Moreover, consequently and therefore: ways to link ideas (2)

a young man writing in a library, with a notebook, laptop and textbooks in front of him
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by Liz Walter

My last post looked at linkers that express the contrast between ideas. This post covers linkers for adding extra information, showing the reason for something, and showing things in sequence.

Common ways of adding more information are in addition, moreover and furthermore. These are all rather formal and not usually used in speech. By far the most common position for these words is at the beginning of a sentence and followed by a comma. Less commonly, they are found between two commas or after and:

Regular yoga practice can reduce stress. In addition, it has been proved to boost the immune system.

These people get a lot of exercise. Their diets, moreover, are extremely healthy.

He’s a great leader, and furthermore he’s a genuinely good person.

A less formal alternative to these words is besides:

I didn’t really want to take on the work. Besides, I was in the middle of writing a book at the time.

If you want to add another example to add weight to your argument, you could use the adverb similarly:

The previous project was subject to great scrutiny. Similarly, the present project has many opportunities for public engagement.

To talk about the reason for something we can use therefore or, more formally, consequently, or thus. These words can be used either at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle of a sentence:

She did not receive the required number of votes. Therefore, she was eliminated from the contest.

These goods are cheaper and, consequently, more attractive to consumers.

He made an error, thus giving his opponent an advantage.

Hence is very similar in meaning, but, unlike the other ‘reason’ linkers, can be followed by a noun as well as a verb phrase:

He had nothing more to lose. Hence his willingness to talk to the police.

She grew up in poverty and hence places great importance on earning a good wage.

I will finish with a few linkers that show the order of things. We add -ly to make adverbs from ordinal numbers. Sometimes, especially in speech, cardinal numbers are used as adverbs:

Firstly, pollution is high.

Thirdly, we need to protect our borders.

Second, we need to recruit more operators.

Previously shows that something happened before the thing you are discussing, and subsequently that it happened afterwards:

He was chief executive of an oil company. Previously, he had worked in finance.

She was a war reporter and subsequently became an anti-war campaigner.

If you can think of any more useful linking words, do put them in the comments!

13 thoughts on “Moreover, consequently and therefore: ways to link ideas (2)

  1. Itziar Casas

    Thanks for this helpful article. I have a question to ask.
    Can we also use these linkers to introduce a new paragraph?

    1. Mark R Simpson

      Yes, you can. These linking words and phrases are very common in well-organised formal texts including academic texts.

      1. Denis

        Nope.
        ‘Beside’ is a preposition, and it means ‘at the side of’ or ‘next to’. It can also mean ‘compared to (another person or thing)’.
        ‘Besides’ is a preposition or a linking adverb, and it means ‘also’ or ‘in addition to’.

        I hope that helps.

  2. Denis

    Hi Liz. What a great post!
    I also have a question…
    Can we use ‘hence’ interchangeably with ‘therefore’, consequently’, or ‘thus’? I mean, can we say, for example, ‘These goods are cheaper and, hence, more attractive to consumers.’ or ‘She did not receive the required number of votes. Hence, she was eliminated from the contest.’ or ‘He made an error, hence giving his opponent an advantage.’?
    You point out that unlike the other ‘reason’ linkers, ‘hence’ can be followed by a noun as well as a verb phrase. Howbeit, are these examples correct? I’m especially curious to know about my second example.
    Thanks.

  3. Briki

    Translation is not certainly the best way to refer to for use of these links because there are nuances between them and have the same learning.When do we use for example ‘therefore’rather than ‘consequently’ or can we use them as we like despite the given examples ?Thank you for sharing this review of linkers..

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