Linking Words – Full List, Examples & Worksheet

Worried that your essay lacks structure and coherence? Perhaps you should use linking words, transition words, or connectors to give it a boost.

Linking words join separate sentences to improve writing flow. You can also find them mid-sentence to connect clauses.

Read on as I show you the definition and types of linking words in English. I also list examples of linking words under every category, and I whipped up a helpful worksheet to test your skills.

What Are Linking Words?

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Linking words, transition words, or connecting words in the English language help connect ideas and sentences when speaking or writing.

Linking words and phrases are connectors or transitional phrases. They are also part of formal language, so you’ll find them in academic writing, opinion writing, critical essays, dialectic essays, journalism, and business documents.

Some linking verbs link clauses within a sentence, such as although, in case, and whatever. That means you can find them in the middle of sentences from time to time. Others link two complete sentences, such as besides, as a result, and however.

List of Transition Words

Now that you know the meaning of transition words, let’s look at the usage of transition words in sentences and clauses. Don’t worry, I’ll break it all down for you!

Below, I’ve got a list of linking words and phrases to serve as alternative choices for connecting ideas in writing. Note that there are several types of transition words which we will discuss later.

Agreement/Addition/Similarity

Linking words may help the reader understand additional comments or ideas in a statement. They may also express agreement or similarities. These words are also called additive transition words, commonly found in expository essays and narrative essays.

  • In the first place
  • As a matter of fact
  • In like manner
  • In addition
  • Not only, but also
  • Again
  • Coupled with
  • In the same way
  • In the same manner
  • First, second, third
  • Not to mention
  • In the light of
  • By the same token
  • Additionally
  • Correspondingly
  • Similarly
  • Furthermore
  • Comparatively
  • At the same time
  • Likewise
  • Of course
  • Together with
  • To
  • And
  • Also
  • Again
  • Then
  • Identically
  • And
  • Uniquely
  • Equally
  • Like
  • Too
  • As
  • As well as
  • Moreover

Here are some examples of additive linking words in a sentence.

  • The group found that a constructivist approach leads to higher test scores. Moreover, essay examinations show higher levels of learning.
  • The resort has tennis courts. Furthermore, it has an Olympic pool.

Negative Ideas

Some linking words come in pairs to join negative ideas.

  • Not, or
  • Not, nor
  • Not, neither
  • Neither, nor

Here are sentence examples of linking words showing negative ideas.

  • I haven’t seen Lory, neither have I talked to her friend.
  • I neither drink nor smoke.

Opposition/Limitation/Contradiction

Whereas some linking words show an extra idea, these transition phrases and words express contrasting ideas in writing.

  • Although this may be true
  • But
  • Although
  • In contrast
  • (and) still
  • Instead
  • However
  • After all
  • In reality
  • Above all
  • Notwithstanding
  • Different from
  • Unlike
  • Whereas
  • Of course…, but
  • Or
  • Despite
  • On the other hand
  • (and) yet
  • Conversely
  • On the contrary
  • While
  • Otherwise
  • Be that as it may
  • Nonetheless
  • Even so/though
  • As much a
  • Nevertheless
  • In spite of
  • Besides
  • Rather

Here are some sentences with linking words of opposition.

  • The short story can be analyzed using a functionalist lens. However, its historical theme is better understood with a critical perspective.
  • As much as I want to go, I must take care of my sister.

Concession

Some linking words show relationships between ideas by accepting an idea with reservation instead of showing complete opposition. Here are some examples.

  • Although
  • Albeit
  • Admittedly
  • All the same
  • Even if
  • Even so
  • However
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Regardless of this
  • Up to a point
  • In spite of
  • And yet
  • Be that as it may

Here are some sentence examples.

  • Many citizens opposed this unfair policy, which the president nevertheless enacted.
  • I like him even if we have different views in life.

Cause/Condition/Purpose

You may also use linking words in your writing piece to show conditions and purpose for a logical flow of ideas. Words like reason get the reader ready to understand why. These words are commonly found in hypothesis essays.

  • In the event that
  • If
  • In case
  • Granted (that)
  • Then
  • Provided that
  • As
  • As long as
  • Unless
  • Given that
  • On (the) condition (that)
  • Only if
  • Even if
  • For the purpose of
  • When
  • So that
  • With this intention
  • Whenever
  • So as to
  • With this in mind
  • While
  • Owing to
  • In the hope that
  • Inasmuch as
  • To the end that
  • Because of
  • Due to
  • For fear that
  • As
  • In order to
  • Since
  • Seeing/being that
  • While
  • In view of
  • Lest

Here are some sentence examples.

  • The researchers used this method so that the results would be valid, reliable, and aligned with the objectives.
  • I will not be attending the seminar due to a high fever.

Examples/Support/Emphasis

You can also use transition words in your piece of writing that show examples or support of an idea.

  • In other words
  • Notably
  • In fact
  • To put it differently
  • Including
  • In general
  • For one thing
  • Like
  • In particular
  • As an illustration
  • To be sure
  • In detail
  • In this case
  • Namely
  • For example
  • For instance
  • Chiefly
  • For this reason
  • To put it another way
  • Truly
  • To demonstrate
  • That is to say
  • With attention to
  • By all means
  • Indeed
  • Surely
  • Certainly
  • Such as
  • Markedly
  • To emphasize
  • To repeat
  • To enumerate
  • To explain
  • To clarify
  • Especially
  • Explicitly
  • Particularly
  • Significantly
  • Frequently
  • Specifically
  • Surprisingly
  • With this in mind
  • Important to realize
  • Another key point
  • On the negative side
  • First thing to remember
  • Must be remembered
  • To point out
  • Point often overlooked

Here are some sentence examples.

