Connectors are an important tool for writing proficiently in English. Their purpose is to join information together within a sentence.
Using connectors correctly will help ensure the meaning of your sentences are clear for readers to understand.
When to use connectors?
One way to think about connectors is that they connect sentences, helping the reader follow the meaning of the sentence.
Connectors are sometimes used to start a sentence, while at other times they can be placed in the middle position of a sentence.
- Simple connectors (called conjunctions): and, but, or.
- Complex connectors: however, therefore, although, unless, subsequently.
Connectors should offer additional information to the reader. They can do this by emphasising contrasting meanings, adding reason or cause and showing succession.
What connectors should I avoid?
Some connectors are not suitable for letter writing. These include:
- Academic connectors: furthermore, moreover
- Informal connectors: besides, meanwhile, so.
Additionally, you should be wary of using unnecessary connectors in your sentences.
If you can remove the connector and the sentence still makes sense, then you are using a connector when one isn’t needed. Avoid this in OET when it is important to write efficiently without words the reader does not need.
- Furthermore, Mrs Jones will need to attend a follow-up appointment in 3 days’ time.
Instead, you could simply write:
- Mrs Jones will need to attend a follow-up appointment in 3 days’ time.
If you would like to know more about using conjunctions or other grammar tips, make sure you take a look at the OET Preparation Blog.