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engbites1English Bites! are practical, bite-sized tips to help you improve your English for work. Published twice a week, the articles include useful advice covering different aspects of business English including grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking as well as fun topics. It'll take just a few minutes to read each tip. You can subscribe to English Bites! from the Newsletters link above. After that, you'll receive notifications of all new tips by email.

Errors with Linking Words and Phrases (Part 1)

04 Jun 2023

grammLinking words and phrases include conjunctions (and, but, because, although etc.), certain adverbs (however, therefore, etc.), adverbs like when and where which can be used as conjunctions, and prepositional phrases (in addition to ...., because of .....).

These words show how two or more words are linked, but they are used in different ways. In this grammar review we will look at some of the most common errors which writers make when they are using linking words and phrases.

1. Missing Links within a Sentence

One common error is to omit a conjunction. A conjunction connects two or more clauses or words. Here are some examples.

We manufacture floppy disks, VCR tapes.

We manufacture floppy disks and VCR tapes. (CORRECT)

2. Missing Links between Sentences

Another common error is to leave out linking words (usually certain adverbs) that connect two sentences. This is not an error of grammar, but an error of style. Look at the two sentences below.

Our advertising budget has increased over the last quarter. We have placed ads in all the major local newspapers.

There is no linking word between these two sentences. This is acceptable, because the second sentence follows logically from the first, and the ideas follow on. Now look at these two sentences.

Our advertising budget has increased over the last quarter. Sales have not increased.

These two sentences seem strange together. There is no connective, but the ideas do not follow logically. In fact, they seem to oppose each other. Did the writer make a mistake?

Our advertising budget has increased over the last quarter.

However, sales have not increased. (BEST)

By adding the adverb however, the writer clearly shows that the two sentences are intended to be opposing.


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