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Connectors for IELTS Speaking Test: All You Need To Know

Updated on 31 January, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Connectors are words or phrases used to connect sentences. They are also called ‘linking words’ or ‘conjunctive words’ and they make a sentence more interesting. The linking words play a major role in the outcome of the IELTS speaking test. Using the right connectors for speaking is key to scoring well.

 

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Tips to use connectors correctly: 

It is important to know how to use connectors correctly before taking the IELTS speaking test. They have to be used in the right place to give proper meaning to a sentence. Some tricks for using connectors are mentioned below:

  1. Be accurate while linking sentences. Proper words should be used so that the sentence presents the right meaning. 
  2. Avoid overusing connectors. Overusing connectors makes the sentences sound clumsy and desperate.
  3. Select the right connectors. Many connecting words have a similar meaning. So the selection of the right connectors for IELTS speaking is necessary.

Many types of connectors have similar purposes, such as:

  1. Comparison

The following connectors can be used while comparing information in two sentences:

  • Similarly
  • In comparison to
  • Likewise

2. Contrast

Many sentences are contradictory. The following cause/solution words are used in the case of disagreement:

  • I disagree
  • Despite
  • Still
  • Conquer
  • Although
  • However
  • Despite
  • On the other hand
  • But
  • Even though 
  • Yet
  • On the contrary
  • However
  • Nevertheless

3. Highlighting a sentence

Emphasizing a word is important while stating an important point. The following connectors can be used to gain attention:

  • In particular
  • Clearly
  • Especially
  • Specifically
  • Obviously

4. Cause and reason

Linking words from this category can be useful while connecting sentences based on cause and reason.

  • Since
  • As
  • Because
  • Due to
  • Owing to

5. Example-based linking words

Examples must be provided to make sentences more understandable and interesting. The following can be used:

  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • Namely
  • For example

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6. Addition of information

The main sentences in the IELTS speaking should be supported with more information about the particular topic. Some words that can help are:

  • In addition to
  • And
  • Not only… but also
  • Moreover
  • Also
  • Furthermore 
  • Additionally 
  • As well as

7. Listing of sentences

Sentences are generally listed in a particular order. There are linking words that support the flow, such as:

  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly, lastly, etc.
  • First, last
  • To begin with
  • Last but not least
  • Finally

8. Result

The consequences mentioned in a sentence have to be supported by a result. The following result oriented linking words can be used in such scenarios:

  • Thus
  • Hence
  • Consequently
  • So
  • For this reason
  • As a result
  • Therefore

9. Stating an Opinion

Opinions are stated to present the sentence from the speaker’s perspective. The following opinion-oriented words can act as connectors:

  • I believe
  • I admit
  • In my opinion
  • I concur/agree
  • I disagree
  • I think
  • In my point of view

10. Indication of time

Some words help listeners get a sense of timing and chronology. The following connectors involve time:

  • Meanwhile 
  • Eventually
  • Initially
  • Henceforth
  • Subsequently

11. Pointing the obvious

Several words that help identify something as obvious, such as:

  • Obviously
  • Clearly
  • Naturally
  • Of course
  • Surely
  • As can be expected 
  • After all

12. Generalizing statements

Some linking words help in expressing generalization in sentences. They are:

  • Usually
  • In general
  • In most cases
  • As a rule
  • On the whole
  • Generally
  • For the most parts

13. Usage of Alternative words in a Sentence

Alternative connectors are used when different suggestions are given apart from the original suggestion, like:

  • Rather
  • On the other hand
  • Alternatively
  • Another possibility 

14. Concluding words in sentences

Concluding sentences or comments also have specific connectors. Some of them are:

  • In conclusion
  • To summarize
  • Overall
  • Therefore
  • In brief
  • To conclude

Conclusion  

In conclusion, mastering the use of connectors in the IELTS Speaking test is a pivotal strategy for candidates aiming to enhance the coherence and fluency of their spoken English. Connectors, serving as linguistic bridges, enable speakers to organize their thoughts, elaborate on ideas, and transition smoothly between points, thereby significantly improving the clarity and effectiveness of their communication. For individuals preparing for the IELTS Speaking test, focusing on integrating a variety of connectors into their responses is not merely about showcasing grammatical range; it's about demonstrating the ability to engage in sophisticated and nuanced conversation. By practicing the use of connectors in diverse speaking scenarios, candidates can elevate their performance, leaving a lasting impression on the examiners and achieving a higher band score.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.