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Common problems


What's wrong?

Please correct the following sentences:

1. Despite sales were down, the company chairman was optimistic.

2. The tax rates, they all were changed two years ago, are now lower.

What are connectors?

Connectors are linking words or phrases that connect two ideas, facts, events, etc. They join the ideas but also signal what is coming next, eg a contrasting fact or a purpose. These signals help the listener or reader to understand the connection between ideas.


1. Contrast:

a. Last year's profits amounted to ten million whereas the previous year's profit was eight million.
b. We have not yet received our order in spite of the fact that we contacted you a month ago.

2. Consequence:

The company needs to expand its international business. We therefore recommend the opening up of new markets in Asia.

3. Adding information:

The refunds are substantial. They are, in addition, easy to claim.

4. Explaining:

We'll need to make personnel cuts. In other words there will be some redundancies.

They sometimes offer reductions.

Test it out!

Look at these connectors and choose an appropriate one to fill each gap in the sentences below:

alternatively whereas as a result despite
on the other hand in other words in addition although
1. The rate in the UK is 16%, the rate in France is 17%.
2. difficult trading conditions, the company made a considerable profit.
3. The company made a loss last year and did not pay a dividend.
4. On the one hand, reorganisation will reduce salary costs but , it will increase administrative costs.
5. their competitors became bankrupt, the company did not increase its market share.
6. The tax rates are progressive. the percentage withheld increases as the income rises.
7. We recommend that you relocate to Amsterdam. , you could consider a base in the Hague.
8. We should try to maintain the current level of manufacturing costs and, intensify our marketing efforts.



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