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Linking Words For The IELTS Speaking Exam

IELTS Speaking ExamIn the IELTS speaking exam it is good to know linking words that help you to transition naturally from one idea to another.  Using simple, informal linking words will help your examiner to follow your ideas, especially in part three of the test.

Part three of the test gives you a chance to express your opinions and develop your ideas.  To do this correctly you need to be flexible because the examiner will challenge you and ask you to justify your opinions.  A good knowledge of linking words enables you to show off your language.   Learn them and use them in your everday conversations and you will increase your vocabulary score.

Typical IELTS Speaking Exam Part 3 Questions 

Typical questions are:

“What do you think?”

“Why do you think ……………?

“What do you  think about …………….?”

“Should we ………………..”

“How can we solve this problem?”

“Tell me more.”

Here are some useful linking word and phrases to help you to answer these questions correctly:

Phrases for Adding More Information 

  • Also
  • And
  • Another reason is
  • As well as

Phrases for Expressing Ideas 

  • I think that one important point is …….
  • I suppose one difference is ……
  • I think the main difference between A and B is ………

 Giving an Example 

  • For instance
  • For example
  • Such as


  • On the other hand
  • Although
  • While


  • Because
  • I suppose it’s because …………………
  • I reckon the best way is to …………..


 How to Use Connecting Words

Let’s take the topic of food and look at a typical question that you might be asked in Part Three of the test.  It could be something like,

“Do you think that eating a balanced diet is important?”

A good, simple way to start your answer is with the word, “Well”

Well, I think that a balanced diet is important because  ……………

Well, I reckon that a balanced diet is important because  …………

Well, I suppose that a balanced diet is important because ……………….

Well,  to be honest,  I think that …….

Well, in my opinion, I think ………


Developing Ideas

You may be asked a question like, “Obesity is a problem.  What do you think we should do about it?”

You could answer, “Well, I think we could solve this issue by introducing Regulations, limiting the amount of sugar in sweets and drinks.”

However, I’ve got mixed feelings about this because ……………

Then you could connect to another idea:

So, on the other hand we could ……………….

And use a second connector later:

But,  then again it might be better to do this……………..

You might be asked a controversial question like, “Do you think that it is better to home school children?”

You could reply:

“Well, that’s quite a controversial subject.”

“I’ve been reflecting on this subject recently and I think that ………………..


These are just some of the ways that you can use connecting words in the IELTS speaking exam.  Practise using them in your everyday conversations and you will become better at it.  Also, go to the BBC Six Minute Website.  This contains six minute conversations between two people and you can download the audio and the transcript.  Listen to the audio each day for a week and you will become fluent in the vocabulary on that audio.  After a week select another topic and listen to that for a week.  This will be good preparation for the speaking exam.

Check out our website for more resources for the IELTS Speaking Exam.

Paul Andreas

Paul Andreas is a Certified Speaking Coach and qualified TEFL Teacher Online English Lessons delivered by Skype for IELTS exam preparation and conversational English. Get a free trial lesson.

This Post Has 3 Comments


    I entirely agree with you; learning linking words and phrases just like the ones listed above will be extremely advantageous. Using such words will make you look more confident. It will again make it easier for the examiner to follow and better understand your ideas; it will also make your paragraph look coherent, which will improve your IELTS scores.

  2. Caroline O.

    I just read many of your articles and visited your website. I found those very interesting! I appreciate your tips. I hope to get a high score using your advice. I was wondering what linking words or phrases I must use to conclude during the test. I know I can use “as a result” but what else I don’t what to overuse the same word.

  3. Tom R

    When I passed the IELTS test, I kept using the same linking words each time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a high score on the test. I didn’t know that I should use different linking words for particular questions and situations; I got confused between these words and vocabulary. I will be looking for other linking words to use in the next test. Thank you for your help!

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