connectors to avoid

Before we discuss what connectors are used for and where to use them, let us give you the

List of connectors you must AVOID in your OET Letter Writing.

FurthermoreMoreoverApart from (this/that)Meanwhile
Later onHenceThereafterThus

Some more information about the connectors above

  1. beginning a new sentence with some simple connectors such as and, but & also. Instead, use a more formal alternative to start your sentence such as additionally, therefore, etc.
  1. using ‘then’ at the beginning as it is commonly used in spoken English.
  1. using firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally, etc. as they are typically used in spoken English.
  1. using connectors (unnecessarily) if the sentence still makes sense without one.
    • I am writing to refer Mrs. Joan, who is possibly suffering from osteoarthritis. Therefore, she requires further assessment and an appropriate management plan. (‘Therefore’ is not required here)
  1. repeating the same connector(s) in the letter.
  1. using the following connectors in OET Writing.
    • Academic Connectors – furthermore, moreover
    • Informal connectors: besides, meanwhile, apart from (this/that), later (on), so
    • Outdated connectors: hence, thus, thereafter

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In OET writing, connectors (linking words, connectives, cohesive markers) are very important. They are used to

  • join information logically.
  • improve the structure of sentences.
  • to improve flow of information.


1.1 Simple Connectors

– They are usually the ‘coordinating conjunctions’ in English grammar. They are used typically in the middle of a sentence and join clauses. However, some adverbs are also used as connectors.

Examples: and, but, or, for, because, except (for) (conjunctions) also, later, as, too (adverbs)

1.2 Complex Connectors

– They are ‘subordinating conjunctions’ in grammar. They are used to connect a dependent and independent clause. They can be used at the beginning and in the middle of a sentence.

Examples: before, after, following, although, however, therefore, since, as, while, unless, in case


2.1 Connectors for Adding Information

They are the most commonly used in OET writing, and they help in providing more information.

and, also, additionally, in addition, in addition (to this/that/something), along with, as well as

  • His sperm count was ordered, and on today’s review, it was found to be normal.
  • Additionally , Mrs. John had stopped taking contraceptive pills.
  • In addition to this , mild systolic murmur was heard.
  • In addition , she was not compliant with her medications.
  • He also complained of mild postural hypotension.

2.2 Connectors for Cause & Effect

When one thing has happened because of another, you will need to use a connector. These are also quite common in OET writing to explain the cause of symptoms or impact of treatment for example.

therefore, as a result (of something), consequently, accordingly, due to, *since, *as *

You can use ‘since’ or ‘as’ when it is appropriate for the sentence. However, try to use more formal and concise alternatives such as due to, following, etc.

  • The examination revealed exudative tonsillitis; therefore, oral penicillin was commenced.
  • As a result of physiotherapy, her back pain has significantly reduced.
  • Antidepressants were prescribed due to the symptoms displayed.

2.3 Connectors for Contrast

Contrasting connectors are used to indicate a contrasting information. For example, to add something different or unexpected.

but, except (for), however, even though, although, despite, otherwise, unless, instead, while

  • On examination, her vitals were normal, but she had abdominal tenderness.
  • His investigations were unremarkable except for mildly decreased protein and potassium.
  • On review today, he complained of persistent pain. However, he expressed his desire to return to work.
  • Even though she was advised to adopt lifestyle changes, she failed to do so.
  • Although her physical examination was unremarkable, she was crying and fidgety.
  • Despite stopping OCPs four months ago, she failed to conceive.
  • Her weight was 52kg; otherwise, her examination was unremarkable.
  • Her request for a potent laxative was refused. Instead, she was advised to improve her diet.

2.4 Connectors for Emphasis

These connectors are used to add emphasis/give importance to the main idea.

clearly, significantly, notably, especially, in particular, particularly, and specifically

  • The pathology report revealed elevated WBC count; notably, neutrophils.

2.5 Connectors for Time Frame

These are used to indicate sequence.

subsequently, initially, recently, currently, at that time

  • Subsequently , the local mental health (MH) team was updated.
  • At that time , she was taking OCP and was planning to have her second child in a year.

2.6 Connectors for Empathy

These are usually used when there is a negative prognosis or significant change in the patient’s condition.

unfortunately, regrettably

However, avoid overuse of these connectors.

4 thoughts on “List of Connectors to Avoid in OET Letter Writing”

  1. let me know the usage of ‘ Moreover’
    it contains not only avoid using as a connector in a box but also an academic connector.

  2. In the beginning, the article lists and, also as “must avoid connectors” in OET writing, but in the paragraph of connectors for adding information, still use AND and Also to add information in the sample sentences. I am confused.

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