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Presentation / Objective

Do you have problems expressing your ideas in order? So many things to say but…

Girl confused: I don’t know where to begin.

Unknown (2007) Heather 2. [photo]. Retrieved fon 2017, August 9 from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tavelkyosoba/527175278/sizes/l

Or… do you get confused with “before” and “after” because after sound very similar to “antes”?

Before and after having a baby.

Through this lesson you will organize and express your ideas in an appropriate way, using correctly the different kinds of connectors to talk about past stories in an organized and logical way.


At the end of this topic you will:
Organize ideas in an appropriate way, using the adequate connectors to talk about past events in a logical and organized way.



Connectors show the relationship between the ideas. There are coordinating (and - but) subordinating (before, after) and transiting connectors (first, then, next, after that, finally, later).

Let´s check the use of each and every one of them.

Joins two independent clauses and there is usually a comma before it.

A good exercise routine and a healthy diet can help you loose weight.

Exercise and healthy diet. Exercise and healthy diet.

Exercise and healthy diet

They join the main idea with another idea (dependent) that only makes sense if you mention the main idea. The connector usually goes before the dependent sentence.

animacion   exercise

I didn't like my body.

Before and after doing exercise.

Before and after doing exercise

Note: The order of the ideas is not relevant.

I didn't like my body  animacion  exercise


This idea is not clear without the rest of the sentence. This is the dependent sentence.


Dependent sentence

Used between two independent ideas, to jump from one idea to the next without losing the connection.


Adapted from (J. Robinson, 2016)

First, Chris was in “Parks and recreation”; after that, He played a part in the movie “What's your number” then, he met Anna Faris. Finally, he married her.

Chris Pratt and his wife.

Unknown (2011) Moneyball 15. [photo]. Retrieved fon 2017, August 9 from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyshek/6929856309/sizes/l

The connectors have different meaning and using them correctly will help you express your ideas more clearly.

  • To add another idea (and)
  • To show a difference (but)
  • To Show a Time Relationship (first, then, next, after that, before, later, finally)

We use it to put together two or more similar ideas or items in a list, usually before the last item in the list.


Anna Faris and Chris Pratt starred a movie together.
I did everything my mom asked me to do. I washed the dishes, set the table, cleaned my room and shower the dog.

Expresses a contrasting or opposite idea.


I was very hungry but I didn´t have time to eat.

We use them to show the order and structure of what we say. First to stablish the beginning of our story and Finally to show the end after other events.


First I decided to cook something special, then I looked for the recipe in YouTube, after that I went to the supermarket for the ingredients and finally I started to cook.

Show that whatever it is said follows logically from something we said before.


First I decided to cook something special, then I looked for the recipe in YouTube.

We use next when we want to talk about an action that happened after another in a chronological order. Usually used while giving instructions or to avoid repeating another word that expresses a chronological order too and frequently followed by a comma if it is at the beginning of the sentence. Sometimes is use with the article “the” to emphasize that the action after “next” is logically the second in order.


First I decided to cook something special. Next, I looked for the recipe in YouTube.

It is a connector that helps us link two ideas. When we use it in the middle of both ideas, it means the second ideas happened immediately after the first.


I went to the cinema, after that I visited a friend at her house.

When we use it at the end of both ideas it is to make reference to the first one without repeating it.


I went to the cinema and I visited a friend after that.

We use this connector to talk about an action that happened previously to another one. We can use it at the beginning of the second action or in the middle of the first and second action.


I went to the cinema before I visited a friend.
Before I visited a friend, I went to the cinema

If “before” is followed by a verb, that verb needs to be conjugated in –gerund (ing).


Before visiting a friend, I went to the cinema.

We used later to talk about an event that will occur in the future or after another previous event. After using later we need to be specific about when something will happen.


I saw my friend in the morning and; later, that day we spoke on the phone.

(Swan, 2005)


Activity 1

Marilyn Monroe Biography

In the next activity you will read about one of the greatest feminist symbols of the 20th century. You will practice your reading comprehension and according to the connectors reviewed in the content, read the next article about Marilyn Monroe’s Biography.


Activity 2

A lifetime problem

Listen to a girl taking about her experience at a fat camp. While you listen, practice your comprehension.


Cegoh (2014) cakes. [photo]. Retrieved on 2017, August 14 from: https://pixabay.com/es/tortas-crema-deliciosa-confiter%C3%ADa-489849/


Activity 3

How did everything happen?

The success of the actor Chris Pratt didn´t happen overnight, he had to work a lot to be famous today. Through this activity you will practice the uses of the connectors to give a logical order to the story of the actor.

Activity 4

Tell us about your own story of success

We have read and heard about stories of success and perseverance, now it is time to know more about yours. Through this activity you will write a short description of something you have achieved, using the connectors we have checked in the unit.

Before you start organize your ideas; the easiest is to use chronological order that means writing the events in the order they happened. You have to write between 100 and 120 words.

Read the following example so you have a guide to do this task. When you finish, use the rubric below to evaluate your progress.


My most important achievement in life

By Louis Vrittman

One of my greatest memories is the day when I got my bachelor’s degree. I really think this is one of my most important achievements in my life.

I spent many years of study and hard work at the university, only after that I finally got my bachelor’s degree in software engineering. I perceive my bachelors as recognition of my efforts and desire to acquire essential knowledge, develop my skills and abilities.

My next goal is to get a master degree before I get married.

Finally I want to say that I have already got certain achievements in my life but, on the other hand, I believe that I am able to achieve more.


Activity 5

How did you achieve something important for you?

Along the unit we have checked life stories of people famous and not famous, now it is your turn through this activity you will practice fluency, and your pronunciation. Using everything we checked about the connectors talk about something relevant that has happened to you in your holidays and organized your ideas through the connectors.

  • Consider pronunciation.
  • Consider intonation.
  • Correct use of structures.
  • 1min maximum.
  • In case of exceeding the time, you´ll get less points.
  • Use at least 5 connectors.

Write the ideas or the answers you have for these questions. When you finish, organize it by points because you are going to record your voice.


If you want, listen here to the example of this activity.

When you are ready, record your description, then listen to it and revise it through the next rubric.


Do you want to do something different?

After reviewing all the information about “connectors” in the content, it is time to put your knowledge to practice.



• J. Robinson, J. P. (2016). Connectors: Usage and Meaning. Westminster, BC, Canada.
• Swan, M. (2005). Practical English Usage. En M. Swan, Practical English Usage (págs. 616 - 618). New York: Oxford University Press.