How to Effectively Connect Sentences

Being able to craft good sentences is only half the battle in writing. It doesn’t do us much good if we can craft dozens of sentences if we don’t know how to connect them. Learning to skillfully connect sentences and paragraphs is an art in and of itself and takes some time to perfect. Luckily, there are some great words we can use that’ll help us on our way to masterfully crafted sentences!

First, let’s talk about how to connect sentences. There are five main ways. We can use transitional words, colons and semicolons, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and conjunctive adverbs.

Here’s a few transitional words and phrases to start us off:

  • Additionally/In addition to
  • Likewise
  • Except
  • Thus
  • Although
  • Though
  • Lastly
  • Next, then, finally
  • In conclusion

Now let’s look at an example!

Shakespeare wrote many variations of plays. He wrote sonnets, a form of poetry, as well.

After connecting these sentences using a transition phrase, the new version might read as follows:

In addition to writing various plays, Shakespeare also wrote sonnets, a form of poetry.

In our next example, we’ll look at colons and semicolons. Colons are used for lists, examples, and to explain previously mentioned ideas while semicolons combine related sentences or two independent clauses of related topics.

Our initial paragraph looks like this:

Shakespeare wrote a variety of works. He wrote tragedies. He wrote comedies. He also wrote sonnets.

Let’s use a colon to connect these sentences:

Shakespeare wrote a variety of works: tragedies, comedies, and sonnets.

Now let’s try connecting some of these sentences with a semicolon.

Shakespeare wrote a variety of works; he wrote tragedies, comedies, and sonnets.

Next up: Coordinating conjunctions. These include:

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

Using coordinating conjunctions to connect sentences or ideas forms a compound sentence. For example, our raw sentences:

Shakespeare wrote a variety of plays. He wrote many poems.

For this example, we’ll use a coordinating conjunction from the list above to connect these two sentences. Because we’ll be connecting two independent clauses, we’ll need to include a comma directly before the conjunction is used. It now reads:

Shakespeare wrote a variety of plays, and he wrote many poems.

Let’s now look at subordinating conjunctions, such as:

  • Though
  • Although
  • As soon as
  • When
  • After

Using subordinating conjunctions to connect sentences or ideas forms a complex sentence.

Shakespeare wrote a variety of plays. He wrote many poems.

To connect these sentences, we’ll use a subordinating conjunction from the list above.

Though Shakespeare wrote a variety of plays, he also wrote many poems.

Now it’s time to learn about conjunctive adverbs and adverbial phrases, which include:

  • However
  • Likewise
  • On the other hand

To connect ideas between two sentences without actually combining the sentences, a conjunctive adverb can be used. Let’s try it.

Shakespeare wrote many poems. He wrote a variety of plays including tragedies, comedies, and histories.

We can use a conjunctive adverbial phrase to connect these sentences.

Shakespeare wrote many poems. On the other hand, he also wrote a variety of plays including tragedies, comedies, and histories.

Even though these two sentences are independent of each other in the new form, the content of the sentences has been more smoothly connected by using the conjunctive adverbial phrase.

Alright, we’ve gone over the how, now let’s look at the why behind connecting sentences.

Connecting sentences using any of the five previously mentioned techniques serves a few different purposes. For instance, connecting sentences adds stylistic variety to your writing. It also eliminates any choppy wording that would otherwise prevent readers from fully understanding a piece of text. Last, but not least, connecting sentences in a proper manner helps to enhance the overall flow of the work.

However, be careful about changing the meaning of sentences when combining them. If combining the sentences will result in a different meaning, then it’s better to just leave them separated or consider making adjustments to the sentences as a whole before combining them.

Did you find this video helpful? If so, be sure to like it and check out our other videos on crafting the perfect sentence on our channel. See you next time!

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: September 6, 2021