Connectors in English – How to use them

Connectors words are parts of our everyday lives and sometimes we do not know that those particular words have specifics functions within a language, but if you are learning other languages, specifically English, is very important to acquire knowledge about each one of them. May be you are asking yourself, why?

The reason is because they are vital to have a well-structured speaking and writing. Although, it is an advantage for any person to be able to speak and write correctly and with sense. With the connectors, it is possible to achieve it and connect the words or clauses in a logical way.

An average person should speak their native language and be fluent at least in another, especially in English, as this digital and advance world is mostly moved by this global language.

That´s why, it is important to learn how to use the verbs, prepositions and the sentence structures well. However, to be able to speak and write smoothly it is necessary to know how to use the connectors in English.


    What are the connectors?

    You should think about connectors words when you have to link two sentences, in order to clarify the meaning of a sentence related to another. They can help you to express your ideas in a clear and logical sequence.

    To make that possible is it necessary to choose the appropriate connector to summarize, contrast, explain or add your ideas.

    Types of connectors

    The ideas in a text are related through connectors that ensure the coherence and cohesion of the text or speech.  You just have to choose the right connector according to the message you want to express.

    These ones can work as prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions or as link elements between sentences or clauses.

    They can function like:

    1. Addition.
    2. Contrast.
    3. Causality.
    4. Sequence.
    5. Others.

    Which are the connectors and how to use them in a sentence?

    These are the connectors according to its type:

    1.- Addition:

    They are used to connect two sentences of equal value or status, they are: besides, in addition to, and, also, furthermore, moreover, as well, what is more, in fact, indeed, such as, like, for, or, as, nor, etc.

    • For is hardly used in modern English, it has been replaced by because or as.

    Examples:          Peter went to New York, for he got a job there.

                       Peter went to New York, as he got a job there.

    • And/or are used to link individual words or clauses.

    Examples:          John likes tea and Jill likes coffee.

                       I like tea or coffee.

                       You will travel by train and I will go by bus.

                       Jane cooked the fish or the squid.

    • Nor is the contrary of or:

    Examples: I don’t like tea nor coffee.

                       You will not travel by train nor by bus.

    • Correlating Coordinators are used as part of the addition connectors to correlate words, phrases or sentences. These are the following:
    • Combining correlators: both…and, not only…but also.
    • Binary choice correlators: either...or, whether…or not.
    • Negative correlators: neither…nor.

    Examples: Both the children and their mothers are in the park.

                       Not only did she come, but she also sang.

                       Mia either is in the house, or in the garden.

                       The boys neither came, nor they called.

    2.- Contrast:

    It is used to contrast the idea of the main clause with some contrast connectors in the second clause, and it is separated by a comma.

    They have the following purpose:

    1. Contrast/Opposition: In contrast to, instead of, unlike, different from, but, where (as), while, less … than, however, though, in contrast, on the other hand, in fact.
    • Concession/ insufficient reason: Despite,in spite of, regardless of, but, anyway, still, yet, although, (even) though, even … so, nonetheless, nevertheless, etc.
    • Contradiction: On the contrary.

    Note: But denotes that the following sentence (subordinate sentence) contrasts the preceding sentence (main sentence).


                       They are going to the party but Jane is not going.

                       Let’s have dinner, however I am not going to eat.

                       Although you made a black dress, it was too short.

    3.- Causality:

    Causality connectors words are used to express cause-effect, result and purpose. Knowing this,we are going to classify them to understand how can you use them.

    • Cause- effect: Connectors in English can also be used when expressing cause and effect either written or as a discourse. They connect the ideas between the reason for and the influence this event or situation has on places, people or things.

    When using because or since at the beginning of a sentence separate de result clause with a coma.

    Example:  Because/since the city is located on the hill, the flood did not wash the houses a way.

                       The flood did not wash the houses away because/since the city is located on the hill.

    • Results: If you want to express a result it is recommended to use, so, so … that, such … that, as a result, hence, therefore, thus and consequently.


                      Sheryl finished her perfect performance; therefore/ consequently/    thus the public applauded standing.

                       Sheryl finished her perfect performance, so the public applauded standing.

    Note:         The result clause is always after the main clause which is separated from the result clause with a semicolon when using consequently, thus or therefore. When using so only separate with a coma.

    • Purpose: These types of connectors are used to explain the commission of something or someone. They are: for, so … that, in order that/to, with this in mind, for this purpose, etc.


                        I explain you the class, with the purpose you pass the exam.

                        I going to save money, in order to buy a car.

    4.- Sequence:

    They can help you to give detailspoint by point in a logical way. They are composed by:

    • Time sequence: they can be prepositions, subordinating conjunctions, adverbs conjunctions, adverbs, between others, such as:

    Like, after, during, before, up to,since, within, by, for, from,until, when(ever), once, while, as long as, now that, first, first of all, to start with, at present, now, later, eventually, finally, etc.

    Example:    Gary had to wait until the bus came.

                         First of all, you have to study.

    • Logical sequence: First (of all), in the first place, to begin (start) with, then, next, secondly, in conclusion, to include, etc.

    Example:     The doctor said: “First, you have to take a rest”

                         To start with the concert, it is necessary to sit down.

    • Summary: To make a conclusion about many points exposed. These connectors are: in summary, to summarize, briefly, in short, overall, as has been said.

    Example:    To summarize, it is important to be aware with these symptoms.

                        As has been said, you have to visit the doctor more frequently. 


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