Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn 5 linking phrases for contrasts to use in IELTS Speaking and Writing.

The transition phrases today are to contrast two ideas of a formal nature.

Don’t use these in Speaking Part 1 in the place of ‘but’.

We learn that the phrases today are synonymous with ‘but’, but that’s not true.

But’ is a conjunction, and the punctuation is different. It goes after a comma.

Today’s phrases cannot follow a comma. They can only follow a period or a semicolon.



Plus, ‘but’ is appropriate for Speaking Part 1, because that is the word natives would use in more informal communication.

Thus, today’s phrases are not usually appropriate in those answers.

Today’s phrases should be utilized in Academic Writing Task 1 and 2, formal letters for General Task 1, and Speaking Parts 2 and 3.


100% Score Increase Guarantee with our Insider Method

3 Keys IELTS courseAre you ready to move past IELTS and move forward with your life vision?

Find out why our strategies are the most powerful in the IELTS world.

When you use our Insider Method you avoid the BIGGEST MISTAKES that most students make on IELTS.

Click here to get a score increase on IELTS. It’s 100% guaranteed.


General Contrast Phrases

However (This is average and not very impressive.)

On the contrary

In contrast

Stronger Contrast Phrases

These should be employed with introducing a contrasting idea that is surprising, as they are more emphatic.



An interesting structure with these words combines them with the conjunction ‘but’.

Fast food chains have gained in popularity, but, nevertheless, I still see mostly fit and healthy people where I live.

Choose your 3 favorite phrases from today’s lesson and use them in your next IELTS Speaking and Writing practice.

How would you use today’s phrases?

Share your example sentences in the comments section below!


  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X