Linking words

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Linking words

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Catherine and Rob explore the topic of linking words and hear the story of Angela and her rescue, just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water...

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Rob Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Rob…

Catherine And I’m Catherine. And this programme is all about linking words, the words and phrases we use to connect ideas and events when we speak or write.

Rob Yes, we call them linking words and phrases. They help people to follow what we’re saying by showing how ideas are connected to each other.

Catherine First , we’ll look at some examples…

Rob Next , there will be a short quiz…

Catherine And finally , we’ll leave you with a top tip for learning vocabulary.

Rob But to start with, let’s listen to Angela talking about a lucky escape she had. While you listen, try to answer this question: who or what saved Angela in the end?

Catherine Here’s Angela.

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Presenter So Angela, tell us: what did you escape from?

Angela A shark.

Presenter Wow! Really …?

Angela Yes, what happened was I was swimming off the coast, when all of a sudden, I saw a huge black shape coming towards me. To begin with , I thought it was a dolphin…

Presenter But it wasn’t. So, what happened next ?

Angela Well, I then quickly realised it was a shark. Luckily , I’m a very fast swimmer. But in the end , it was a boat that saved me.

Rob That’s an incredible story! We asked: who or what saved Angela?

Catherine It was a boat. Angela said “ In the end , a boat saved me.”

Rob Lucky lady. Now Angela helped us to follow her story by using linking words and phrases to tell us what happened, when it happened and how she felt about it. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Catherine OK, right, now the first one was right at the beginning. Angela said “ What happened was … “and this is a really good way tointroduce a story because it grabs the listener’s attention and it tells them to get ready to hear a story. Have a listen.

Angela What happened was I was swimming off the coast, when all of a sudden , I saw a huge black shape coming towards me.

Rob OK, good start. Now another way to tell your story clearly is to say words that show the order of events. Catherine and I did this at the beginning of this programme when we used words like First , Next and Finally : First , we’ll look at examples …,

Catherine Next , there will be a short quiz…

Rob And finally , we’ll leave you with a top tip…

Catherine Exactly. Now let’s listen to how Angela used words and phrases like these.

INSERT

Angela What happened was I was swimming off the coast, when all of a sudden, I saw a huge black shape coming towards me. To begin with , I thought it was a dolphin…

Presenter But it wasn’t. So, what happened next ?

Angela Well, I then quickly realised it was a shark. Luckily, I ‘m a very fast swimmer. But in the end , it was a boat that saved me.

Catherine So, when you get to the end of your story use a phrase like in the end or finally to show that your story’s about to finish.

INSERT

Angela But in the end it was a boat that saved me.

Rob OK. Now, let’s hear Angela tell us about how the boat saved her.

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Angela Fortunately , the boat had already seen the shark and fired a rocket, which scared the creature off.

Presenter That was lucky!

Rob Wow, so Angela uses the adverb fortunately as a linking word to comment on this.

Catherine
Yes and in the first clip Angela said: “ Luckily, I ‘m a fast swimmer .” Other comment adverbs you may hear include unfortunately , sadly and so on. And we can also use adverbs and adverbial phrases like suddenly or all of a sudden , which we heard in the first clip to say how things happen.

STING

Rob We’re talking about words and phrases that link different sentences and parts of a story.

Catherine Yep and it’s time for a quick recap. So, to start a story we had…

Rob Well, what happened was …

Catherine For ordering events:

Rob First of all, to begin with, then, next, after that …

Catherine To finish a story…

Rob Finally, in the end.

Catherine To make a comment:

Rob Luckily, unfortunately, sadly .

Catherine And lastly we had:

Rob Suddenly, all of a sudden .

Catherine
Great, now it’s quiz time. Choose the correct linking word or phrase to fill the gaps. Number one: I tried for weeks to get a ticket to the final. [sfx: beep] I gave up. Is it a) In the end or b) Next.

Rob
It’s a) In the end .

Catherine
Well done. Number two. It started to rain. [sfx: beep] I had an umbrella with me. Is it a) Suddenly or b) Luckily.

Rob
It’s b) Luckily .

Catherine
Finally, number 3: Which is the correct phrase to introduce your story? Is it a) What happened was … or b) What happened it … ?

Rob
And it’s a) What happened was …

Catherine It is, and well done to you if you got those right. Now before we finish here’s Rob with a quick tip for learning vocabulary.

Rob
Yes, why not make a note of new linking devices when hear other people speak English - on the bus, waiting in a queue or watching TV. Note them on your phone or just write them down somewhere and then try to use them yourself.

Catherine
Top tip Rob, thank you. There’s more about this at BBC learning English dot com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both
Good bye!

STING

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