Sentence Connectors and Sentences

The Use of Linking Language in Written English

A chain
Adél Békefi/Getty Images

Once you have mastered the basics of correct usage in written English, you will want to express yourself in increasingly complex ways. One of the best ways to improve your writing style is to use linking language.

Linking language refers to sentence connectors used to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences; the use of these connectors will add sophistication to your writing style.

Each section below contains linking language using similar sentences to show how the same idea can be expressed in a variety of manners. Once you have understood the use of these sentence connectors, take an example sentence of your own and write a number of sentences based on the examples to practice your own writing skills.

Some Examples of Sentence Connectors

The best way to understand the functionality of sentence connectors is to see examples of their usage in everyday situations. Take, for instance, that you want to combine the following two sentences: "Food and drink prices in New York are very high" and "Renting an apartment in New York is very expensive." One could use the sentence connectors semicolon and the word "furthermore" to combine the two to form one cohesive sentence: "Food and drink prices in New York are very high; furthermore, renting an apartment is very expensive."

Another example, this time keeping the meaning of both sentences but linking them together to form a cohesive idea related to both:

  1. Life in New York is very expensive.
  2. Life in New York can be extremely exciting.
    • Despite the fact that life in New York is very expensive, it can be extremely exciting 

And in this example, one can form conclusions as part of a sentence connector to emphasize a cause and effect relationship between two sentences:

  1. Life in New York is very expensive.
  2. Many people would love to live in New York.
    • Many people would love to live in New York; consequently, life in New York is very expensive.

In any of these cases, sentence connectors serve to shorten writing and make a writer's point more concise and easy to understand. Sentence connectors additionally help the pace and flow of a piece of writing feel more natural and fluid.

When Not To Use Sentence Connectors

It's not always appropriate to use sentence connectors or to link sentences at all, especially if the rest of the writing is already weighty with complex sentence structures. Sometimes, simplicity is key to get a point across.

Another instance of a time not to use sentence connectors is when combining sentences could force an assumption on the reader or render the new sentence inaccurate. Take for instance writing an essay on the cause-effect relationship between human energy consumption and global warming, while you may be able to say "human have burned more fossil fuels in the last century than ever before; ​consequentially, the global temperature has risen," it may not be entirely accurate given the reader's interpretation of that statement without context clues.