Cohesive Devices is the general term used to describe words or phrases which link two sentences or paragraphs.

They are commonly called conjunctions, linking words and transitional words or phrases.

They help to create fluency and cohesion in sentence writing based on the organization of ideas, making it easier for the reader to understand, especially in essay writing.

Cohesive Devices play a very important in the proficiency test of English for TOEFL and IELTS.

There are basically three types of Cohesive Devices:

  1. Co-ordinating (of which there are seven)
  2. Subordinating (whether, if, while, until, unless, although, that, where, whom)
  3. Correlative (they come in pairs)

In this lesson, I have provided sentence examples for

  1. Co-Ordinating Conjunctions
  2. Subordinating Conjunctions
  3. Relative Pronoun Conjunctions
  4. Time Conjunctions
  5. Correlative Conjunctions
  6. Transitional Words and Phrases

The easiest way to remember the seven Co-ordinaing Conjunctions is to learn the acronym ‘FANBOYS’

Here are the conjunctions with sentence examples

F                      For

I have lived in America FOR twenty years.

A                     And

I am married AND have two children

N                     Nor

I neither like to visit France NOR to speak French

B                     But

I like eating fruit BUT I don’t like apricot OR grapefruit

O                     Or

I don’t like to sing OR dance

Y                     Yet

I have YET to visit Australia

S                      So

It’s raining, SO I have decided to stay at home.


Here are some sentence examples:

  1. I shall not go out UNLESS it stops raining
  2. I shall not go out UNTIL it stops raining
  3. I will only go out IF it stops raining
  4. I got sunburnt WHILE bathing on the beach
  5. I cannot decide WHETHER to eat beef or chicken for dinner
  6. I live in Indonesia, ALTHOUGH I don’t speak the language very well
  7. I have no intention of going to the party, EVEN IF you pay them.
  8. I am going to stay at home, EVEN THOUGH it has stopped raining


Here are some sentence examples:

  1. It is true THAT man has landed on the moon
  2. I know WHO you are
  3. I know the person WHOM you met
  4. I Know the man WHOSE son goes to my school
  5. You can do WHATEVER you like with WHOEVER you like WHENEVER you like and HOWEVER you like
  6. I know the place WHERE you hid the money
  7. I do not know WHEN I will be home from the football match


  1. I have lived here SINCE last year
  2. I left home AFTER my parents sold the house
  3. I often dream WHILE sleeping
  4. I graduated at High School BEFORE going to University


  1. The homework will be finished AS soon AS possible
  2. BOTH my Mother AND my Father are from the north of England
  3. EITHER I will go to watch the movie tonight OR at the weekend
  4. NEITHER my family NOR my friends agree with my decision
  5. IF you say so, THEN I agree
  6. It is NOT about the money BUT about pride
  7. I cannot decide WHETHER I will drink a glass of orange OR lemon juice
  8. NOT ONLY am I alone BUT ALSO afraid
  9. NO SOONER the rain stopped THAN it started again
  10. I would RATHER be a soldier THAN a spy


Here are some sentence examples:

  1. BESIDES, the truth is that nobody really knows
  2. HOWEVER, I cannot agree with the point
  3. STILL, that remains a hot topic for debate
  4. FURTHERMORE, I wish to make the point
  5. NEVERTHELESS, Voltaire was a great philosopher and writer
  6. ACCORDINGLY, I must conclude that I agree with the original point
  7. CONSEQUENTLY, war broke out between France and Spain
  8. IN THE MEANWHILE, we shall wait and see
  9. IN THE MEANTIME, it hangs in the balance what will happen
  10. FOR EXAMPLE, France is a democratic republic
  11. OTHERWISE, Britain would not be a constitutional monarchy today
  12. UNFORTUNATELY, rare animal species are becoming extinct
  13. IN FACT, the same can be said about humans as is said about animals
  14. IN CONCLUSION, I do not share the opinion there is a doomsday for the world
  15. ADJACENT to the Museum is the Hospital
  16. SIGNIFICANTLY, that never happened
  17. IN SPITE OF opposition, the President remains in power
  18. Architects design buildings, WHEREAS buiders construct them
  19. Architects design buildings AND builders construct them
  20. Builders construct the buildings WHICH the architect designs
  21. Architects design buildings WHICH Builders build
  22. WHEREAS architects can become famous for designing a building, no one knows who the builders were
  23. Architects can become famous for designing buildings, WHEREAS no one knows who builders are

There are, of course, many more examples of these words and phrases.

As you see, it is quite possible to switch the linking word to either the beginning or the middle of the sentence to make the sentence more logical and easier to understand.





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