Scientific language: conjunctions

When you are writing you need to link your ideas together in a logical way to make your text flow. One way to link your ideas together is to use logical linking words or conjunctions.

Some conjunctions can only be used within sentences while others can be used across sentences. You need to know which ones link across sentences and which ones link within sentences. Look at the conjunction table to see a summary.

Logical Meaning

Across Sentences

Within Sentences

Addition and Replacement

  • also
  • in addition
  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • further
  • and, and also
  • nor
  • or, or else

Contrast and Comparison

  • however
  • on the other hand
  • in contrast
  • nevertheless
  • even so
  • despite this
  • in the same way
  • likewise
  • similarly
  • but
  • whereas
  • while
  • even though
  • although
  • both ... and
  • neither ... nor
Cause and Condition
  • for this reason
  • therefore
  • because of this
  • thus
  • hence
  • as a result
  • in that case
  • otherwise
  • because
  • since
  • so
  • so that
  • in order that
  • if
  • unless
Time and Place
  • then
  • afterwards
  • previously
  • up till now
  • first
  • second
  • third
  • next
  • finally
  • when
  • after
  • before

Linking between sentences

High cholesterol levels in the blood are associated with the risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore, this study aimed to determine if blood cholesterol levels in middle-aged subjects are influenced by the levels of cholesterol in their diet.

Linking within sentences

Since cholesterol levels are a risk factor in heart disease for middle-aged subjects, this study aimed to determine whether low- or high-cholesterol diets could affect cholesterol levels in the blood.

Therefore: signals the causal relationship between two sentences.

Since: signals the causal relationship between the two ideas in the sentence. It can never be used to create a sentence on its own.

Decide whether each group of words is a sentence or not. Click either the Yes or No button. When you have made a decision you will receive your feedback immediately.

1. Although Subject 4 had a high cholesterol diet, it appears that his plasma cholesterol concentration decreased.
yes | no

Well done. This is a sentence. 'Although' links ideas that contrast with each other within a sentence.

Incorrect. This is a sentence. 'Although' links ideas that contrast with each other within a sentence.

2. Even though the study had many limitations.
yes | no

Well done. 'Even though' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that contrast with the study having limitations.

Incorrect. 'Even though' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that contrast with the study having limitations.

3. Since diet is associated with the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
yes | no

Well done. 'Since' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that depend on diet being associated with levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Incorrect. 'Since' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that depend on diet being associated with levels of cholesterol in the blood.

4. Firstly, more subjects of both sexes should be chosen and secondly, meals of known cholesterol content should be prepared.
yes | no

Well done. This is a sentence. 'Firstly' and 'secondly' list ideas in a sequence within a sentence.

Incorrect. This is a sentence. 'Firstly' and 'secondly' list ideas in a sequence within a sentence.

5. Subjects were allocated randomly to a high or a low cholesterol diet which they consumed for twelve weeks.
yes | no

Well done. This is a sentence. 'Which' can only be used within a sentence. In this example, 'which' refers to 'a high or a low cholesterol diet' and allows the writer to tell us more information about this diet.

Incorrect. This is a sentence. 'Which' can only be used within a sentence. In this example, 'which' refers to 'a high or a low cholesterol diet' and allows the writer to tell us more information about this diet.

6. Because cholesterol is present in many parts of our body naturally.
yes | no

Well done. 'Because' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that are the result of cholesterol being present in our body naturally.

Incorrect. 'Because' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that are the result of cholesterol being present in our body naturally.

7. While low cholesterol diet had an opposite effect and caused plasma protein concentration to fall by approximately 15%.
yes | no

Well done. 'While' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that contrast with a low cholesterol diet having an opposite effect.

Incorrect. 'While' can only link ideas within a sentence. In this example the sentence is not finished and we do not know what the ideas are that contrast with a low cholesterol diet having an opposite effect.

8. However, on the basis of Figures 1 and 2, the results suggest that a low-cholesterol diet is beneficial in keeping, if not lowering plasma cholesterol concentration.
yes | no

Well done. This is a sentence. 'However' is used across sentence boundaries to introduce a contrast with the ideas in the previous sentence.

Incorrect. This is a sentence. 'However' is used across sentence boundaries to introduce a contrast with the ideas in the previous sentence.

I think this should be in a different section??

In this legend from a report on measuring the rate of muscle glycogen consumption during exercise, choose the correct tense from the pull-down menus. Make sure the subject and verb agree and that you have chosen active or passive voice correctly. When you have finished click the Submit button to compare the correct version with your own.

Muscle biopsy samples (˜100 mg, frozen in liquid N2) with 1 M KOH (0.5 g/ml) for 20 min at 100oC. After cooling, glycogen with ethanol (60% v/v). The pellet by centrifugation (3,000 g for 5 min) and then in 1.0 ml phosphate buffer (0.15 M pH 7.4). Aliquots of this solution in 10 with Iodine Reagent (0.1% w/v iodine, 100 mM KI and 50 mM CaCl2). After 5 min at RT the glycogen:iodine complex formed spectrophotometrically at 460 nm and to a standard curve (0-2 mg glycogen/ml final assay volume).

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