Linking words: generalising

Linking words ensure the continuity of thought. They add sophistication and variety to your writing. There are several linking words in English. Some of them merely add information or arguments to what has already been said. Examples are: moreover, in addition, furthermore etc.

Some linking words are used to show the logical connection between two statements. Examples are: therefore, consequently, then and as a result.

A good knowledge of linking words is essential to write a well-knit essay. In this lesson we will learn about some of the linking words used to make generalizations.

Key phrases

On the whole; in general; in all / most / many / some cases; broadly speaking; by and large; to a great extent; to some extent; apart from…; except for…

  • In general, we are impressed with your performance.
  • In general, all children can be difficult.

On the whole is used to sum up your opinion of something which is good and bad in parts.

  • The photography of the film wasn’t all that good, but the plot was exciting. On the whole, I enjoyed it.
  • I have had my ups and downs. But, on the whole, life has been good to me.
  • Broadly speaking, nurses are an overworked lot.

To a great extent and to a certain extent mean ‘partly’.

  • To a great extent, a person’s upbringing has a greater bearing on his character than his education.
  • To a certain extent, a person’s fate is determined by his actions.
  • In most cases, people will be nice to you if you are nice to them.

Apart from and except for are used to introduce exceptions to generalizations.

  • Apart from the piano, he plays all musical instruments. (= He plays all musical instruments except the piano.)
  • Except for James, they all seemed quite interested in the offer.

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