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IELTS Linking words and phrases

Knowing linking words is a powerful tool to have in your pocket. You can pick out your favourites and practice using them in IELTS writing and speaking tasks.

Linking words
two hands joining puzzle pieces

It is worth reading through the list of linking words several times during your learning process. After all, it is a very good resource to keep using and peek in once in a while as a reference!

Feel free to download the pdf of linking words for IELTS as well!

To make contrasting points

  • Killing endangered species is illegal; nevertheless, people will not stop hunting them.
  • In spite of the fact that killing endangered species is illegal, people will not stop hunting them.
  • Killing endangered species is illegal, but people will not stop hunting them.
  • While killing endangered species is illegal, people will not stop hunting them.
  • Even if killing endangered species is illegal, people will not stop hunting them.
  • Even though killing endangered species is illegal, people will not stop hunting them.
  • Although killing endangered species is illegal, people will not stop hunting them.
  • Killing endangered species is illegal; at the same time, people will not stop hunting them.

To list points

  • Firstly, the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.
  • In the first place the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.
  • To start with, the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.
  • Secondly, the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.
  • Thirdly, the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.
  • Finally, the government must revise the out-of-date environmental laws which were written twenty years ago.

To add more points on a topic

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  • What is more, the city should conduct inspections of zoos.
  • The city should also conduct inspections of zoos.
  • Apart from this/that / In addition to this, the city should conduct inspections of zoos.
  • Moreover, the city should conduct inspections of zoos.
  • Besides, the city should conduct inspections of zoos.
  • The city should conduct inspections of zoos too.
  • ... not to mention the fact that the city should conduct inspections of zoos.

To list advantages/disadvantages

  • One of the greatest advantages of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Another great advantage of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.
  • One other advantage of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.
  • A further advantage of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.
  • The main advantage of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.
  • The first/greatest advantage of regular exercise is that it leads to a healthier lifestyle.

To express effect / phrases for result

  • Lots of factories have closed down, therefore, many people have lost their jobs.
  • Lots of factories have closed down; thus, many people have lost their jobs.
  • Lots of factories have closed down; consequently, many people have lost their jobs.
  • Lots of factories have closed down so many people have lost their jobs.
  • Lots of factories have closed down; as a consequence, many people have lost their jobs.
  • As a result, ... / Eventually, ...

To emphasise what you say

  • Clearly research has proved that eating healthy foods and exercising regularly reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Obviously, research has proved that eating healthy foods and exercising regularly reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Of course, research has proved that eating healthy foods and exercising regularly reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • In particular, researchers have proved that eating healthy foods and exercising regularly reduce the risk of heart disease.

To express reality

  • Actually, the report states that most college graduates are interested in pursuing a Masters' degree in the future.
  • As a matter of fact, the report states that most college graduates are interested in pursuing a Masters' degree in the future.
  • In practice the report states that most college graduates are interested in pursuing a Masters' degree in the future.
  • The fact of the matter is the report states that most college graduates are interested in pursuing a Masters' degree in the future.

To express difference between appearance and reality

  • On the face of it the building looked safe, but after a detailed inspection it was reported to be in need of major structural repairs.
  • Apparently the building looked safe, but after a detailed inspection it was reported to be in need of major structural repairs.

To state an argument against your opinion

  • It is popularly believed that the teaching profession needs more qualified educators.
  • People often claim that the teaching profession needs more qualified educators.
  • It is often alleged that the teaching profession needs more qualified educators.
  • It is fact that the teaching profession needs more qualified educators.

To state other people's opinions

  • Some people argue that the mayor's proposal to raise local taxes is unfair.
  • A lot of people think/believe that the mayor's proposal to raise local taxes is unfair.

To introduce the other side of the argument

  • However, there are people who believe that increasing the school year will only overwork students.
  • Those who oppose increase the school year claim that it will only overwork students.

To express balance

  • On the one hand working for a large company is prestigious, but it can be very stressful.
  • Working for a large company is prestigious, but on the other hand it can be very stressful.
  • John is a hard-working person, whereas Ann isn't.

To give examples

  • For example, in the past six months retailers have reported a 25% drop in sales of electronic equipment.
  • For instance, ... / In particular, ... / To illustrate, ...

To refer to what actually happens

  • In effect consumers spend more money on luxury items.

To make general statements

  • Generally, girls get better exam results than boys.
  • In general, girls get better exam results than boys.
  • As a general rule, girls get better exam results than boys.
  • On the whole, girls get better exam results than boys.

To make partly correct statements

  • Considering the high rate of unemployment, some companies have, up to a point, tried to create more positions.
  • Considering the high rate of unemployment, some companies have, to a certain extent, tried to create more positions.
  • Considering the high rate of unemployment, some companies have, in a way, tried to create more positions.
  • Considering the high rate of unemployment, some companies have, in a sense, tried to create more positions.

To express limit of knowledge

  • To the best of my knowledge, residents were opposed to the city's plan to build a nuclear power plant in their area.
  • For all I know residents were opposed to the city's plan to build a nuclear power plant in the area.

To rephrase

  • That is to say, they disagree with the manager's decision.

To bring up other points or aspects

  • Regarding the community, the area is in need of a new elementary school.
  • With regards to the community, the area is in need of a new elementary school.
  • As for the community, the area is in need of a new elementary school.

To express personal opinion

  • To my mind/way of thinking, department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • I personally believe department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • It strikes me that department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • I feel very strongly that department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • I am inclined to believe that department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • It seems to me that department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.
  • As far as I am concerned department stores offer a greater selection of clothes than small boutiques.

To refer to other sources

  • With reference to, this report, that brand of sun cream causes irritation to sensitive skin.

To express cause

  • Because of the harsh winter, many crops were destroyed.
  • Owing to the harsh winter, many crops were destroyed.
  • For this reason, many crops were destroyed.

To imply that nothing else needs to be said

  • Anyway, a new community centre will greatly benefit the people of the town.
  • In any case, a new community centre will greatly benefit the people of the town.

Accepting the situation

  • As it is, the situation cannot be improved.
  • Things being as they are, the situation cannot be improved.

To conclude

  • Finally, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • Lastly, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • Above all, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • All in all, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • Taking everything into account, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • On the whole, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • All things considered, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • In conclusion, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • As I have said, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • As was previously stated, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.
  • To sum up, the university offers a wide range of courses and provides modern facilities.

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