Shree Ganeshay Namah
What are Discourse markers and How to use them effectively?
Have you heard about discourse markers or linking words? It is not a commonly used term but definitely we use discourse markers frequently. Here I will give you the proof. In the previous sentence, I have used HERE as a discourse marker.
Generally(This is also a discourse marker) we need them to carry our discourse forward. Now don’t wonder, let me explain everything about discourse, discourse markers with proper explanation and easy-to-understand practical examples.
What is discourse-
As per the Oxford dictionary discourse means written or spoken communication or debate or a formal discussion of a topic expressing all kind of time that is tenses. It gives us a clear idea about discourse which means all kinds of spoken or written use of language.
e.g. I went in search of the shop. Then I realized my mistake. Finally, I decided to give up my efforts. Luckily, my friend passed by. Eagerly, I approached him. Then I was guided by my friend correctly.
In the above sentences(discourse) I have used THEN, FINALLY, LUCKILY, EAGERLY, THEN as discourse markers. The last sentence is in passive voice. you can use discourse markers effectively with them. It will give you an idea about them.
What are discourse markers or linking words?
We have become familiar with discourse but what is a marker? It simply means an object used to indicate something. If we combine the meanings of discourse and markers then we will understand that discourse markers mean the words used to continue our narration or speech. We use them to link our written or spoken content with previous sentences.
Uses of discourse markers or linking words-
Commonly we use discourse markers to connect properly with what we say orally or in the written form and to express various facts such as our attitude, cause-effect relation, comparison, the contrast between things, to add something to our speech.
We use discourse markers to give examples, to take time before we make the further sentences, to draw conclusions and many more things where we need to add words to form the connection between past and present, future speech.
Types and examples of discourse markers-
Discourse markers or linking words are of different types. There are lot of discourse markers to use for each type. Here we will study important discourse markers with their examples.
1)To give examples-
For example- Teacher told about various subjects. For example, he mentioned physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, English.
For instance-He gave some investment options. For instance, we can invest money, spend money or buy property.
Some more discourse markers to give examples are as follows.
In a similar way
In this scenario
With regards to-
According to (Expert/me/saying)-
2)To mention time-
We can mention time by using the following discourse markers-
Initially- I have been working on this project for 6 months. Initially, I thought that it would be finished in 4 months.
Finally- He searched everywhere. Finally, he found the thing that he needed.
Some more discourse markers-
First of all
As soon as
3)To mention cause and its effect-
You can use the following discourse markers for mentioning cause and effect relations.
Because- She apologized to me because she realized her mistake.
As a result- The guest arrived late. As a result, the function started late.
So- You were busy. So, I decided to go alone there.
4)To draw a conclusion-
Use the following linking words to draw a conclusion-
To conclude- To conclude the argument, we can say that Mobile is the most useful invention.
To sum up- To sum up, I will give the gist of our findings.
In a nutshell- In a nutshell, we will list the important points.
In the case
In this way
5)To add some more supporting sentences to our discourse-
We can use the following –
In addition- In addition to this, I will give some more instances.
And- And I realized my disability which would ruin it.
Then- Then they started making progress.
As well as
6)To compare facts and things-
You should use the following –
Compared to-Compared to your previous performance, You are doing great.
As compared to-
In comparison with-
7)To show contrast-
On the other hand-
On the contrary-
In spite of this-
8)To show certain attitude-
If you want to express attitude, use the following discourse markers-
As far as I am concerned-
I am sorry-
9)To give your necessary response-
10)To show, express possibility or the degree of certainty-
11)To give emphasis-
Most of all-
In my opinion-
12)For expressing our views at various stages of the arguments-
Many people say-
In the same way-
To begin with-
Here we come to the conclusion-
Some special uses of discourse markers-
1)If you want to introduce a new topic cautiously or doubtfully use UM or ERM
2)We use interjections as discourse markers wow! Alas! Well done!
3)To cancel the previous point use ANY WAY, AT ANY RATE,
4)To change the topic of discussion use NOW, ALL RIGHT, OK
5)To add more details use IN OTHER WORDS, I MEAN, ACTUALLY, LET ME TELL YOU ANOTHER THING
Conclusion for the discourse markers (Linking words)-
Here we come to the concluding part of this important topic about discourse markers which are also called as linking words. They help us to manage, control or change our discourse which is our spoken or written communication.
In the nutshell, it is highly impossible to make our speech effective without the help of discourse markers. So just go through them or make a chart like me and keep in front of you till you get used to their use.
What do you think is the best way to master discourse markers? Please let me know through your comments.
All the best wishes and green lights from team learnhatkey.com