Linking Words for IELTS Speaking - Word List & Tips

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  • Updated On:May 29,2023 05:02 PM IST

The blog first talks about what linking words in IELTS peaking mean. Then, it discusses a word list of these linking words that be used in IELTS speaking. Further, it gives some tips that can be used for linking words in speaking. The blog also gives examples of using these linking words in answers in the speaking module of the IELTS exam.

Linking Words for IELTS Speaking - Word List & Tips

Linking words serve as the verbal "glue" that holds your ideas and phrases together.

They aid in making connections between your sentences and are crucial in demonstrating your ability to organize your thoughts cogently in the IELTS test.

They are sometimes referred to as cohesive or connecting devices.

Although many linking words can be used in both speaking and writing, some should only be used in writing and others should only be used in speaking.

In fact, using "academic" or "written English" connectors in IELTS Speaking is one of the major mistakes students make. They occasionally use the following:

  • Nevertheless
  • Furthermore
  • Thus
  • It can be concluded that

But furthermore, this leads to the conclusion that this doesn't sound natural. You must employ spoken, idiomatic linking words when taking the IELTS Speaking test.

Linking Words in IELTS Speaking – Word List

The blog here gives a list of connectors or linking words for IELTS speaking. The blog here gives tips and models for linking words for IELTS speaking. To help the examiner follow your ideas and concepts while giving the speaking exam, you will require some basic linking words and phrases that are spoken naturally. The linking words or connectors for IELTS speaking are very basic and informal.

Giving additional information

  • As well as
  • And
  • Also
  • Another reason is

Talking about time

  • At the moment
  • Right now
  • At present
  • These days
  • Nowadays
  • In the past
  • Now
  • Before
  • Years ago
  • When I was younger

Citing examples

  • For instance
  • Like
  • Such as
  • For example

Being clear

  • As I was saying
  • What I want to clarify is
  • What I mean is

Concessions and Contrats

  • Although
  • But
  • On the other hand
  • Although
  • While
  • Or

Causes and Solutions

  • Because
  • The best way to solve this is
  • I guess the only answer is to
  • It was caused by
  • I suppose the best way to tackle this problem is
  • I guess it’s because
  • The main reason is

Idea expression

  • I think the main difference between A and B is
  • I think one difference is
  • I guess one important thing is

Also read : IELTS - Overview

Some More Linking Words

For example, for instance, to illustrate this To give examples

For example, for instance, to illustrate this To give examples
Because, since, thus, that is why To give an explanation or reason
Actually, I have to say To preface what you really think
I must admit To confess that something is true
On the other hand To introduce another point of view
Well To give yourself time to think
Also, as well as To add ideas
Similarly, as, in the same way To compare
Even though, despite, yet To contrast
So that, so, for this reason To express a result/purpose

Even though this list is far from complete, it's a nice place to start.

Another recommendation for a band 9 response is to avoid using the same linking words more than once and to avoid using only the easiest ones (like and, or, but, however, still).

Make sure your linking words are varied and appropriate for the context; for example, the words "notwithstanding," "hereby," "hence," and "correspondingly" seem more natural when written down than when spoken.

Also read: IELTS Eligibility

Citing examples of Linking Words in IELTS Speaking

In the following question and answers, linking words that have been used have been highlighted.

Q: Do you like eating a lot of fruit?

A: Of course, I do. I love eating fruits like mangoes and pineapples which are tropical ones.

Q: Do you think junk food is bad?

A: Yes, I think so. If junk food is eaten quite often, it can cause health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. Also, eating junk food frequently can lead to obesity and weight-related problems.

Q: Do kids these days play similar games that were played in the past?

A: No, I guess they don’t do so. Earlier, kids used to play basic and simple games like hide and seek or they used to play with simple handmade toys. But, nowadays, kids rather play online or computer games and even their toys are machine or battery-operated.

Also read: IELTS Exam type

Some Common Errors in linking Words in Speaking

The examples given below in form of questions and answers will help you understand what are the common errors in linking words in IELTS speaking.

Q: Do you like to go out with friends?

A: Of course, I like to do so. At first, it gives me a chance to relax. Secondly, I can catch up with them. At last, it allows me an opportunity to visit new places.

Errors: The way linking words have been used here is too formal. This turns out to be inappropriate and might not help in getting a high band score.

The answer should be spoken in the following way:

A: Of course, I like to do so. It’s fantastic to be able to get a chance to chill out and catch up with my friends. Also, we often visit new places which I enjoy a lot.

Also read: IELTS test dates

Tips for using Linking Words in IELTS speaking

  • Avoid using formal linking words for answers to questions that are simple and ask you about yourself and your life.
  • You need not worry about repeating linking words in IELTS speaking as this is not similar to IELTS writing.
  • The most basic and common linking words for speaking are: but, and, because, like, also etcetera.
  • “Like” as a linking word is used to give examples in IELTS speaking only and not in IELTS writing.
  • You might not get a higher band score if you used a variety of linking words.
  • Linking words in speaking are used to aid the listener understand the spoken ideas and concepts better.
  • Linking words are used informally in IELTS speaking.
  • Linking words are a part of the marking criterion of “fluency and coherence” which accounts for 25% of your marking criteria.

In conclusion, answering the exam question appropriately, offering sufficient detail, and displaying strong vocabulary and grammar are not the sole requirements for achieving band 9.

Additionally, make sure that your thoughts flow naturally and that the connections between them are obvious. Making your response organized and clear by using a variety of suitable linking words can also help you highlight the logic in your reasoning.

Also read : IELTS test centers


There is no exact count, these connectors should come naturally. Remember, excess of anything is bad.
Clarity is a very important thing, so for that you can use connectors which are mentioned in the blog (what i mean is... What i want to clarify is...).
Always remember, writing is much more formal than speaking, which includes less formal connectors as it should sound natural.
It helps to organize and link our ideas. Not only it helps to develop the answer but also to score better in Fluency and Coherence.
If it hinders your fluency and causes repetition, means you are using them more than what is required.

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