Discourse Markers

What are discourse markers?

Discourse markers are words and phrases used in speaking and writing to signpost discourse (the communication of ideas). They do this by indicating turns, joining ideas together, showing attitude and generally controlling communication.


The Most Common Discourse Markers

In speech, words like actually, so, ok, right and anyway all function as discourse makers as they help the speaker to manage the conversation and mark when it changes.

However discourse markers are an important feature of both spoken and written English, and skilful use of them often indicates a higher level of fluency.

Click the buttons on this page to see examples of discourse markers that could used for various purposes in a discussion, but there are many more!

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Discourse markers can be used to …

... further arguments

Many people believe …
Similarly …
Equally …
Likewise …
Also …
As well as this …
Moreover …
What’s more …
In the same way …
Just as …
For example …
For instance …
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... give an order to arguments

To begin with …
In the first place …
First and foremost …
Firstly …
Secondly …
Thirdly …
After this it can be seen that …
Lastly …
And finally …

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... emphasise a point

Above all …
Essentially …
Clearly …
Most of all …
Especially …
Primarily …
Particularly …

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... show a contrast

But …
Despite …
Yet …
However …
Alternatively …
Still …
By contrast …
Although …
Otherwise …
Unless …
Rather …
Contrarily …
On the contrary …
Notwithstanding …

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... counter arguments

Others might argue …
Conversely …
However …
Although …
On the other hand …
Whereas …
When measured against …
Contrasting with …
On the contrary …
Nevertheless …
On the other hand …
Yet …

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... conclude arguments

Naturally …
Consequently …
Subsequently …
Of course …
When all (of these) factors are considered …
Admittedly …
Certainly …
Therefore …
Thus …
In conclusion …
Finally …
We can conclude that …

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... illustrate a point

For example …
For instance …
Specifically …
Regarding …
To illustrate …
According to [source] …
As [source] says …
In the words of [source] …
Such as …

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... signpost evidence

Because …
Which is evident in …
We can see that …
… can be seen to be true
Obviously …
Clearly …
It is clear that …

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