Sentence Connectors: Showing Opposition in Written English

These words and phrases connect sentences to help with understanding

Student with Difficulties
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There are a wide variety of sentence connectors used to show opposition or conflicting ideas in written English. These words and phrases connect sentences to help with understanding. Sentence connectors are also known as linking language and include subordinating conjunctions in complex sentences, coordinating conjunctions in compound sentences, as well as introductory phrases which can connect two sentences. 

Type of Connector



Coordinating conjunction

Coordinating conjunctions connect two simple sentences and are separated by a comma.

but, yet

High level positions are stressful at times, but professionals can learn to manage their stress levels.

Students often study through the night, yet they should be careful about stress levels.

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions connect one dependent clause to an independent clause. They can begin a sentences or be placed in the middle of a sentence. Use a comma at the end of the dependent clause if you use a subordinating conjunction to begin a sentence.

although, even though, though, despite the fact that

Despite the fact that high level positions are stressful at times, professionals can learn to manage their stress levels.

She would like to move to Los Angeles though there is little chance she'll find a job.

Even though her father asked her to do her homework, Susan went outside to play.

Conjunctive adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs connect a second sentence to the first. Use a comma after a conjunctive adverb or introductory phrase.

however, nevertheless

High level positions are stressful at times. Nevertheless, professionals can learn to manage their stress levels.

The leading athletes spend more than five hours a day training. However, they often have enough energy to go for a run in the evening.

Prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases are followed by nouns or noun phrases. Prepositional phrases can begin a sentence or be placed after the independent clause.

despite, in spite of

In spite of the stressful nature of high level positions, professionals can learn to manage their stress levels.

Alan and his wife decided to stay for another week despite the rain.

Learn More About Sentence Connectors

Sentence connectors are useful when connecting ideas in written English. This helps make your writing flow more logically, as well as convince readers. Here are examples of a variety of sentence connectors with links for more information.

Connectors can provide additional information to help you make your point.

  • Not only should teachers take time to speak individually with each student, but they should also provide concise written feedback on homework.
  • Management has decided to move headquarters to New York. In addition, we shall bring our manufacturing facilities back to the United States.

Explain the cause and effect of decisions, as well as provide reasons for your arguments. 

  • As the company has been looking to expand into Europe, our CEO has begun negotiations on a joint venture.
  • Students were unable to pass minimal requirements. As a result, we've decided to create lower level courses to help students get up to speed.

Contrast information with connectors to show more than one side of a situation.

  • On the one hand, we need to raise money within the next few months. On the other hand, launching a new product is always risky.
  • Unlike most people's need for companionship, Jason felt time spent alone was valuable. 

Subordinating conjunctions such as 'if' or 'unless' can express conditions that need to be met. 

  • Unless she goes to university to continue her studies, her parents refuse to support her financially. 
  • Tom is going to visit Jim next week when he's in New York. Otherwise, we'll have to schedule a meeting next month.

You can also make comparisons to show the similarity between ideas and objects with sentence connectors.

  • Just as Alice would like to attend art school, Peter wants to go to a music conservatory. 
  • The marketing department feels we need a new ad campaign. Similarly, research and development feel our products need a fresh approach.