  • She visited several cities, namely Portland, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Hartford.
  • Transition words improve writing flow. For instance, we use further to add extra ideas related to the previous statement.

Effect/Consequence/Result

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You might also spot transitional devices for essays that show consequences, results, and effects.

  • As a result
  • Henceforth
  • In that case
  • Under those circumstances
  • Forthwith
  • Accordingly
  • For this reason
  • Thereupon
  • In effect
  • For
  • Thus
  • Then
  • Because
  • Hence
  • Consequently
  • Therefore

Consider the examples below.

  • We watered the plant for seven days. In effect, it grew three inches taller.
  • Because she didn’t study for the test, Anna failed and had to retake it.

Conclusion/Summary/Restatement

These words and phrases show transitions between sentences to show conclusions. You’ll find these words in essay conclusions of different essay types.

  • In simple language
  • In explanation
  • In lay terms
  • In a nutshell
  • As can be seen
  • In simple terms
  • Generally speaking
  • All things considered
  • As shown above
  • In the final analysis
  • In the long run
  • All in all
  • In either case
  • Given these points
  • As has been noted
  • In any event
  • To sum up
  • On the whole
  • By and large
  • Ordinarily
  • Altogether
  • Usually
  • Overall
  • In a word
  • For the most part
  • After all
  • In summary
  • In conclusion
  • In brief
  • In short
  • In essence
  • To summarize
  • On balance

Note that in lay terms and in explanation are formal alternative choices to “in a nutshell.”

Here are some examples.

  • Matter is a material that occupies space and has mass. In simple language, it is any physical substance.
  • I don’t want to climb the corporate ladder. After all, money isn’t everything.

Time/Chronology/Sequence

Linking words’ other role in writing is to show sequence or chronology. Under the time category, these phrases add a meaning of time. You can find these words in an essay introduction when the writer explains how the paper is structured.

  • In due time
  • From time to time
  • At the present time
  • After
  • Henceforth
  • Later
  • Whenever
  • Sooner or later
  • Last
  • Eventually
  • Meanwhile
  • Until
  • At the same time
  • Up to the present time
  • Till
  • Further
  • During
  • Since
  • To begin with
  • Then
  • In time
  • Prior to
  • Before
  • As soon as
  • As long as
  • Hence
  • Forthwith
  • Straightaway
  • Since
  • In the meantime
  • In a moment
  • When
  • Without delay
  • Once
  • About
  • In the first place
  • All of a sudden
  • Next
  • At this instant
  • Now
  • First, second
  • By the time
  • Whenever
  • Now that
  • Until now
  • Immediately
  • Quickly
  • Finally
  • Suddenly
  • Formerly
  • Shortly
  • Instantly
  • Presently
  • Occasionally

Here are some sentence examples.

  • I watched the movie on television. Eventually, I fell asleep.
  • First, fill the pan with water. Then, bring it to a boil.

Space/Location/Place

The following transition words are famous adverbial expressions that limit or modify space. Some of these words and phrases are also transition words of time.

  • In the middle of
  • Here
  • Further
  • To the left/right
  • There
  • Beyond
  • In front of
  • Next
  • Nearby
  • On this side
  • Where
  • Wherever
  • In the distance
  • From
  • Around
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • In the center of
  • Near
  • Before
  • Above
  • Alongside
  • Below
  • Amid
  • Down
  • Among
  • Adjacent to
  • Up
  • Beneath
  • Opposite to
  • Under
  • Beside
  • Behind
  • Across

Below are sentence examples using transition words of space.

  • My house is located behind the building.
  • To the left of the supermarket is a flower shop.

Common Mistakes With Transition Words

Transition words help you create a flow of arguments for readers to understand what you’re saying. But misused transition words and phrases will make your writing unclear. Avoid these mistakes to give your readers a better experience.

Starting a Sentence With So, And, and Also

Both so and and are coordinating conjunctions, which means they can start independent clauses that stand on their own. But it’s not recommended to use these words and also as sentence starters in formal writing. For example:

  • Incorrect: Also, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.
  • Correct: Furthermore, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.

Combination of Transition Words And/Or

When writing an essay, avoid English transition words and/or because it makes your paper look messy. Instead, consider whether you need both connectors or only one of them. If you need them both, try this alternative.

  • Incorrect: boat and/or plane.
  • Correct: boat, plane, or both.

Using As Well As as Alternative to And

As well as has a different meaning from the transition word and. And means you’re listing something of equal importance. Meanwhile, as well as is for additional, less essential information. Here’s an example.

  • Incorrect: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis as well as provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Correct: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis and provide recommendations for improvement.

Archaic Words

Your writing may not make any sense to readers if you overuse archaic transition words like therewith.

For example, hereby means as a result. We can replace it with more modern and explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement is connected to the previous statement.

Linking Words Summary

A linking word is a term that connects different ideas in your text, whether they are contrasting, supporting, or adding. They can improve your writing and help it flow better, I promise!

Regardless of the style of writing, every piece of writing contains linking words to show perfect transitions. I hope my guide on the definition and list of transitions helps you use these words and phrases correctly. Memorize each category, and don’t overuse them in essays.

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