Glossary: cohesive device


Cohesive devices are words used to show how the different parts of a text fit together. In other words, they create cohesion.

Some examples of cohesive devices are:

  • determiners and pronouns, which can refer back to earlier words
  • conjunctions and adverbs, which can make relations between words clear
  • ellipsis of expected words.
  • Julia's dad bought her a football. The football was expensive! [determiner; refers us back to a particular football]
  • Joe was given a bike for Christmas. He liked it very much. [the pronouns refer back to Joe and the bike]
  • We'll be going shopping before we go to the park. [conjunction; makes a relationship of time clear]
  • I'm afraid we're going to have to wait for the next train. Meanwhile, we could have a cup of tea. [adverb; refers back to the time of waiting]
  • Where are you going? [_] To school! [ellipsis of the expected words I'm going; links the answer back to the question]

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