IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 – Linking Words (with PDF)

IELTS linking words PDF - image by Magoosh

Just how important are linkers for IELTS? When it comes to Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2, connecting words for IELTS are incredibly important. Overall, they’ll have a significant impact on your band descriptor—in other words, on your IELTS scores. So how do you use IELTS writing linking words well? I’ll show you how in this IELTS linking words PDF!

IELTS Linking Words PDF

Magoosh IELTS Linking Words - Get the PDF

Once you’ve downloaded the IELTS linking words PDF, come back to this post to read on. In this post, we’ll look at linkers for IELTS and how you can use connecting words for IELTS tasks to boost your score.

Table of Contents


 

The Function of Linking Words in IELTS Writing

The IELTS Writing exam is marked on four criteria: grammar and sentence structure; vocabulary usage; answering the task response; and coherence and cohesion. Each makes up 25% of the overall score. Often, when I read an essay by an ESL student, I’m impressed by their range of vocabulary and their expert grammar use, but disappointed about how incoherently one sentence flows to the next.

In other words? They need more connecting words for IELTS’s higher band descriptors!

To develop coherence and cohesion, we need to use a variety of phrases to link one idea to the next, so that the reader can follow your thinking. How you’ll do this should vary according to the task type that you’re approaching. Take a look at IELTS band descriptors 1 and 2, then see how to use linkers for IELTS below!


 

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 1

On IELTS Task 1, you’ll write a report based on two visuals (think: charts and graphs). You’ll need connecting words for IELTS Task 1 to:

  • Transition from a description of one visual to a description of the other
  • Compare and contrast key features of the visuals
  • Point out and highlight data or details of the visuals


 

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

For IELTS Task 2, you’ll write an extended response to a prompt. In this case, you’ll need linkers for IELTS Task 2 to:

  • Present your opinion
  • Move between paragraphs
  • Provide reasons
  • Give examples
  • Explain conditions and consequences of different scenarios

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Connecting Words for Both IELTS Tasks

Even though the two IELTS Writing tasks are very different, you’ll still need to structure your responses with an introduction in either case. And a conclusion could potentially be used in both tasks as well, although conclusions are optional in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1. (See our article on Writing Task 1 Academic paragraph structure for details.) Because of this, IELTS Writing linking words that will help you on both tasks are those that:

  • Connect your introduction to your summary of the visuals
  • Move from your main discussion to your conclusion.

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Categories of Linkers for IELTS Writing

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at several series of linking words to help you on test day! You can also download these in the IELTS linking words PDF to return to for reinforcement.

While most of these words can be used in either task, I’ve put asterisks (*) by different words that are particularly good for Task 1 or Task 2. Here’s the key:

* Especially good linking words for IELTS Writing Task 1 (Academic)
** Especially good IELTS Writing Task 2 linking words
(Note, however, that any of these phrase categories can be pretty useful in either essay!)

Opinions**

  • I think/feel/believe that…
  • Personally, I feel that…
  • As far as I am concerned…
  • From my point of view…
  • I admit that….
  • I concur that…
  • I agree that….

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Addition*

  • Moreover,…
  • Furthermore,…
  • In addition,…
  • Additionally,…
  • Likewise,…
  • On top of that,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Emphasis**

  • Clearly,…
  • Indeed,…
  • Especially,…
  • In particular,…
  • Particularly,…
  • Without a doubt,…
  • Obviously,…
  • Importantly,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Comparison/Opposition*

  • However,…
  • In contrast,…
  • By contrast…
  • In comparison,…
  • Meanwhile,…
  • On the other hand,…
  • But…
  • Alternatively,…
  • Nevertheless,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Condition**

  • If…
  • Unless…
  • On the condition that…
  • Provided that…
  • As long as…
  • Supposing that…
  • Otherwise…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Concession**

  • Admittedly,…
  • Even though…
  • Although…
  • Despite…
  • In spite of…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Example**

  • For instance,…
  • For example,…
  • …,such as…
  • A very good example is…
  • The best example is…
  • To illustrate,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Sequence*

  • Firstly,…
  • First of all,…
  • To start with…
  • Secondly,…
  • Next,…
  • Thirdly/fourthly/etc.,…
  • Lastly,…
  • Finally,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Consequence/Result**

  • As a result,…
  • As a consequence,…
  • Consequently,…
  • Accordingly,…
  • Therefore,…
  • On that account,…
  • For that reason,…

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Conclusion**

  • In conclusion,…
  • To conclude,…
  • In the end,…
  • Finally,…
  • To summarize,…
  • To sum up,…

Ready to put your knowledge from the IELTS linking words PDF to the test? Here are some exercises you can use to practice using linkers for IELTS!

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Practice with IELTS Linking Words for Writing Task 1

You can find the prompt for this question here!

These graphics highlight several key trends. (1) ________, in general terms, slightly more than half the population owned computers in 2002. (2) ________, that number rose to roughly 75% over the next eight years. (3)________, these numbers varied by group. (4)________, postgraduates were always ahead of the general population: roughly three-quarters of postgraduates owned computers in 2002, that figure rose to nearly 95% by 2010. (5)________, those who had not finished high school began with only a 15% computer ownership rate, which increased to about 45% after eight years.

Click here to check your answers!

(1) Firstly/First of all/To start with

(2) However/But/Nevertheless

(3) On the other hand/However/But/Nevertheless

(4) Any example linking word would work here except “such as,” because this is the beginning of a sentence.

(5) Any comparison/opposition word would work here.


 

Practice with Linking Words for Writing Task 2

You can find both the prompt and a full example response for this question here!
The Prompt

(1)________, young people need freedom to make choices, especially when it comes to their careers. Deep down, some parents may want their children to choose prestigious careers, or jobs that will impact society in some way. These wishes are normal and not necessarily harmful. (2)________, it can be problematic if these desires turn into firm expectations. (3)________, offering a child freedom does not imply that parents should be absent. Parents should strive to foster open communication about career decisions. (4)_______, if Tim’s aspirations do not line up with his parents’ wishes, he may, (5) _______ fear that approaching them could lead to judgement and confrontation.

Click here to check your answers!

(1) Any opinion linking word or phrase would work here except for “I concur that” or “I agree that,” because this is the first idea introduced in the essay.

(2) Admittedly,

(3) However,/But/On the other hand,/Nevertheless,

(4) Any example linking word would work here except “such as,” because this is the beginning of a sentence.

(5) consequently/as a result/as a consequence/accordingly/therefore/on that account/for that reason,

IELTS Back to Top button-Magoosh


 

Using the IELTS Linking Words PDF

The best way to improve your use of IELTS Writing linking words is to practice repeatedly, checking your work thoroughly each time. With the IELTS Linking Words PDF, we’ve made this easy for you!

In the IELTS linking words PDF, you’ll find the key information from this post. This includes the lists of linking words, which task(s) each word is best for, and practice using linking words using the exercises below!

Incorporating IELTS Writing linking words into your practice by using the PDF regularly will help you achieve greater fluency for test day–and help you boost your band score. Make it a regular part of your practice! And be sure to read up on the whole IELTS Writing section, so you can study for the test effectively. Magoosh has a complete guide to IELTS Writing that can help.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

Most Popular Resources