One of the ways that you can improve your business emails and letters is through using more professional vocabulary in them. They just sound better when you use professional sounding vocabulary (e.g. "for instance") instead of commonly use words (e.g. "for example").
One of the easiest ways to improve your vocabulary in your business communications is through using advanced words which are called linkers. And this is what you will do in this exercise.
After you have done this exercise, I would recommend that you do the second part of this exercise to learn more professional linkers used in business English.
But before doing this, you'll first need to know what linkers do.
Linkers are words or phrases which connect different parts of a sentence or different sentences together. For example:
The football match was cancelled BECAUSE it was snowing.
In the above sentence, "because" links the two clauses of the sentence ("The football match was cancelled" and "it was snowing") together.
Linkers show what the relationship is between the two parts. In the above example, "it was snowing" is the reason why the match was cancelled. This is the reason why "because" is used here because it is a linker that is used to give a reason for why something happened.
Linkers are used to show a variety of different relationships between the parts of a sentence. For example, in the two sentences below the linkers are not used to give a reason:
ALTHOUGH it was raining and windy, I still went for a walk in the park.
I go to the gym every week. AS WELL AS going to the gym, I also play tennis every week.
In the first sentence, the linker "although" is used to show a contrast/contradiction (because people don't normally go walking in the park when it is raining and windy). While in the second, "as well as" is used to add additional information to a statement you have made (that you play tennis in addition to going to the gym every week).
And in addition to (which is another linker) linkers that give a reason, show a contrast/contradiction or are used to add extra information, there are other types as well. Like those that are used to give an example to support an opinion (e.g. "for example"), to say what the result of an action is (e.g. "so"), to say what the purpose of an action is (e.g. "to") or to say that there is conditional relationship between two actions (e.g. "if I am tired, I go to bed").
Now look at the below example sentences and guess what type of relationship the linkers (which are in bold) in each is used to show:
Choose the correct type of relationship from the selection box which the linker in bold is being used for each of the 10 questions. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
In addition to being used to show the type of relationship two parts of a sentence have (or two different sentence have), linkers are also followed by different types of grammatical structures. You can see this in the below two sentences that use the linkers "because" and "because of":
The tennis match was cancelled BECAUSE it was raining heavily.
The tennis match was cancelled BECAUSE OF the heavy rain.
The meaning of both the linkers and the sentences is the same. However, with "because" it is followed by a clause (something that includes both a subject ("it") and a verb ("was raining")), whereas with "because of", it is followed by a noun phrase ("the heavy rain"), a grammatical structure that doesn't include a subject and its verb.
So some linkers are what are called "conjunctions" (they have to be followed directly by a clause), while others are "prepositions" (they have to be followed directly by a noun or noun phrase). This is important to remember if you are going to use them correctly in your speaking or writing.
Remember that a clause normally has to contain both a subject and a verb. If it doesn't include a subject (the thing that does the action), then it very likely that the verb is being used as a noun.
Below you will find a quiz with the same 10 sentences you looked at earlier. Now you are going to decide for each linker whether they are a conjunction (followed by a clause) or a preposition (followed by a noun or noun phrase):
Choose the correct type of word from the selection box for each of the 10 questions. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
Now that you understand them, practise them by creating your own sentences in English with them.
To learn more advanced and professional linkers used in business English, do the second part of this exercise.