Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words

Learn the sentence structure for four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words. You can use these words during the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL exam.

Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words

Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words: 1st Type of TOEFL Connecting Word: Prepositions (due to)

Prepositions are the first type of connecting word.  These words introduce noun phrases that connect to independent clauses.

  • Due to the rain, the professor decided to cancel her geological trip to Death Valley, California.

Prepositions cannot introduce subjects and verbs.

  • *Due to it rained, the professor decided to cancel her geological trip to Death Valley, California.*

Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words

 

 

2nd Type of TOEFL Connecting Word: Coordinators (so)

Coordinators are other types of connecting words. These types of words connect two independent clauses together. In addition, a comma is used before the coordinator, especially if the first independent clause is more than 10-12 words.

  • My friend plans on coming over to visit later on after he finishes his final exams, so I will clean my house right now.

Coordinators are sometimes used at the beginning of a sentence to create an informal tone.

  • Informal English: My friend plans on coming over to visit later on after he finishes his final exams. So, I will clean my house right now.

You can remember coordinating conjunctions by the acronyms FANBOYS: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So

 

3rd Type of TOEFL Connecting Word: Subordinators (because)

Subordinators introduce subjects and verbs. These connecting words form dependent clauses. In addition, dependent clauses, or support ideas, must connect to independent clauses. Finally, dependent clauses can occur at the beginning or end of sentences. Typically, introductory dependent clauses are followed by commas.

  • Because a severe thunderstorm was moving through, sports officials decided to cancel the soccer game.
  • Sports officials decided to cancel the soccer game because a severe thunderstorm was moving through.

A dependent clause that exists as its own sentence is called a sentence fragment, a common sentence structure error.

  • *Sports officials decided to cancel the soccer game. Because a severe thunderstorm was moving through.*

Below are some examples of adverb, noun, and adjective (relative) clause subordinators.

Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words

4th Type of TOEFL Connecting Word: Transition Words or Conjunctive Adverbs(therefore)

Transition words connects ideas in SEPARATE sentences. Semi-colons or periods are used to connect two sentences together.

Semi-colon:  An eight day heat wave put an immense strain on the electrical grid; therefore, California government officials urged residents to keep air conditioning thermostats set at 78F or higher.

Period: An eight day heat wave put an immense strain on the electrical grid. Therefore, California government officials urged residents to keep air conditioning thermostats set at 78F or higher.

A sentence with a transition word cannot be connected to another sentence with a comma. Two sentences connected with a comma are referred to as a comma splice, another common sentence structure error.

  • *An eight day heat wave put an immense strain on the electrical grid, therefore, California government officials urged residents to keep air conditioning thermostats set at 78F or higher.*

Below is a list of transition words (conjunctive adverbs)

Additional Practice with Four Types of TOEFL Connecting Words

I’ve included links to quizzes and additional practice exercises to help you improve your use of these important connecting words.

Michael Buckhoffmbuckhoff@aol.com

Teaching Experience

TOEFL Speaking and Writing Feedback Service

TOEFL Private Lessons

Online TOEFL Courses

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