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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.

F= For

A= And

N= Not

B=But

O= Or

Y= Yet

S= So

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.

ArgoPrep is ready to help! With online access to countless resources, users have seen an improvement to their test scores and abilities in as little as 30 days.

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
  • Summarize
  • 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.

Connecting words serve as the glue to bind thoughts together in a logical way and also helps drive home the “point” (or  
 ) of writing.

Examples of Connecting Words

Type example
To Give Examples
  • In other words
  • To put differently
  • For one thing
  • As an illustration
  • In this case
  • For this reason
  • to put it another way
  • that is to say
  • with attention to
  • by all means
  • notably
  • including
  • like
  • to be sure
  • namely
  • chiefly
  • indeed
  • certainly
  • surely
  • in fact
  • important to realize
  • in general
  • in particular
  • especially
  • in detail
  • to demonstrate
  • truly
  • to emphasize
  • to repeat
  • on the negative side
  • to clarify
  • to explain
  • most compelling evidence
  • to enumerate
  • another key point
  • first thing to remember
  • must be remembered
  • point often overlooked
  • on the positive side
  • markedly
  • specifically
  • expressively
  • surprisingly
  • frequently
  • significantly
  • such as
  • for example
  • for instance
  • to point out
  • with this in mind
  • proof of this
Add Information
  • In the first place
  • not only…but also
  • as a matter of fact
  • in like manner
  • in addition
  • coupled with
  • in the same fashion/way
  • first, second, third
  • in light of
  • not to mention
  • to say nothing of
  • equally important
  • by the same token
  • again
  • to
  • and
  • also
  • then
  • equally
  • indentically
  • uniquely
  • like
  • as
  • too
  • moreover
  • as well as
  • together with
  • of course
  • likewise
  • comparatively
  • correspondingly
  • similarly
  • furthermore
  • additionally
Summarize
  • as can be seen
  • generally speaking
  • in the final analysis
  • all things considered
  • as shown above
  • in the long run
  • given these points
  • as has been noted
  • in a word
  • after all
  • in fact
  • for the most part
  • in summary
  • altogether
  • in conclusion
  • in short
  • on balance
  • in brief
  • in essence
  • to summarize
  • overall
  • ordinarily
  • usually
  • by and large
  • to sum up
  • on the whole
  • in the event
  • in either case
  • all in all
Sequence Ideas
  • at the present time
  • from time to time
  • sooner or later
  • at the same time
  • up to the present time
  • to begin with
  • in due time
  • until now
  • as soon as
  • as long as
  • in the meantime
  • in a moment
  • without delay
  • in the first place
  • all of a sudden
  • at this instant
  • immediately
  • quickly
  • finally
  • after
  • later
  • last
  • until
  • till
  • since
  • then
  • before
  • hence
  • when
  • once
  • about
  • next
  • now
  • now that
  • formerly
  • suddenly
  • shortly
  • henceforth
  • whenever
  • eventually
  • meanwhile
  • further
  • during
  • first, second
  • in time
  • prior to
  • forthwith
  • straightaway
  • by the time
  • whenever
  • instantly
  • presently
  • occasionally
Give a Reason
  • Due to
  • Due to the fact that
  • owing to
  • owing to the fact that
  • because
  • because of
  • since
  • as
Give a Result
  • Therefore
  • so
  • consequently
  • this means that
  • as a result
Contrast Ideas
  • As a result
  • under those circumstances
  • in that case
  • for this reason
  • henceforth
  • for
  • thus
  • because the
  • then
  • hence
  • consequently
  • therefore
  • thereupon
  • forthwith
  • accordingly
Establish Opposition
  • Although this may be true
  • In contrast
  • different from
  • of course,… but
  • on the other hand
  • on the contrary
  • at the same time
  • in spite of
  • even so/though
  • be that as it may
  • then again
  • above all
  • in reality
  • after all
  • but
  • (and) still
  • unlike or
  • (and) yet
  • while
  • albeit
  • besides
  • as much as
  • even though
  • although
  • instead
  • whereas
  • despite
  • conversely
  • otherwise
  • however
  • rather
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • regardless
  • notwithstanding

Conclusion


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.

Let’s review:

  • 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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