To gain a higher grade in speaking and writing exams one tip is to use a good variety of connecting words and phrases which will help you sound more natural. These connecting words will link parts of a sentence together to make them more complex, earning you extra marks!
Tip: Try to use a wide range of connecting words and phrases rather than sticking to the same ones all the time. This shows the examiner that you have a wide range of vocabulary at your fingertips.
Here are some key connecting words and phrases to learn:
a pesar de
in spite of
besides / furthermore
then / so then
the first thing
por eso / por lo tanto
• y (and) becomes e if the next word begins with ‘i’ or ‘hi’.
e.g. Estudio español e inglés. (I study Spanish and English.)
• o (or) becomes u when the next words begins with ‘o’ or ‘ho’.
e.g. Me levanto a las siete u ocho. (I get up at seven or eight.)
Also use relative clauses such as the following to add extra detail to your sentence therefore making in more complex and to show that you know more vocabulary:
que – that / which / who
donde – where
cuando – when
como – like / as
cuyo/a – whose
e.g. Tengo un buen amigo que se llama Paul. (I have a good friend who is called Paul.)
e.g. Voy al polideportivo dos veces a la semana donde juego al baloncesto. (I go to the sports centre twice a week where I play basketball.)
e.g. Siempre leo un libro cuando tenga tiempo libre. (I always read a book when I have free time.)
e.g. Como es atleta, entrena casi todos los días. (As he is an athlete, he trains nearly every day.)
e.g. Tengo una amiga cuya casa es enorme. (I have a friend whose house is enormous.)