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Connectors of sequence

(first, then, when, while, and, etc.)


Throughout this topic you are going to practice how to use “connectors of sequence” in order to express, in a coherent way, the correct order of stories.

In order to do that, you are going to use linking words like: first, then, when, while, and, after that, later, afterwards, finally.


At the end of the topic you will use sequence connectors to organize coherently daily event narratives by means of anecdotes.

Diagnosis evaluation


Before you start practicing “Connectors of sequence” it’s important that you try to remember something you may know. In that way, you can relate the new information with your prior knowledge and so you will learn in a better and easier way.

This time you are going to try to complete two texts. Each time with the appropriate connector of sequence. For this exercise, don’t worry if you aren’t sure about the answers. You can even omit any answer you don’t know. This is a diagnosis evaluation. So, it is not necessary that you complete all the exercise. Complete only with the answers you know. Do not use any extra help. Remember, it is an exploration of your prior knowledge.

Look at the pictures and complete each text with the appropriate connector. The first letter of each connector is given as extra help.

Anthropology Museum

Calendario azteca

A birthday party


Connectors of sequence

In the first activity, you tried to remember something you may know about connectors of sequence. Now, you are going to watch a video presentation in order to learn about that topic.

Watch the video carefully. You can watch it as many times as necessary.

You can pause it when you consider necessary in order to better understand the content.


Learn and start practicing

Now that you watched the video about connectors of sequence you can answer the following exercise. Choose the appropriate connector of sequence in order to complete correctly each idea.


Activity 1

Rosa Parks

In the content presentation you learned about linking words which give coherence to a text. Now, you are going to read a story about a person who played an important role in a social movement in the United Stated. It’s important that you understand the order of the events so that you understand in a better way the general idea of a text.

Read the following information about Rosa Parks and answer the exercise. When you finish, click on check answers in order to verify if you provided the correct responses.

Alto al racismo

Rosa Parks


Activity 2


To continue practicing connectors of sequence, this time you are going to listen to some stories about people who went on vacation. Pay attention which activity happens first and which one happens later. After you listen to each story, order the events in chronological order according to the audio in order to make a coherent story.





Activity 3

A review


In this topic you are working with connectors of sequence. Remember that they are those words which link our ideas so that our stories have coherence, and so people can understand them easier. In this exercise, imagine you work for a touristic magazine and your job is to write a short review about a nice place to visit. You have to say that you went to that place and you need to explain everything you did, so that people get that you really had a good time. Include a picture of the place in order to make the activity more realistic. Remember to use connectors of sequence and consider this rubric. You also have to include the following information:

• Where did you go?
• Where did you stay?
• How did you travel?
• How long did you stay?
• What did you do as soon as you got there?
• What did you most like about it?
• What did you dislike about the trip?
• Where did you eat?
• What did you eat? How was it?
• How much did you spend in all the trip?
• Connectors: while, when, first, next, finally, At first, later, when, in the end, afterwards.

Your text should be between 250-300 words.


Activity 4

A birthday party


In the content presentation you learned about connectors of sequence. Remember that we used those linking words so that people understand what we say. You need to imagine that you are talking to your group of friends and you are remembering anecdotes. It’s your turn to talk and you have decided to talk about a special birthday. Consider the following questions when you record your audio.

1. Whose birthday was it?
2. What did first do when you got to the party?
3. Who went to the party?
4. What was funny about it?
5. Where was the party?
6. When was the party?
7. How did you arrive to the party?
8. How long did the party last?
9. What happened in general?
10. When did the party finish?

Don’t forget to use connectors of sequence when talking about your anecdote:

while, when, first, next, finally, At first, later, When, in the end, afterwards.

If you need to look up any word in a dictionary, we suggest you visit Cambridge Dictionary. You can see the definition and also the pronunciation of any word, in case you need it.

Cambridge Dictionary

Prepare what you are going to say before you record, but DO NOT read while recording. The idea is that you try to speak, but this is not a reading activity.

Your audio should last between 1-2 minutes.

Remember to consider this rubric to evaluate yourself and don’t forget to use connectors of sequence.



Family anecdotes

At the beginning of this material you worked with some texts which you have to complete with the correct connector of sequence. Drag the word to complete the sentences.

My grandma


Mischievous cousins



Basic references

• McCarthy M. Dell, F. (2010). Advanced Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Murphy, R. (2006).Advanced Grammar in Use, A Self Study Reference and Practice Book for Advanced Students of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Murphy, R. (2007). Intermediate Grammar in Use, A Self Study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


• Sellen, D. (2006). Grammar Tour. A Reference and Practice Grammar for Elementary to Intermediate.Italy: Black Cat.