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Linking Signals to Make a New Start

One makes a new start or a transition in speech/writing, when one wants to indicate a new thought in the context. How do we introduce these to our audience? 

1)     I tend to use the word “Now”, which often signals a return to an earlier thought:

“This brings us to the end of that discussion. Now, what was the otherthing you wanted to talk to me about?”

2)    Another very handy word for this function is “Well”. This usually indicates a new start in the train of thought:

[A] – Do you remember what a great holiday that Ben had in Crete last year? 
[B] Yes.
[A] Well, I booked our summer holiday in the same resort for this year. What do you think?

Well” here means roughly ‘I am now going to tell you something new’.

But “well” can also signal an in-between response, mostly used where a speaker cannot give a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer:

[B] Well, darling, I was rather hoping to take the children to Disney World this year. Couldn’t you talk to me before booking anything?


[A] Could we meet at 5pm tomorrow?
[B] Well, I’m visiting my mother in hospital at that time. How about 6?

Well is also frequently used when the speaker is asked for an opinion, and in this case it signals caution or reluctance:

[A] What will your wife think when she finds out what you’ve been up to for the past two months?

[B] Well, I’d rather she wouldn’t find out at all, you know?

And now it's your turn - try your hand at this exercise:

I do hope you find the following exercise clear and sufficiently straightforward. I intend to find a better format for the text presenting the situations in the future. For now, this is the best I could do with this system.

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

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