An ELT Glossary : Connectives



A connective is any word which indicates the semantic relationships between items in the discourse. Some examples of semantic relationships and the connectives that may indicate them are :


  • Concession (the second element is surprising in view of the first) : eg : but, although, however: Although John's always late and spends half the day playing computer games, they've decided to promote him.
  • Addition  (the second element is the same in some way as the first in the example below the meaning structure is problem + problem + problem) : eg and, in addition, moreover : The chassis was rusted, and a brief inspection of the engine showed that the vehicle was clearly not roadworthy. Moreover, no road tax had been paid for three years.
  • Consequence (the second element is the result of the first) : eg so, so that, consequently, as a result :  The train was an hour late leaving, so that we missed our connection in Birmingham. As a result, we didn't get to the hotel until 11pm.
  • etc

As these examples show, connective expressions may be conjunctions (but, although, and, so that ) or adverbials  (however, in addition, moreover, as a result). Prepositions may also be connectives, eg : We went out in spite of the rain; We didn't go because of the transport strike