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Whenever you want to make a comparison or a contrast between two things or to join together two separate things or conditions, you require linking words or phrases to form a smooth sentence. These are used to expand the previous statement and add more value. Linking words or clauses help you form a structurize sentence with accurate meaning.
What are linking words?
Words or phrases that act as a connection between two separate lines are known as linking words. They are either used in the beginning or middle of the sentence or both to join two sentences and convert them into one. There are a lot of IELTS linking words and phrases, some of which include-
- In case
- Similarly, etc.
These words help the listener understand the flow of the sentences you speak or write. Thus, they play a significant role in the speaking and writing section of the IELTS exam. In addition, they are used in writing essays, conversations, and answers to questions. Your writing will not be efficient and will fail to make sense if you do not use adequate IELTS linking words wherever necessary.
Importance of linking words for IELTS
Many of you might wonder why it is essential to use linking words in a sentence or a paragraph. Can’t you just write two different lines separated with a full stop?
It is important to note that in the writing task of the IELTS exam, 25% of the marks are given for cohesion. This includes the accuracy and flexibility of using linking or connecting words in your text.
Therefore, using IELTS linking words in your writing piece is crucial. The writing linking words are more formal compared to the speaking linkers. Consequently, you should try to use the linking words in moderation- not too many or not little.
While in the listening section, using IELTS linking words in your answers will help make your answers shorter, polished, crisp, and precise. Similar to the writing section, this section also carries 25% marks for cohesion and fluency, which can be achieved using IELTS linking words.
The linking words provide direction to your thoughts and help you support your answer or give an opposing view to a statement.
Examples of complex linking words
Apart from the simple connecting words such as “and”, “or”, “but,” etc, there are many complex connectors that are used according to the situation. Some linking words examples are mentioned below-
- Adding more information-
- Another reason it
- As well as.
- Time phrases-
- At that time
- Back in the day
- Years ago
- These days
- At present.
- Causes and solutions-
- The main reason is
- It was caused by
- It was due to.
- Expression ideas-
- I suppose
- In my view
- I think
- According to me
- I believe that.
- On the other hand
- On the contrary.
- To agree or disagree-
- I agree with that
- Well, exactly
- I couldn’t disagree more
- I can’t agree with that.
- Signpost words-
Using linking words
Let us now understand, with some examples, how linking words are used in sentences with some examples.
- To give additional information-
- It started raining, and I got drenched. (here, “and” is the linking word)
- We can go for a movie first, then get a bite to eat. (here, “then” is the linking word)
- To contrast a point-
- Bob wanted to go for a run, but he was too tired. (here, “but” is the linking word that connects two ideas that oppose each other)
- BMW is a luxury car, although it gives poor mileage. (here, “although” connects two contrasting statements.
- To support a point-
- He did not go on the trip because he was not well. (here, “because” substantiates the first sentence with the reason in the second sentence)
- The plant has not grown since he stopped watering it. (here, “since” is connecting the problem and its cause)
How to use linking words correctly for IELTS?
Below are a few tips to make adequate use of IELTS linking words for your IELTS.
- Do not overuse- It is not necessary to use linkers in every sentence of the paragraph or answer. Overusing IELTS linking words will make you sound robotic and steal the human touch from the answer. Therefore, you should use them only where you need them the most.
- Make accurate use- Using linking words in IELTS does not mean using them out of context. However, you should understand using different linking words: contrasting, supporting, adding information, etc.
- Have variety- You should not repeatedly use one or two linking words, but use a variety of linking words for every different statement. Even if the same word fits perfectly in each sentence, using it repeatedly will not fetch you good marks.
- Pause with linkers- In the speaking section, the candidates take pauses and breaks to think with “umm” and “aaa”, which does not make a very good impression. Instead, you should use linkers to think about what to say next when you are stuck in the middle of a sentence.
- Linking words creates a connection between two lines or phrases.
- You should use linking words for IELTS to make your answer more attractive and coherent.
- You should practice understanding the correct usage of linking words.
- It is essential to use a variety of IELTS linking words in a regularised manner to get the best marks.
- Why using linking words is important for IELTS?
To create a logical writing flow in your answers, it is important to use linking words in the IELTS exam.
- What are the different types of linking words?
There are many types of linking words based on their usage. However, the main area of three types- conjunctions, prepositions, and transition words.
- How to use linking words in IELTS for best marks?
To get the best marks in IELTS, you should use linking words matching the content so that they go naturally with the flow. They should be followed by a comma and should not be repeated too often in the text.