Unless you are a robot, then you know that writing requires some level of flow for readers to understand. Connecting words or linking words help writers create continuity in writing.
In this guide, we will cover not only what connecting words are, but their functions and when to use them.
A Quick Review of Conjunctions
Connecting words, at their core, are just conjunctions. But, when you are unsure of what a conjunction is, then you can’t effectively use connecting words.
A conjunction is a word that links other words, phrases, or clauses together.
There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and subordinating. Each of these conjunctions includes connecting words, so it’s safe to safe that connecting words and conjunctions are virtually the same thing.
The most significant difference with connecting words is that they also include phrases to more clearly express a thought.
The Original Coordinating Conjunctions
We are taught coordinating conjunctions in elementary school, so it’s easy to understand why this might feel easy to some. Do you remember how you were taught in school to remember connecting words? If you’re like me, then teachers drilled us to recognize the simple mnemonic device: F A N B O Y S
Fanboys is a group of letters that each represents a connecting word.
These basic connecting words are the jumping-off point to dig deeper into the various purposes of connecting words.
Below we have extended the list of connecting words to the eight most common roles of connecting words.
One Final Usage Rule
It is commonly taught that coordinating conjunctions should never be at the beginning of a sentence. But this is incorrect. There are many opportunities where it is correct to use a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence.
Do English usage rules like this confuse you? You’re not alone. English is complicated and filled with rules that can make it difficult to know if you are trying to become a better writer.
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What are Connecting Words?
A connecting word or phrase is used to connect two separate thoughts. You could use connecting words for a variety of different reasons, including:
- To Give Examples
- Add Information
- Sequence Ideas
- Give a Reason
- Give a Result
- Contrast Ideas
- Emphasize a Thought
- To Make a Concession
- To Generalize a Thought
- To Restate Prior Thoughts
Connecting words go by a variety of different names, including linking words and transitions. At the core, all of these things have the same goal, which is to connect thoughts in writing.
Just like the example above of the robot, without connecting words, writing can feel blocky and unrelated.
Examples of Connecting Words
|To Give Examples||
|Give a Reason||
|Give a Result||
If you want to add interest to your writing, but aren’t sure how a great place to start is connecting words. There are many different forms of connecting words, so it’s important to determine your purpose before selecting the words you’re going to use.
- Conjunctions are the basic form of connecting words.
- There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and subordinating.
- The most basic conjunctions are the words that create fanboys (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
- Connecting words connect different thoughts.
- There are many kinds of connecting words to use so that your purpose can be communicated to your readers.
- If you are struggling with concepts like connecting words, check out ArgoPrep for easy-to-use and high-impact resources to help you grow.
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