3 Useful Linking Words to Level Up Your English

By 19 February 2018 Video lessons 10 Comments
Linkwords in English

Hey there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. Do you sometimes feel that your English is a little too basic? Like you want to connect your ideas to sound more sophisticated, but you’re stuck using simple sentences?
Watch this episode now!

Well guess what? Today’s episode on linkwords, also called connectors, is going to up your English game and help you sound more sophisticated. Let’s go!

Before we start, let me share with you the site italki, where you can increase your speaking fluency and get lots of real conversation practice to actually apply today’s lesson. Plus, you’ll get $10 in italki credit when you buy your first lesson, because I have a special partnership with them. The link for this offer is here, so check it out after today’s lesson.

Now let’s look at  linkwords in English!

A few examples

Just to be sure that we’re both talking about the same thing, let’s look at some of the useful connectors that you’ll learn today. These are expressions like “especially”, “however”, and “what’s more.” So these can be single words, or expressions.

And we can use them for lots of different functions, like pointing out something specific, showing contrast, adding more information, or giving the consequence of another action. In other words, connectors are super useful. We could even say they’re like the superglue that holds ideas together.

Adding detail: Especially

I love Italian food, especially the desserts! We use “especially” to add detail, or to be more specific. In that example, I said I like a general category of things, Italian food.

But then I wanted to be more specific, and say that I really, really love Italian desserts. Mmmm tiramisu… Anyway, to connect those two ideas and to go from general to specific, I used the linkword “especially”.

Here are a few more examples:

“We like working with ambitious clients, especially clients in IT and digital industries.” We go from general “ambitious clients” to more specific “ambitious clients in IT and digital industries.”

Another example, “I really like California, especially San Francisco and San Diego.”  California is more general, and the 2 cities are more specific.

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Contrasting: However

I’ve never been to New York City. However, I have been to Chicago! We use “however” to show contrast between two ideas. In that example, I say that I’ve never been to New York City, I know, sad but true.

Then I give a contrast by saying that I’ve been to a different big city, Chicago. “However” is similar to the simpler connector “but”, which you probably already know. I could say “I’ve never been to New York City, but I have been to Chicago.”

What’s the difference?

Well, “however” tends to be a little more formal. We use it more in writing, and in more formal speaking. “But” is more conversational, and you’ll use it more often. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use “but” in formal conversations of course!

Here’s an example with “however”, that you might read in a business email:
We can’t respond to your request immediately. However, we will contact you as soon as possible.

And here’s the same idea, with “but”, which sounds more conversational:
We can’t help you right now, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Adding information: What’s more

“This water bottle will reduce your plastic waste. What’s more, it’s pretty, and easy to carry.” We use “what’s more” to add information and to emphasize that additional information. It’s similar to the linkwords moreover, in addition, and furthermore, which you perhaps learned. But “what’s more” is more conversational.

I hear a lot of students make this mistake, trying to use formal linkwords like “moreover” and “furthermore” in casual conversation. It just sounds weird. “I liked the movie. Furthermore, the music was pretty cool!” Sounds a little…off. But if you say “I liked the movie. What’s more, the music was pretty cool” it sounds better because the connector “what’s more” is conversational.

Here are two more examples:

I really love teaching English. What’s more, I help people all over the world feel more confident.
There are a lot of cool things to see in the US. What’s more, the food is good too. (Yes, it really is!)

So there you have it, 3 super useful linkwords to level up your English!

Be sure to watch the video for the pronunciation of these words (and the fun!)

Now, what about you?

What other linkwords do you have questions about?
Are there any that are confusing for you?

Tell me in the comments, so I can help you better understand these useful little words that’ll make you sound more advanced!

Would you like 3 essential lessons for easier conversations in English? Sign up for my top small talk lessons and free worksheets. Click here to get the lessons.

Thanks for watching Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next time!

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