English Connectors & Conjunctions: And, Or, So, Because, Although and Though

And, or, so, because, although – these English connectors or conjunctions will help you signal how your thoughts are connected when you’re speaking. Watch a funny conversation and check you’re using them correctly in this video lesson.

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Hi everyone. Today we’re looking at some very common connectors that we use in spoken English. They’re words that will help you link your ideas and signal your thoughts when you’re speaking.
We’re going to look at these connectors and check some that my students sometimes muddle up.
The technical term for these words is conjunctions. Conjunctions signal how our ideas meet so other people will understand us better. So let’s jump straight in and see them in action.

Kathy said you’ve got my next assignment.
Ah yes.
What is it?
Decisions, decisions! I want you to write a report on the Boston project.
Uhuh.
I thought about asking Andrew to do this, or Jenny, or Sam, but then I thought, no. You’re the right person for this job. I think.
Well, it looks great.
Err. Here’s the report we did on the Chicago project.
Uhuh.
You can use the same format, but this time the structure needs to be completely different.
The same format but a different structure?
Yes, And your report needs to be longer – although it should be more concise, so keep it short.
So longer but shorter?
That’s right. Don’t get too detailed, but you need to go deeper than just the surface? And you can use pictures if you want. Well maybe not, because it needs to be serious… or funny. Funny’s good too.
This sounds hard.
Yes and Kathy wants you to get it right and do a good job, so take your time. But she needs it on her desk in half an hour, because we’re all waiting for it.
What?!
So anyway, I’m going to go get a cup of coffee… or maybe tea.

Jay was very indecisive there. If someone is decisive, they can make decisions quickly and with confidence. The opposite is indecisive.
And Jay used lots of connectors to link his ideas. Let’s start with an easy one: And. It’s really common and we use it to join words or phrases that are related.

Get it right and do a good job.

We use and to add information, and when we’re speaking, we use it to introduce new or extra ideas.

And Kathy wants you to do a good job. And your report needs to be longer. And you can use pictures if you want… or maybe not

You heard our next connector there: ‘or’. We use ‘or’ to introduce possibilities.

It needs to be serious… or funny. Funny’s good too.

Or signals an alternative – A different option.

I thought about asking Andrew to do this, or Jenny, or Sam, but then I thought, no. You’re the right person for this job.

And you heard another connector there: but. We use but to contrast ideas. It means – hey, here’s some different information.

You can use the same format, but this time the structure needs to be completely different.
The same format but a different structure?

The format of a document is its general design or plan. And its structure is how its parts are organized and arranged. So Jay was contradicting himself there. When he told me he wanted a different structure, it was a surprise. But signals surprising information – unexpected information.

Take your time. But she needs it on her desk in half an hour.
What?!

Now, there’s another connector that signals the unexpected: although. Did you spot it?

And your report needs to be longer, although it should be more concise, so keep it short.

Again Jay was contradicting himself. Concise means short and clear – giving only the information that’s necessary. So concise implies short
Now ,is there a difference between although and though? When they’re connectors, no. They mean the same thing.

Your report needs to be longer – though it should also be more concise, if that’s possible.

OK. Now we’re going to look at two connectors that my students sometimes confuse: because and so.
So has several different meanings in English. We’ll have to make another video about its other uses, but here we’ll look at how we use so as a connector – a conjunction. Let’s compare it with because.

Keep it short because it should be more concise.
It should be more concise so keep it short.

These sentences have the same meaning – but notice the different structures.
In the first one the instruction comes first and the reason comes second.
In the second one, the reason comes first and the instruction comes second
So what’s happening?
We’ll start with because. Because answers the question why.

Why should it be short?
Because it should be more concise.
Oh, OK.

It should be more concise is the reason here. After because we put a reason.
So is different. It comes in front of results, and it’s about something that follows logically.

We’ve got a problem with this report.
What’s that?
It’s not concise enough.
So it needs to be shorter?
Yes.

Needing to be shorter is the logical result. It’s a consequence of the problem.
Another example.

Don’t include pictures.
Why not?
Because it needs to be serious.
OK.

Because answers the question ‘why?’ The reason here is it needs to be serious.
Now compare that with this.
So tells us the result – the consequence. The report needs to be serious and as a result we can’t include pictures.
OK, now it’s your turn. I’ll show you some sentences and you pick the right word.
First one. Does ‘because’ or ‘so’ go here? Let’s see.

You need to get it right so take all the time you need.

Getting it right is important and consequently you should take your time. Now what about this one?

Take all the time you need because you need to get it right.

Because comes before a reason.
Next one? What’s missing? ‘So’ or ‘because’?

Don’t get too detailed because it needs to be short.

Why shouldn’t I get too detailed? The reason is it needs to be short. OK, one more. This is the last one. What do you think? ‘So’ or ‘because’?

We want everyone to read it so make sure it’s funny.

So it follows logically that it needs be funny.
Great. That’s it for this week. But speaking of funny, at Simple English Videos we like it when things are funny because we think learning should be fun. We also believe you can learn a lot faster if you see English in action, so we create conversations and stories to help you.
We publish videos every Friday, so if you’ve enjoyed this video, make sure you subscribe. Bye now!
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