Linking words are essential for your writing to be natural and clear. Linking devices vary in three ways:
1. Position in the text.
Some linking words normally form a link between clauses WITHIN a sentence. It is bad style to start a sentence with these words: and but so because then until such as are examples of this type of linking word.
Another type of linking device is used to form a link BETWEEN sentences. These words must start with a capital letter and are usually immediately followed by a comma:
Furthermore, Moreover, However, Nevertheless, Therefore, In conclusion, are used in this way.
Most linking words, however, can either start a sentence or form a link between sentences. The choice is up to the writer.
2. The function of linking words
Linking devices are neither nouns, nor verbs. They provide a text with cohesion and illustrate how the parts of the text relate to each other. Here are some of the functions which linking words provide.
Adding extra information to the main point, contrasting ideas, expressing cause and effect, showing exactly when something happened (narrating), expressing purpose (why?) and opinion, listing examples, making conclusions and giving emphasis.
3. Grammatical differences
Some linking words must be followed by a clause (Subject + Verb + Object).
Eg. while why because although so whereas when
Other linking words should be followed by a noun phrase (Linking word + (the) + Noun/Pronoun or gerund)
Eg. because of despite during in spite of
The majority of linking devices can be followed by either a noun phrase or a clause.
Here is a list of the principal linking words in English, their function and if their position is usually fixed.
|Adding and |Contrasting |Expressing cause / reason |