123 joiners for starting sentences. Keep your reader reading in any situation!

May 16, 2023 •
Feature image for blog post about joiners and transitional devices

I’ve always been a big fan of using joiners to start sentences in copywriting. They’re one of the most important tools in the copywriter’s toolkit. Just as important as using short sentences, simple words and a conversational style.

What are joiners? Technically, they’re known as ‘transitional devices’. And most are ‘conjunctive adverbs’.

Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry; I don’t really either! I struggle to remember grammar labels. It’s just a fancy way of saying they’re words or phrases that link one sentence to the next (or one idea to the next, or one paragraph to the next). They keep the reader reading because they minimise abrupt stops and starts.

I harp on about joiners all the time. When I’m training copywriters, when I’m reviewing freelancer copy and even when I’m blogging (as I did here and here).

In fact, I talk about them so much that a good friend and copywriter colleague, Zoe Heard, from Get Heard, compiled a list of all the joiners she’s ever heard me talk about or write about, and then posted it in a Slack group we both frequent.

Her list – called ‘Glenn’s favourite joiners’ – contains 123 examples, sourced from my website, blog posts, published portfolio samples, emails, chat messages and, of course, my reviews of her work, years ago, when she was just starting out.

To be honest, I didn’t even know I knew that many, and seeing them all together was pretty impressive, even if I do say so myself. So I asked her if I could share her list on my blog.

I’m not a grammarian, and I’m pretty sure there are words and phrases in this list that aren’t conjunctive adverbs. And some that may not even be technically considered transitional devices. But in the right context, they definitely all smooth the transition from one sentence or paragraph to another. So I included them anyway.

Note also that I started categorising this list (e.g. ‘Conclude or summarise’, ‘Prove or assert’), but I quickly discovered that many of my joiners fall into more than one category, so I abandoned that idea.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list…

  1. And
  2. So
  3. But
  4. Yet
  5. Still
  6. Although
  7. That said
  8. Having said that
  9. However
  10. Further
  11. Furthermore
  12. Moreover
  13. For
  14. Because
  15. For the same reason
  16. By the same logic
  17. In fact
  18. Indeed
  19. Of course
  20. Obviously
  21. Naturally
  22. Surprisingly
  23. Unquestionably
  24. Without a doubt
  25. Doubtless
  26. This means
  27. Evidently
  28. Besides
  29. Besides which
  30. Since
  31. Notwithstanding this
  32. Nonetheless
  33. Nevertheless
  34. Contrary to
  35. To the contrary
  36. Even so
  37. In spite of this
  38. Despite this
  39. Nor
  40. Next
  41. In any case
  42. For example
  43. Take, for example
  44. Again
  45. Then again
  46. And then
  47. Firstly
  48. Secondly
  49. Finally
  50. Additionally
  51. In addition
  52. For instance
  53. Immediately after
  54. Hot on the heels of this
  55. Later
  56. Last, but not least
  57. To summarise
  58. Put simply
  59. That is
  60. In other words
  61. By comparison
  62. In comparison
  63. Compared to
  64. In contrast
  65. Conversely
  66. Meanwhile
  67. On the other hand
  68. On the flip side
  69. On the whole
  70. In conclusion
  71. To conclude
  72. Whereas
  73. That’s why
  74. Therefore
  75. Thus
  76. After all
  77. By contrast
  78. Certainly
  79. Equally
  80. Equally as important
  81. And finally
  82. And of course
  83. For the record
  84. Accordingly
  85. So much so that
  86. To demonstrate
  87. To illustrate
  88. As a result
  89. As a consequence
  90. Consequently
  91. Just as importantly
  92. The list goes on and on!
  93. More importantly
  94. Perhaps most importantly
  95. No matter what
  96. Regardless
  97. Whether or not
  98. What’s more
  99. Likewise
  100. Not surprisingly
  101. Unsurprisingly
  102. First and foremost
  103. By the same token
  104. As it turns out
  105. At first glance
  106. At the same time
  107. Even more importantly
  108. Not to mention
  109. Specifically
  110. To begin with
  111. Last, but certainly not least
  112. It all comes down to
  113. The important thing to remember is that
  114. And rest assured
  115. Rest assured
  116. The result?
  117. In reality
  118. Which means that
  119. Incidentally
  120. Interestingly
  121. Unless, of course
  122. And that’s just the start
  123. That’s right

Got any more good ones?

Please comment below. We’d love to hear them!

Feel free to comment...
comment avatar
Paul McDonald wrote on May 25th, 2023

Like any profession, you do well when you know your stuff. You really know your stuff Glenn. Interesting read

comment avatar
Glenn Murray wrote on May 25th, 2023

Thanks Paul. Very kind of you!

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