Questions tagged [discourse-markers]

A discourse marker is a word or phrase used to connect or relate ideas together. Examples of discourse markers: "oh," "you know," "well," "but," "on the other hand."

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Discourse Markers

Discourse markers connects the ideas to create smooth flow. Are they a conjunction or an adverb? Or are they both a conjunctions or an adverb depending on the situation? I mean they connect ideas and ...
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“Although in poor health, she continued…” vs “No matter how poor her health, she continued…”

The following is grammar question from an English as a second language exam My girlfriend was showing me a copy of the exam she took several years ago after finishing high school. We were looking at ...
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Alternatives to the phrase 'I was like..'

In recent times I have encountered the phrase ‘I was like…’ a lot. Examples include He told me something, and I was like dude really? I was going along the street, and suddenly something ...
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Foreshadow vs Adumbrate

The good news was foreshadowed by several disturbing events. The good news was adumbrated by several disturbing events. I am trying to see which word is better to use. Is there a (subtle) ...
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On the meaning of “as of present”?

I have a little semantic challenge - I would like to state that something has been and still is happening (up to the present moment) in a certain way, but may soon end / change. In principle, this is ...
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2answers
495 views

What is the purpose of “just” as a hedging expression?

In sentences such as: If someone calls you, could you just.. Could you just help me.. Is the just acting as a hedging expression used to reduce the force of the interrogative sentence?
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What does it mean that inserts carry “discoursal meanings”?

According to Biber's Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, insterts are one of the three families of words (apart from lexical and functional words). At some point, the author ...
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What do you call the event when a person says “ahhhhhhmm…”? [duplicate]

One of the person here keeps on saying those words, I want to say that he needs to avoid that but I can't describe it. Example: Me: Please example the following to me. Him: That object is the ...
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1answer
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Is the sequence of words “modulus like parameter” meaningful?

Does the sequence of words "modulus like parameter" mean that the involved parameter can be considered as a modulus even though it can be something different in some cases ?
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664 views

despite / in spite of? [closed]

I could not sleep ____ very tired . Here, I tried: I could not sleep despite I was very tired . I could not sleep in spite of very tired Which one is correct?
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Grammatically, comma or period after “no problem”, “sure”, “okay” and the like

Grammatically, do we put a comma or period after the phrases / words like "no problem", "sure", "okay", and the like, when responding to a request, or there is no grammatical rule and this is purely a ...
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4answers
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Overuse of “however” in my scientific writing? [closed]

In scientific writing, I always feel the need to logically connect all my sentences to have a clear logical path between beginning and end of a paragraph, else it is just feels like a list of random ...
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Informal way of saying “moreover”

My teachers said that they couldn't do anything for me. That no matter how many times they added and rounded up my scores, the result was still zero. Moreover, if they let me pass the other ...
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Alternatives to “yet on the other hand”

I just read "yet on the other hand" in a published research article and it seemed off to me. Is it just me? Is there a better alternative? Specifically: The yet seems to be redundant to on the other ...
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Alternatives to the “on the one hand… on the other hand” construct

Can anyone suggest any alternatives to the "on the one hand... on the other hand" construct? Example: (On the one hand/alternative) I like product A. (On the other hand/alternative) product B also ...
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Is the use of “conversely” to mean “on the other hand” correct?

I've previously used "conversely" to mean "on the other hand". For example. I always thought this the correct usage. Conversely, I might be wrong. However, the OED defines it as: In the ...
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What is the proper usage of “however” and where is it placed? [duplicate]

What is the correct usage of however; and however? I sometimes find myself not really checking my email on a daily basis but, I do however; find this to be very helpful to keep up with what's ...
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The use of the genitive in: We had a good time despite “its” raining

"We had a good time despite its raining." Why does the genitive pronoun not work here, yet in the majority of examples we have a choice between accusative and genitive pronouns:- We had a good ...
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Replacement for the annoying habit of saying “I was like”

I am new here, so my first question would be to ask about an annoying habit that I, as well as many other people out there, seem to have... During the telling of a story I will often say this one ...
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2answers
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Can “however” be used in middle of a single clause? [duplicate]

(Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I really couldn't find a proper answer to my particular problem—either because it's been never answered that way or I don't know the proper term to search.) However ...
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First, Second, Third, and Finally

Is it grammatically correct to sequence paragraphs using First, Second, Third, and Finally? If not, is there a good word that replaces Finally? Starting a paragraph with Final doesn't sound correct. ...
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2answers
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I want to break the habit of “here's the thing” [closed]

What are some alternatives to this overused phrase? Examples of use: Person A: What's going on? Why did Person B do that? Person C: Ummm... can we go somewhere more private? A & C go to the ...
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1answer
925 views

Using the word “So” too much that it is annoying [closed]

So, ...........I'm tired of using the word "so" and I'm tired of hearing everyone using it also! What are alternatives and how long will it be before I can make myself stop using it?
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“When it comes to doing something” Are there alternatives?

