Why sentence connectors?
Sentence connectors, when used appropriately, play an important role in the sentence structure, and make it relevant but make sure to use a connector only when it is needed. Yes, sentence connectors are an important tool for writing proficiently in English.
The main purpose of connectors
- To join information together within a sentence.
- To add additional useful detail to the sentence.
- Help to ensure that the meaning of the sentences is clear for readers to understand.
Note: Connectors can be used to start a sentence, in between the sentence, in the middle position of a sentence.
Some use of connectors:
- Add emphasis to the main idea, (clearly, significantly, notably)
- To define the time frame more clearly, (initially, subsequently, finally)
- To show the contrast between two ideas, (however, instead, despite)
- Shows cause and effect. (Accordingly, therefore, consequently)
- link the ideas in two or more sentences (though, Although, Even though)
- show relationships between ideas within an independent clause. (that, which, what)
Sentence connectors in healthcare letters
When writing a formal healthcare letter, it is important to choose
- a professional tone for your writing.
- suitable for the writing context.
Let’s look at some examples of connectors:
- Simple connectors (also called conjunctions): and, but, or, later, as, too, because.
- Complex connectors: however, therefore, although, unless, subsequently, additionally, otherwise.
All-time doubts or concerns of an OET aspirant:
1. What is the preferred OET writing style?
- OET encourages the candidates to write in a natural way.
- You will be scored according to your range of vocabulary and your ability to demonstrate them accurately.
- Requires a balance between formal professional written language and concise, that is giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words. (brief but comprehensive).
- Direct phrasing, which is easy for the reader to understand. Choose the best language that fits for clarity.
2. Can I use simple connectors?
Yes, you are free to use simple connectors. You can include demonstrating the use of both simple and complex connectors appropriately.
Simple connectors are as follows: and, but, or, later, as, too, because.
3. Can I start a new sentence using any connector?
Yes, you can use a connector to start a new sentence but with restrictions.
OET does not recommend beginning a new sentence with some simple connectors, such as: also, so, and, but
Instead, choose a more formal alternative for the start of your sentence, such as: Additionally, Therefore, However
Note: These are fine to include in the middle of the sentence, they are not banned from using in OET writing.
4. What connectors should I avoid?
Some connectors are less suitable for healthcare letter writing. These include:
- Academic connectors: furthermore, moreover
- Informal connectors: besides, meanwhile, apart from that, later on
- Outdated connectors: hence, thus, thereafter
5. How many connectors I can use in my OET letter?
OET says ‘The assessors do not count the number of connectors you include in your letter, and simply using a lot of connectors will not boost your score’.
OET checks for:
- the range of vocabulary
- sentence clarity
- Concise (brief but comprehensive)
- linking of ideas appropriately
- the choice of language used.
6. ‘Since’ and ‘As’ – Can I use these connectors in my OET Writing?
Yes, you can use ‘since’ or ‘as’ when it is appropriate for the sentence you are writing.
Alternatives: due to, following.
Note: Don’t use a connector if it doesn’t add any value to the sentence.