Linking Sentences

Introduction - Transitional Words and Phrases

Use good transitional words and phrases to highlight the relationship between sentences. For example:

There are many different opinions on the game of golf. To some, it is the most important part of their life and they appear sometimes to be addicted to it. There are people who think it is a waste of a good walk.

Might be better written like this:

There are many different opinions on the game of golf. To some, it is the most important part of their life and they appear sometimes to be addicted to it. On the other hand, there are people who think it is a waste of a good walk.

She was a well-known teacher.

There is a list here with examples of transitional words and phrases [LINK]

Keep the main clause of a sentence together

Do not interrupt the main clause with a subordinate one. For example:

The number of golfers who enjoy their games, because of slow play, is in decline.

Would be better written like this:

The number of golfers who enjoy their games is in decline because of slow play.

Or like this:

Because of slow play, the number of golfers who enjoy their games is in decline.

Keep connected phrases and clauses in the same form

Read your sentences aloud. Feel the rhythm If something sounds out of place, check for consistent form. For example:

There are many reasons for playing golf including, to get exercise, socialise and have fun, to challenge oneself, and dress in unusual clothes.

Might be better written like this:

There are many reasons for playing golf including, to get exercise, to socialise and have fun, to challenge oneself, and to dress in unusual clothes.

Or like this:

Because of slow play, the number of golfers who enjoy their games is in decline.

Another example:

David thought he would go to the golf course, that he would arrange a time to play, and that he would take about 4 hours to play.

Would be better like this:

David thought that he would go to the golf course, that he would arrange a time to play, and that he would take about 4 hours to play.

Or like this:

David thought he would go to the golf course, arrange a time to play, and take about 4 hours to play.

Make sure pronouns are clearly referenced

Pronouns (e.g. he, she, this, they, etc.) are good when referring to something that has been previously mentioned if the reference is obvious. However, the pronoun reference in following sentences is not obvious:

Golfers do have some unusual habits. Some will spend hours outdoors in horrendous weather and claim they are having fun. Others will happily spend hours boring whoever will listen by telling them about their game. They are the strangest of people.

The reference is clearer in these sentences:

Golfers do have some unusual habits. Some will spend hours outdoors in horrendous weather and claim they are having fun. Others will happily spend hours boring whoever will listen by telling them about their game. These golfers are the strangest of people.

Keep ideas together

Unless you have a good reason, do not ask your readers to wait until the end of a sentence to understand its relationship to the preceding sentence. For example:

My golf game has been getting progressively worse. I have been having intermittent pain in my left wrist which I think is the cause of my poor play.

Would be better written like this:

My golf game has been getting progressively worse. I think the cause of my poor play is the intermittent pain I have been experiencing in my left wrist.