Want To Sound More Professional? Add These Linking Words to Your Vocabulary!

A common goal for professionals with an intermediate to advanced level of English is to improve their proficiency to participate in meetings or just in general conversation.

An excellent way to speak English more professionally is by replacing basic linking words (e.g., “but,” “and,” “because”) with advanced linking words (e.g. “in spite of,” “due to”).

Doing this will enlarge your vocabulary and improve your structure at the same time. Remember that your first and most important objective when using English should always be to communicate your message clearly. And once you feel confident that you can express yourself in a clear way, you can then advance and start looking at ways of sounding more native-like.  πŸŒŽ

Quick Review: What are linking words?

A linking word is a word or phrase which links parts of a sentence, or two sentences together. “But,” “because,” “and,” "so," are examples of basic linking words (also called conjunctions), which we use frequently. “However,” “although,” “therefore,” "in spite of," "nevertheless," are examples of advanced linking words. We use these less frequently than the basic linking words.

How to Start Using Advanced Linking Words to Sound More Professional

The idea here is not to completely replace basic linking words with advanced linking words, as they form part of the foundation of the English language. Our objective is to use advanced linking words from time to time.

We are going to look at three common functions when using linking words:

  1. Adding ideas.

  2. Explaining expected results and consequences.

  3. Contrasting ideas.

πŸ’­ Function 1: Adding ideas. 

Typically, we use the basic linking words “and,” “also,” and “too,” to express "adding" ideas. You can replace these basic linking words, with the advanced linking words, “besides,” “in addition to,” “as well as,” and “furthermore.” 

In this example, we look at the “adding” idea of a company getting two new software systems.

 

Basic linking word examples

  • Last year we acquired two software systems: CRM and SAP.

  • Last year we acquired a CRM. We also got SAP.

  • Last year we acquired the software system CRM. We got SAP too.

Advanced linking words examples

  • Besides getting a CRM last year, we got SAP.

  • In addition to acquiring a CRM last year, we got SAP.

  • As well as acquiring a CRM last year, we got SAP.

  • Last year we acquired a CRM. Furthermore, we got SAP.*

 (*) You can also use synonyms to increase your proficiency. Instead of using the verb “acquire” twice in the same sentence. I used the verb “get” in the second sentence clause.

 

πŸ“Š Function 2: Explaining expected results and consequences. 

When we express expected results and consequences, we typically use the basic linking words: “because” and “so.” You can replace these basic linking words with the advanced linking words, “as a result,” “as a consequence,” "consequently", “due to,” and “therefore.”

In this example, I use the idea that a smaller advertising budget will result in fewer app downloads.

Basic linking word examples

  • Because of our smaller advertising budget, we got fewer app downloads.
  • We got fewer app downloads because of our smaller advertising budget.

  • We had a smaller advertising budget, so we got fewer app downloads.

Advanced linking words examples

  • As a result of the smaller advertising budget, we got fewer app downloads.
  • We had a smaller advertising budget and, as a consequence, we got fewer app downloads.

  • We had a smaller advertising budget. Consequently, we got fewer app downloads.

  • Due to having a smaller advertising budget, we got fewer app downloads.

  • We had a smaller advertising budget. Therefore, we got fewer app downloads.

 

πŸ’‘ Function 3: Contrasting ideas 

When we talk about two contrasting ideas in one sentence, we often use the basic linking word, “but.” You can replace "but" with more advanced linking words:” although,” “however,” “in spite of (the fact that),” “despite (the fact that),” “nevertheless", and “yet,” to sound more professional.

In this example, we’ll use the contrasting idea of selling fewer products, but making more profit.

 

Basic linking word examples

  • We sold fewer products but made more profit.

Advanced linking words examples

  • Although we sold fewer products, we made more profit.

  • We sold fewer products. However, we made more profit.

  • In spite of selling fewer products, we made more profit.

  • In spite of the fact that we sold fewer products, we made more profit.

  • Despite selling fewer products, we made more profit.

  • Despite the fact that we sold fewer products, we made more profit.

  • We sold fewer products. Nevertheless, we made more profit.

  • We sold fewer products, yet made more profit.

 

You are now more prepared to use these advanced linking words in your conversations and emails in English. Remember that you should not overuse them, just add these linking words occasionally to your speech, this way you will sound more professional and proficient in the use of the language.

Keep an eye on our blog for more English tips! 

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