Discourse marker

From Teflpedia

A discourse marker is a word or phrase that does not significantly change the meaning of the sentence,[1] but which can, among other functions, "show the connection between what a speaker is saying and what has already been said or what is going to be said.[2]

Examples include "oh", "well", "now", "then", "you know", and "I mean".[3]

In Practical English Usage (1980), Michael Swan divides the most common ones into 21 groups, such as "focusing and linking" (as regards, as for); "balancing contrasting points" (on the other hand, while); "emphasising a contrast" (however, still, yet); "logical consequence" (so, then).[2]


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