Connectors and an introduction to complex meaning

Connecting statements

How connectors work

You may have already figured out that connectors connect things together.

Here's a connector, 'and', connecting some qualities in a list:

Our apartment was bright and warm and welcoming.

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural RevolutionJi-li JiangSource

That's probably nothing new to you, but connectors are much more varied than just 'and'! Can you find the two connectors in this next snippet?

Morally, if not legally, we act as guardians rather than owners.

Banksy Mural Taken From London Wall Withdrawn in MiamiSource

Do you notice anything about what is being connected?

The answer is similar word groups: noun groups with noun groups, adverb groups with adverb groups (and adjectives with adjectives, etc).

Try mixing them up: "Morally, if not owners, we act as guardians rather than legally." It's gibberish!

So these kinds of connectors like to connect elements of the same type.

I don't think "We act as guardians rather than legally" sounds like gibberish

Here's a few more examples of connectors:

'for', 'and', 'nor', 'but', 'or', 'yet', 'so', 'then', 'however', 'moreover', 'namely', 'nevertheless', 'meanwhile', 'subsequently', 'furthermore'...

Connectors vs connectives vs conjunctions
Your turn

You'll probably find that some connectors work better than others in some situations. For example, "we act as guardians meanwhile owners" doesn't make sense by itself.

As with a lot of language, sometimes you just have to play around and see what works.

Like what you see?

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