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 embarassing).
If I were you (to introduce advice)
In my view (to introduce an opinion)