Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cohesive devices: when too much is just too much

I know I have just finished with suggestions on improving lexical resources with collocations but I would like to point out in this post the virtues of a little restraint, especially in the speaking portion of all ESL exams.  By the time you take your Cambridge CPE, Michigan ECPE or IELTS exam, you know furthermore, additionally, what is more and moreover like the back of your hand. 

I am going to share a little secret with you:  native speakers never use those words.  Really.   Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little.  Furthermore and additionally certainly have their place in academic writing but I can assure you that unless you are a member of Parliament or the Queen, the word moreover has no place in your arsenal of spoken language.  It's just too much.  And it certainly doesn't sound natural.  For some reason however, this is the word that has come to haunt me over the years. 

My advice:  just try to replace it with something more authentic sounding.  "Also,"  works wonders. "Besides" and "on top of that"  would also do nicely. 

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