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FCE and CAE Writing Tips: Linking Words and Phrases

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In today's article we are going to focus on some useful FCE and CAE writing tips as the writing section of the exam is for many the most time consuming and unpredictable. Clearly, writing demands a combination of a great deal of steps such as understanding the question very well, brainstorming, planning, writing the answer and some proof-reading in quite little time.

Yet even when all these are managed successfully, cohesion and coherence can be lacking. A perfect solution to this is the great variety of linking words and phrases that can help you link your ideas and sequence your thoughts. They are perfect both for writing and speaking and it's definitely something that an examiner will expect you to use in both FCE and CAE exams. So let's see what they are and how they are used. 

Sequencing

order and chaos

First/Firstly/In the first place/First and foremost
There are many ways we can spend the school’s extra funds. First/firstly/in the first place/first and foremost we can buy new computers and photocopying machines.

Second/Secondly
There are many ways we can spend the school’s extra funds. First we can buy new computers and photocopying machines. Second/secondly, we could develop new facilities such as an indoor gym.

Then/Next
Second, we could develop new facilities such as an indoor gym. Next/then, we could spend on organising more social events.

Lastly/Finally/Last but not least
Next, we could spend on organising more social events. Lastly/finally/last but not least, we could arrange more school trips.

Addition

And/As well as
He is a good person and/as well as a good colleague.

Also
He is a good person and also a good colleague.
Travelling is a great way to escape the daily routine. It also gives you the opportunity to explore different cultures.(in a new sentence)

Besides/In addition to
Do you play any other sports besides/in addition to basketball?

• Moreover,/Furthermore,/In addition (to),/What is more,
Travelling is a great way to escape the daily routine. Moreover,/furthermore,/in addition to this,/what is more, it gives you the opportunity to explore different cultures.

• Too (at the end of the sentence)
Travelling is a great way to escape the daily routine. It gives you the opportunity to explore different cultures too.

Cause and result

karma


• Consequently/As a consequence/Therefore/Thus/Hence/As a result/So
Our car broke down yesterday. Consequently/therefore/thus/hence/as a result/so we can’t go anywhere today.

• As/Since/Because
I don’t feel very confident about the exams as/since/because I didn’t study enough. 
(As and Since can also initiate a sentence: As/Since I didn't study enough, I don't feel very confident about the exam.)

• Due to/Because of
He lost his job due to/because of his inappropriate behaviour.

• So that
He left earlier from work so that he would be on time for the film.

• So + adjective or adverb…that
Simon was so good in his job that he got promoted.

• Such + (a/an) + adjective + noun…that 
Simon was such a good employee that he got promoted.


Contrast and concession

black balls and red ball

• Although /Though/Even though/Even if/In spite of (the fact that)/Despite (the fact that)
Although/though/even though/even if/in spite of the fact that/despite the fact that
she was still at primary school, Nicola showed the maturity of a young adult.

Whlist/While
Whlist/while I understand your concerns, I don’t consider them important.

In spite of/Despite + noun
In spite of/despite the heavy rain, we went out.

woman in the rain

In spite of/Despite + -ing 
In spite of/despite raining heavily, we went out.

Yet (=but)/But
He’s been working with Julia for 10 years, yet/but he doesn’t know her very well.

However/Nevertheless (= but)
He’s been working with Julia for 10 years; however/nevertheless he doesn’t know her very well.

Whereas (=compared with)
He must be around 50 whereas his wife looks about 30.

• On the one hand…On the other hand
On the one hand a healthy diet is good for your heart. On the other hand it means making many sacrifices in terms of food.

If you try to use as many of these as possible, you will certainly make an examiner happier and earn some credits in your FCE or CAE exam. These phrases can also help you sequence your thoughts even when you have no time for a bit of planning before writing. Hope you've found these FCE and CAE writing tips useful. If you have any comments, please feel free to share them below!