An ELT Notebook : Gambits / Sentence Stems

Gambits (or sentence stems) are a type of lexical chunk consisting of a group of words with a specific  introductory or signalling function: 

Examples :  

That reminds me of ... (to introduce an anecdote); 

The thing is.. (to introduce a point in an argument, problem or objection etc); 
You know (to introduce an explanation - eg It was, you know, a bit embarrassing).
If I were you (to introduce advice)
In my view (to introduce an opinion)
The next thing we need to look at is... (to introduce a change of topic)
Would you mind if... (to introduce a request)

Recommended Reading

Davis and Kryszewska, The Company Words Keep: Lexical chunks in language teaching, Delta Publishing 

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