1. Linkers of Purpose
The following discourse markers are used to introduce a clause and are always accompanied by an infinitive…
To, In order to, So as to
- I served Argentinian beef to/in order to/ so as to impress them.
If the purpose is a negative one we use ‘so as not to’ and ‘in order not to’
- I served beef instead of pork so as not to / in order not to offend the muslims.
You can also use the following to express purpose…
So that + can/could + verb …. or will/would + verb
- I bought a cat so that it would kill the mice.
When the purpose is some future contingency you can use ‘in case’
- I bought a cat in case the mice return.
2. Linkers for Reasons and motivations
The following words are used to explain the reason for something and they are situated at the beginning of a clause.
‘As’ ___________ (what are its other meanings?)
‘Since’ _________(what are its other meanings?)
- I’ve decided to divorce my wife, because she’s sleeping with my best friend.
- I’ve decided to divorce my wife, since she’s sleeping with my best friend.
- I’ve decided to divorce my wife, as she’s sleeping with my best friend.
Unlike ‘because’, ‘As’ and ‘Since’ are often used at the beginning of a sentence.
- As my best friend is sleeping with my wife, I’ve decided to divorce her.
- Since my best friend is sleeping with my wife, I’ve decided to divorce her.
Note that ‘because’ is usually the first word we use when answering a ‘why’ question.
- Why are you divorcing your wife? … Because she slept with my best friend.
We also use the following to explain motivations and reasons:
The main difference is that these tend to be followed by a noun or gerund or the set phrase ‘the fact that’. Of course, ‘due to’ and ‘owing to’ are more formal than ‘because of’.
- Due to the fact that my best friend is an asshole, he slept with my wife.
3. Linkers for Results and consequences
The most common discourse marker to talk about a result is ‘so’.(what are its other ¨_:meanings?)
- I had no food in the fridge so I ate my cat.
A more formal choice of word/phrase are the following: as a result, consequently, therefore
- I had no food in the fridge; therefore, I ate my cat.
- I had no food in the fridge; consequently, I ate my cat.
- I had no food in the fridge; as a result, I ate my cat.
Note that ‘therefore’ and ‘consequently’ can be positioned right before a verb (unlike ‘so’ and ‘as a result’)
- I’m hungry and am therefore going to eat my cat.
4. Linkers for contrast
The most common way of indicating contrast is ‘but’. A more sophisticated and formal version of ‘but’ is ‘yet’.
- I was born in England but I feel more Spanish.
- I was born in England yet I feel more Spanish.
When using ‘however’ and ‘nevertheless’ at the beginning of a sentence (in general) and afterwards we put a comma. Usually this sentence refers to a point just made.
- I wanted lamb for my wedding dinner. Nevertheless, I agreed to pork.
- I wanted lamb for my wedding dinner. However, there was none at the butchers.
Another word for contrast is ‘although’ or it’s shorter version ‘though’. You can use ‘even though’ to add more emphasis to what you are saying.
- Although he looks innocent, he’s actually a complete pervert.
- I’m going to buy you a present even though you didn’t buy me one.
A common word for creating contrast is ‘in spite of’ or ‘despite’. Please note that it is always followed by a gerund or ‘the fact that’ or a noun + clause.
- Despite arriving late, he acted like nothing was wrong.
- I’m proceeding in spite of your objections.
- We won’t accept the offer despite the fact it’s better than the previous one.