Some words and phrases help to develop ideas and relate them to one another. These kinds of words and phrases are often called discourse markers. There are a large number of discourse markers. Here are a few of the most common among them. Note that most of these discourse markers are formal and used when speaking in a formal context or when presenting complicated information in writing:
–With reference to: With reference to your order placed on 12th March, we are pleased to inform you that …
–Regarding: Regarding this particular offer – I really don’t think …
–As far as … is concerned: There are no problems about marketing. As far as manufacturing is concerned, I think the best thing is … (Note that it is wrong to leave out is concerned after as far as …)
–On the other hand: Arranged marriages are unknown in the West. In many Asian countries, on the other hand, they are very common.
–Whereas: John is very hardworking whereas his brother’s rather lazy.
–However and nevertheless: She found him physically unattractive. Nevertheless, she agreed to marry him. (Note that nevertheless is very formal)
The watch is expensive, however, it is worth it.
–In the same way and similarly: He was a great player who used his reflexes to stop suddenly while running with the ball. In the same way he used his reflexes to move away from his opponents.
The camel has adapted itself to desert regions by growing a hump on its back. Similarly, the giraffe has a grown a long neck, which enables it to eat leaves from tall trees.
–On the contrary: ‘Interesting film?’ ‘On the contrary, it was a total waste of time.’
–Anyway/anyhow/at any rate/at least (These expressions can mean ‘what was said before doesn’t matter’.): I don’t know what time I will arrive. Anyway / anyhow / at any rate I will be there before 10 o’ clock.
–By the way/Incidentally: Alice wants to discuss a few things with you. By the way / incidentally she has quit her job.
–Firstly; secondly, thirdly (Note that firstly, secondly, lastly etc., are more formal than first, second, last etc., and are more common in British than American English): We need to rent an apartment. Second(ly), we need to find work. And third(ly)…
–Moreover/what is more/ in addition/ furthermore/ besides/on top of that: They are desperately short of food. In addition, they need doctors and medicines.
Laptops are getting cheaper all the time. Furthermore,they are becoming more powerful.
–On the whole/in general/broadly speaking/by and large/to a great extent: On the whole, we had a nice time.
In general, few people are satisfied with their life.
–I think/I feel/I reckon/I guess/in my opinion/in my view (Note that I think, I feel and I reckon are informal. I guess is used only in American English. The expressions in my opinion/view are formal): I think you should give it another try.
I feel you are making a mistake.
In my opinion, it would be better to discuss our concerns with them.
–Therefore/as a result/consequently: He reduced the amount of time studying for his final exams. As a result, his marks were rather low.
ThWe’ve lost over 3,000 customers over the past six months. Consequently, we have been forced to cut back our advertising budget.
Now, it is high time you practised them by means of some interactive activities: exercises. Have fun!!!!!