What are Linking Words?
Linking Words (in German Bindewörter) are words or phrases which connect sentences within a text, or words within a sentence. Linking words are necessary to make your writing coherent, cohesive (zusammenhängend) and interesting.
In English there are seven coordinating connectors to connect words and sentences. They are:
AND, BUT, SO, OR, NOR, FOR, YET
They are so-called FANBOYS.
F - FOR
A - AND
N - NOR
B - BUT
O - OR
Y - YET
S - SO
It is a sunny day and I will go for a walk.
It is a sunny day but I will not go for a walk.
It is a nice day so I will go for a walk.
It is a nice day, yet I will not go for a walk.
It is a nice day, I will go for a walk or go swimming.
I will go for a walk for it is a nice day today. (because)
I will not go for a walk, nor will I go swimming.
FANBOYS are the first words which you use when you first start writing in English. They connect words and sentences and your text flows smoothly. As you get more advanced in English, you have to express your opinion, present ideas, compare or contrast them, emphasise your point of view. In order to do it, you need so-called linking words which make your texts coherent and interesting.
Cause and Effect
BECAUSE / BECAUSE OF THIS
- People don't like snakes, because they think all snakes are dangerous.
- I had come home late and because of this, my parents were angry with me.
DUE TO / BECAUSE OF
- Due to bad weather, we stayed at home.
- We stayed at home because of bad weather.
AS A RESULT / AS A CONSEQUENCE
- Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and as a result she was arrested by the police.
- Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and as a consequence she was arrested by the police.
IN ORDER TO / SO THAT
- You need to learn a lot in order to do well in your test.
- You need to learn a lot so that you could do well in your test.
FOR THIS REASON / HENCE / THEREFORE
- She wants to travel the world and for this reason she saves money.
- She wants to travel the world hence she saves money.
- She wants to travel the world therefore she saves money.
CONSEQUENTLY / AS A CONSEQUENCE
- My brother ate three burgers and consequently had a stomach-ache.
- My brother ate three burgers and as a consequence had a stomach-ache.
There are many linking words to contrast ideas, the most common of them is "but" which you learn usually together with "and".
It is a beautiful day, but I must work.
When you get more advanced in English (3rd, 4th year of learning), you should use other linking words which have the same meaning as "but" and they are more advanced.
BUT / HOWEVER
– the meaning is the same. However is more formal.
- I wanted to learn English, but I was too tired.
- I wanted to learn Englisch. However, I was too tired after the competition.
ALTHOUGH / EVEN THOUGH
- Although I was very tired, I tried to learn English.
- I tried to learn English, even though I was very tired.
DESPITE / IN SPITE OF / DESPITE THE FACT THAT
- I tried to learn English despite being very tired.
- I tried to learn English, in spite of being very tired.
- I tried to learn English despite the fact that I was very tired.
WHILE / WHEREAS
- I like English, while my brother prefers French.
- I like English, whereas my brother prefers French.
- Vienna is an exciting town, unlike my hometown.
- Unlike adults, children learn a foreign language very fast.