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Vocabulary Building (Discourse Markers) 01
The word "while" is a discourse marker In the sentence "The toddler held the ice cream, while the little dog ate it."

Vocabulary Building (Discourse Markers) 01

In English, some words help to develop ideas, for example "therefore", "furthermore" or "nonetheless"; these are called discourse markers and are usually used in formal writing or speaking situations.

Discourse markers help you to structure your ideas by linking them logically. At the same time they help your audience to follow your ideas, or the thread of your argument.

For example, I might wish to persuade someone to buy a warm winter coat from my friend's shop. First I would need to list all of the reasons this would be an excellent idea, before making my suggestion for a solution to the problem. I might say: "Your coat is beginning to fray at the edges of the sleeves and I've noticed that there is a tear where the hood joins. It's the end of winter and all the shops are selling their coats at a discount; therefore you would probably be able to get a bargain. I know it's an expense; nonetheless, it's better to buy a coat now rather than waiting until the autumn when they are full price." Furthermore, I happen to know that my friend's shop has an excellent range of coats for sale right now at half price!

These words are rather formal for a chatty conversation such as this one, but you can see how they help to link ideas and provide structure for a group of sentences.

Play this quiz to familiarise yourself with discourse markers and then start using them in your writing and speech.

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1.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
....... the letter I sent you last week, I wish to discuss the bill.
However
On the other hand
Therefore
With regard to
"With regard to" introduces the topic of this sentence
2.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
The athletes swim firstly, run secondly and ....... they cycle.
fourthly
lastly
on the other hand
while
"Firstly", "secondly" and "lastly" all link and develop ideas
3.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
You are late; ......., you may not sit the examination.
as far as
however
therefore
while
"Therefore" links the ideas in each half of this sentence
4.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
He ate chocolate and I drank tea; she, ......., wanted a meal.
as far as
as regards
on the other hand
while
He ate chocolate and I drank tea; she, on the other hand, wanted a meal
5.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
They have all completed their tests; ......., I'm way behind.
as for me
for mine
I
my test
They have all completed their tests; as for me, I'm way behind
6.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
It rained all day; ......., we still went swimming in the sea.
as far as
as for
nevertheless
with regard to
"Nevertheless" joins the two halves of the sentence
7.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
It rained all day; ......., we didn't swim in the sea.
as far as
consequently
us
we
"Consequently" means "as a result"
8.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
Ten people were invited ......., so a waiting list was compiled.
as a result
as far as
in addition
therefore
"In addition" explains that the ten people were not originally invited
9.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
He ate ice cream and she ordered coffee, ....... I chose pizza.
as far
as regards
while
with regard to
He ate ice cream and she ordered coffee, while I chose pizza
10.
Find the correct discourse marker for the following sentence.
You are very late but ....... I'm concerned, you can join in.
as far as
as regards
however
on the other hand
"As far as I'm concerned" introduces a point of view

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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