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Archive Language Point 107

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Linking words 2

Alice, Khalid and the cat in the living room

Linking words and phrases

Linking words and phrases are used to show relationships between ideas. They can be used to join two or more sentences or clauses (a clause is a group of words which contains a subject and a verb).

Linking words/phrases can be used to structure ideas, add ideas together, point out similarities between ideas or generalise about them.

Structuring ideas

First, firstly, first off (informal), to begin with, second, secondly, then, lastly and finally are used to show the structure or flow of ideas.

First, I'd like to show this new product to you. Second, I'd like to point out the advantages of it.
First off, I've got nothing to wear and secondly, I don't even want to go to the party!
First, we'll listen to your presentation, then we'll discuss in detail. Finally, we'll answer any questions you may have about working here.

Adding ideas and information

Moreover (formal), furthermore (formal), on top of that (informal) and another thing is (informal) are used to give more information or ideas.

The delivery was more than three weeks late. Moreover the clock was damaged when we finally received it.
We choose them as suppliers because they are fast and reliable. Furthermore they're the cheapest.
I had to buy a dress, some shoes, a present and all the shops were about to close. On top of that I had a splitting headache and my son wouldn't stop crying!
I've got so much to do before we go to the party. Another thing is, I don't even know how we'll get there.

Highlighting similarities

Similarly, in the same way and just as are used to show similarities between ideas. All of these linking devices are quite formal.

It's difficult to find staff to work during July. Similarly finding reliable staff in December is hard.
My mother brought me up to believe that I could do any job I wanted. In the same way I've brought my children up to be just as confident about their abilities.
Just as Shakespeare is famous for his plays, Dickens is famous for his novels.

Generalising ideas

On the whole, in general, in all/some/most/many cases, and by and large are all used to make a generalisation - to say that you think something is generally or mostly true.

On the whole, the film was very good.
I think she writes great books in general but I didn't like her last one.
In most cases you can have the time off but you have to check with the boss first.
By and large she likes working there but doesn't like the long commute every day.


sweet (adj)
kind, nice

to talk about Helen behind her back
to gossip about Helen when Helen can't hear what I'm saying about her

down in the dumps (informal)
sad or depressed


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