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PTE speaking: using linking devices and transition words

In the PTE Speaking section, one of the key aspects that examiners assess is your ability to express ideas fluently and coherently. To achieve a high score, it is important to use appropriate linking devices and transition words effectively. These linguistic tools help you connect your thoughts, create a smooth flow of speech, and enhance the overall coherence of your spoken response. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of linking devices and transition words in the PTE Speaking section and provide you with valuable tips on how to use them proficiently.

Enhancing Coherence and Cohesion:

Linking devices and transition words serve as bridges between different ideas and sentences, ensuring a logical and organized structure in your speech. They help to establish relationships between concepts, provide clarity to your arguments, and guide your listeners through your spoken response. By using these devices appropriately, you enhance the coherence and cohesion of your speech.

Adding Continuity and Flow:

Linking devices and transition words contribute to the overall flow of your speech, making it easier for your listeners to follow your ideas. They create a smooth transition between sentences and paragraphs, preventing abrupt jumps or disconnections in your response. This continuity helps you deliver your message more effectively and engages your listeners throughout the duration of your speaking task.

Expressing Relationships:

Linking devices and transition words allow you to express various relationships between ideas, such as cause and effect, comparison, contrast, addition, and sequencing. By employing these devices, you can indicate the purpose of your speech, present supporting evidence, introduce examples, make comparisons, provide explanations, and conclude your response effectively. This adds depth and clarity to your spoken content.

Introducing Examples and Illustrations:

Transition words and phrases like "for example," "for instance," "such as," and "specifically" are valuable tools for introducing examples and illustrations in your speech. These words help you provide evidence, clarify your points, and make your ideas more concrete. When presenting examples, ensure they are relevant and support your main argument.

Signaling Contrast and Comparison:

Linking devices and transition words also play a crucial role in expressing contrast and comparison. Words and phrases such as "however," "on the other hand," "in contrast," "similarly," and "likewise" enable you to highlight differences and similarities between ideas or examples. By using these devices, you can demonstrate your ability to analyze and present balanced viewpoints.

Sequencing Ideas:

When presenting a series of ideas or steps, transition words like "firstly," "secondly," "next," "then," and "finally" assist in organizing your thoughts and providing a clear sequence of information. These words help your listeners understand the progression of your ideas and enable them to follow your speech more effectively.

Using Linking Devices Naturally:

While it is important to incorporate linking devices and transition words in your speech, it is equally crucial to use them naturally and appropriately. Avoid overusing certain phrases or relying on memorized phrases excessively, as it may negatively impact the fluency and authenticity of your response. Instead, focus on integrating these devices naturally as you would in everyday conversation.

Practice and Familiarize Yourself:

To effectively use linking devices and transition words, dedicate time to practice speaking tasks. Engage in conversations, participate in group discussions, and undertake mock PTE Speaking tests. This practice will help you become more comfortable with incorporating these devices into your speech and develop a natural flow.

Expand Your Vocabulary:

Building a strong vocabulary is essential for effectively utilizing a wide range of linking devices and transition words. Enhance your vocabulary by reading extensively, studying word lists, and reviewing sample PTE Speaking responses. The more diverse your vocabulary, the better equipped you will be to express your ideas clearly and precisely.


In the PTE Speaking section, mastering the use of linking devices and transition words is vital for achieving a high score. These linguistic tools enhance the coherence, cohesion, and fluency of your spoken response, enabling you to convey your ideas effectively to the examiners. By understanding the various functions of linking devices and transition words, practicing their usage, and expanding your vocabulary, you can confidently incorporate them into your speech and elevate your performance in the PTE Speaking section. So, embrace these valuable tools, make them an integral part of your preparation, and excel in your PTE Speaking endeavors.