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How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!
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How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!

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The Most Popular Connective Words and Phrases

The Most Popular Connective Words and PhrasesWords that connect words, phrases, or clauses are called connectives. The primary connectives are:

1. Conjunctions, connecting words, phrases, or clauses, such as: as, and, but, if, or, etc.

2. Prepositions connecting words, such as: at, by, in, to, etc.

3. Relative pronouns, connecting clauses or phrases, such as: who, which, what, and that.

4. Conjunctive or relative adverbs, connecting clauses or phrases, such as: hence, when, whence, where, why, etc.

The following list makes up a typical bagful of connective words and phrases which help writers transition from sentence to sentence within the paragraph. We do not pretend that our list is a complete list of all connective words in the English language; but it presents writers with the nucleus of a collection.

Connectives are used in the following ways:

To imply a series:

first, secondly, thirdly, etc.; again, further, finally.
To imply simple addition:

and, also, moreover, again, further, finally, and then, after, next, when, another, too, more;

Clauses introduced by: when, while, etc.
To imply contrast:

yet, still, however, but, rather, on the other hand, on the contrary, nevertheless, notwithstanding, in spite of, in contrast to this, although.
To indicate reference to a noun, noun clause, etc.:

this, that, in this way, thus, so, such, etc.
To indicate a purpose dependent on the idea:

to this end, for this purpose, with this in view, keeping this in mind.
To indicate result:

therefore, hence, then, it follows that, consequently, accordingly, if this be true, under these circumstances, under these conditions.
To bring in a comparison:

equally important, more effective, quite as necessary, not so obvious.
To continue (or enforce) the thought:

truly, really, surely, in truth, in fact, very likely, certainly, perhaps, of course, to be sure, naturally, obviously, it is certain, undoubtedly, assuredly, probably.
To indicate particularization:

at least, at any rate, anyhow, for example, for instance, indeed, specifically, in particular, in especial, unfortunately, fortunately, etc.
To indicate change of place:

here, there, yonder, beyond, near by, opposite, adjacent to, round about, on the other side, underneath, above, in either place, westward, etc.
To indicate change of time:

at length, next, soon, whereupon, immediately, whereat, after a short time, not long after, at last, finally, meanwhile.
To indicate the same line of thought:

and, further, besides, moreover, likewise, nor (= and not).
To indicate contrast:

but, yet, and yet, nevertheless, however, only, still, whereas, while.
To indicate alternation:

or, nor, else, otherwise, either, neither.
To indicate consequence:

therefore, hence, consequently, accordingly, wherefore, so, so that, so then.
To indicate source of knowledge:

for, because
To indicate time:

when, then, before, after, while, since, till, until, as soon as, as, so long as, whenever, now that.
To indicate place:

where, whence, whither, wherever.
To indicate degree or comparison:

as, than.
To indicate manner:

as, as if, as though.
To indicate cause:

because, for, as, since, seeing that, inasmuch as, now that, in that.
To indicate condition:

if, so, unless (= if not), on condition that, in case that, but that, so that, say, let, suppose, providing, provided, wherever (= if ever).
To indicate purpose:

that, so that, in order that.
To indicate result:

that, so that, but that.
To indicate concession:

though, although, albeit, however, whoever, no matter how, if or even if (= though), notwithstanding.

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