DETAIL

namely, that is to say, in other words

  • “Many European countries, namely Italy and France, produce the best wine.”

We are giving more details about the countries in Europe that produce excellent wine.

 

  • “The tobacco company had a cash flow problem—in other words, it was bankrupt.” 

Here, we’re clarifying what cash flow problem means, which is bankruptcy. 

TIME

when, after, while, once, since, ever since, as soon as, etc.

Time linkers show what happened when. Let’s look at the examples and understand how they are used based on context.

  • John cooked dinner while Jasmine prepared desert.”

This shows that two things are happening at the same time. The word “while” here shows you that two things are happening simultaneously.

  • Josh has been unhappy ever since he changed jobs.”

This shows that after he changed jobs, he’s not been happy.

  • “I’ll give you a hand as soon as I can.”

This also means: 

  • “I will help you as soon as I’m done with what I’m doing.” 

So for now, or at the moment, I am not available because I’m doing something, but I can help you after this.

 

  •  “I knew she’s the dog I’d like to keep as my own once I saw her in the pet shop.”

This means that right at that moment when I saw the dog, I knew I’d like her to be my pet.

REASON

because, since, as, in case, insofar as OR in so far as, etc.

  • Since you’re going to drink, let’s take a taxi.”

This also means: 

  • “Since you’re drinking and might get drunk, it’s best you don’t drive, so let’s ride a cab.”

So the reason why we need to take a taxi is that you’d be drinking tonight.

 

  • “Let’s have our picnic today in case it rains tomorrow.”

The reason why we need to have our picnic today is that it may rain tomorrow.

 

  • “Google is great insofar as it helps you find resources for research and information.”

“Insofar as” means to the degree or the extent. So in this sentence, the reason that Google is great is that it’s a great resource of facts and information. 

PURPOSE

in order, so as to, in order that, so that

  • “Mrs. Brown spoke clearly and loudly in order for the students to understand her better.”
  • “I’ll speak slowly so that you can write down the sentences correctly.”

These connectors show us the purpose of why you do a sure thing or the purpose of an event.

 

The proper use of linkers is fundamental in the speaking part of advanced-level English exams and studying for a certificate. When you write, you also need to be able to show harmony and flow in your ideas. Sentence connectors or linkers help in improving cohesion, and cohesion will, in turn, improve English fluency. 

Starting today, practice using these linkers when you write or speak to help you become more fluent in English. And not only that, your listeners will understand you better.


author
I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.