How to Use Sentence Connectors to Express Complex Ideas

Pretty young college student study in the library
bo1982/ E+/ Getty Images

Once you have mastered the basics of correct usage in written English, you will want to express yourself in increasingly complex ways. Sentence connectors are used to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences and are one of the best ways to improve and add sophistication to your writing. 

Sentence connectors are also referred to as linking language. There are a number of forms of sentence connections such as:

Conjunctions, which connect two simple ideas:

  • The teacher discussed French and German history.

Coordinating conjunctions, which connect two phrases or simple sentences:

  • Jennifer would like to visit Rome, and she would like to spend some time in Naples.

Subordinating conjunctions, which connect a dependent and an independent clause:

  • Just as it's important to win, it's important to play the game. 

Conjunctive adverbs are used to connect one sentence to another:

  • Children get plenty of exercise at our school. Similarly, they enjoy extensive art programs.

Prepositions must be used with nouns rather than full phrases:

  • Like Seattle, Tacoma is located on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington.

Sentence connectors are used for many tasks. For example they can indicate additional information.

  • Not only do students have to take weekly tests, but they are also required to take pop-quizzes throughout the term.
  • The company needs to invest more heavily in research and development. In addition, we need to improve our manufacturing facilities.

Sentence connectors can indicate opposition or contrast between ideas. 

  • Mary asked for another week to complete the project although she had already spent three weeks in preparation.
  • Despite the economic growth of the past eight years, most middle class citizens are having difficult making ends meet.  

Connectors can also show the cause and effect of certain actions or when explaining the reasons for decisions.

  • We decided to hire three more employees because sales were increasing rapidly.
  • The sales department developed a new marketing campaign. As a result, sales have risen by more than 50% over the last six months. 

English also uses sentence connectors to contrast information.

  • On the one hand, they have improved their language skills. On the other hand, they still need to improve their understanding of basic math.
  • Unlike the nineteenth century, the twentieth century saw science become the leading subject in universities around the world. 

Finally, use subordinating conjunctions such as 'if' or 'unless' to express conditions when connecting ideas in English. 

  • Unless Tom can complete the project by the end of next week, we won't win the contract with the city government. 
  • Focus your energies on your studies while at college. Otherwise, you'll be left with a lot of debt and no diploma. 

Type of Connector



Coordinating Conjunction and...too

High level positions are stressful, and can be harmful to your health too.

Customers are satisfied with our sales, and they feel our marketing team is friendly too.

Subordinating conjunction just as

Just as high level positions are stressful, they can be harmful to your health.

Just as students need a vacation from studies, employees require some downtime in order to bring their best efforts to work.

Conjunctive adverbs similarly, in comparison

High level positions are stressful at times. Similarly, they can be harmful to your health.

Students from Asian countries tend to be excellent at grammar. In comparison, European students often excel in conversational skills.

Prepositions like, similar to

Similar to other important professions, high level business positions are stressful at times.

Like the healthy pursuit of free time activities, success in the workplace or at school is essential to a well-rounded individual.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "How to Use Sentence Connectors to Express Complex Ideas." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Beare, Kenneth. (2023, April 5). How to Use Sentence Connectors to Express Complex Ideas. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "How to Use Sentence Connectors to Express Complex Ideas." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).