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
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.
I didn't like my body.
Before and after doing exercise
Note: The order of the ideas is not relevant.
I didn't like my body
This idea is not clear without the rest of the sentence. This is the 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.
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.