Do you think "When it comes to" is a formal or informal expression? I want to use this in the TOEFL writing paper.
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2answers
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How to use however in a contrarian statement that ends with a question? [duplicate]

After making a statement in the prior sentence, I want to make a statement that contradicts it and then asks a question. I want to use however and I want to know to make my contrarian statement. I am ...
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“On a side note” vs. “by the way”

What's the difference between "on a side note" and "by the way"? Is one of them restricted to certain situations while the other is not?
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Is the following use of however correct?

There was no way, however; my mind was still wide awake. I always see however after semicolons but never like the case above. Is the example grammatically correct?
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2k views

Placing however at the start of a sentence vs placing it in the middle of a sentence?

Basically, what's the difference between this: However, it didn't mean that I didn't have the potential to become a rock star. and this? It didn't mean, however, that I didn't have the ...
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5answers
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“Further, …” versus “Furthermore, …” at the beginning of a sentence (meaning the same thing)?

I am not a native speaker (my mother tongue is German). In the context of a technical paper (computer science), is there a difference between starting a sentence with Further, ... and starting it ...
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4answers
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Is “on one hand, on the other hand” a cliche? [closed]

We should find a Way of long peace instead of living just for today. On one hand, we have to prevent the community from coming apart and suffering the disasters caused by it, on the other hand, to ...
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3answers
13k views

“Despite” vs “In spite of” [duplicate]

Are despite and in spite of interchangeable? I prefer despite but the alternative sometimes scans better.
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2answers
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'Whereas' as conjunction between main clause and subordinate clause?

I am wondering if I can use 'whereas' as a conjunction between a main and a subordinate clause, with the subordinate clause following and giving a reason supporting the statement in the main clause. ...
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1answer
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“Firstly, secondly” vs. “Firstly, lastly” when listing just two points

Normally, if we which to illustrate our points, we can use firstly, secondly, lastly (or last but not least or finally). There are a few pieces of information we need to notice: Firstly, ...
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2answers
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Is there a suitable conjunction which fits the meaning of “as a continuation of”? [closed]

I want to use it in my thesis. Like secondarily, but I don't want to use that one or similar words, as these specify an order.
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Usage of “However” instead of “while” [closed]

Can I rephrase the following sentence with "however"? While application development approaches abound in the software world, the evaluation of the existing programming frameworks tend to focus on ...
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8answers
290k views

Difference between nevertheless and nonetheless

I am never quite sure whether to use nevertheless or nonetheless; they seem almost synonymous to me, but I think I might be missing a subtle distinction. Is there a difference, and if so, how do I ...
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5answers
466k views

rule of thumb for 'however' in the middle of the sentence?

What is the rule of thumb for using 'however' in the middle of the sentence? For example: Some people disagree with this theory, however, as it's never been proven right.
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Should “So”, “Therefore”, “Hence”, and “Thus” be followed by commas?

Often, I have come across sentences that begin with "So". Should such an usage of "So" be followed by a comma? Are the following examples correct. He is very good at computers. So, I think he can ...
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8answers
137k views

Academic way of saying “On the other hand”

I have two paragraphs in my paper, the previous paragraph ends with This shows that TF-IDF is still an important feature for text analysis task and my next paragraph starts with On the ...
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4answers
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Sentences beginning with “so”?

This also came up on either a BBC or CBC science program, but not as a linguistically-oriented discussion. Over the last two or three years I've noticed a lot more people starting a sentence with "so"...
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3answers
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Fine semantic differences between “thus” and “therefore”

I have seen a few Q&A's with this title but none really reflects my question. I am aware both are adverbs and so forth and how they syntactically can be used equivalently, but what about ...
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Linking word for two different ideas

Sometimes I found myself in the situation that I don't know how to link two different ideas in the same message. For example, writing an e-mail: Hello. I can start working on the project, just ...
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3answers
206k views

When should you use “despite” over “inspite”, and vice versa?

Most dictionaries suggest that inspite and despite are synonymous, but are there any specific instances when their usage is not interchangeable?
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4answers
62k views

Alternatives to leading a sentence with the conjunctive adverb “However”

The word "however" is used to lead off a sentence that counters a previous thought. Are there any alternative words or phrases that can substitute? I'm even looking for old English and obsolete words ...
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6answers
260k views

Synonym for “such as”

As in: Many factors are to blame for this disaster, such as: «bulleted list»
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16k views

Usage of “nonetheless” and “nevertheless”

Person A: "Is it just because you think I am sad, that you want to talk with me?" Person B: "No, I want to talk with you _______." In the blank, which word is correct: "nonetheless" or "nevertheless"...
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6answers
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“Firstly” or “first”?

Which is more correct? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First, thy eyes gaze deep into my soul. Second,... or There are four reasons why all should hail the Hypno-Toad. Firstly, his ...
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8answers
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Is it acceptable to start a sentence with “however”?

I have heard that starting a sentence with however is wrong. What are the grounds for this view and is it still held by a majority of pedants? They would suggest changing However, some people are ...