Engels: structuurwoorden

Structuurwoorden zijn in alle vormen van communicatie belangrijk, mondeling en schriftelijk. Vooral in schriftelijke communicatie helpen ze de lezer de informatie gemakkelijker te verwerken. Het correcte gebruik van structuurwoorden kan bij het schrijven van Nederlandse teksten al lastig zijn, in het Engels is het dat voor nonnatives helemaal. Hieronder vindt u een lijst met Engelse structuurwoorden, ofwel linking words, en voorbeelden van hoe ze worden gebruikt. De woorden lenen zich vooral voor wat formelere teksten.

Contrasting

  • Despite (+ zelfstandig naamwoord) = ondanks
    Despite the crowds of protesters in the streets, the politicians refused to listen.
  • Although (+ bijzin) = hoewel, alhoewel
    Although many people were protesting in the streets, the politicians refused to listen.
  • Contrary to (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = in tegenstelling tot
    Contrary to what had been assumed previously, Copernicus suggested that the Earth orbits the sun rather than vice versa.
    Contrary to common belief, Spanish is in fact more widely spoken than English.
  • As opposed to (+zelfstandig naamwoord/noun phrase) = in tegenstelling tot
    Copernicus suggested that the Earth orbits the sun, as opposed to the sun orbiting the Earth.
  • However, … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = maar, echter
    Used like ‘but’, except more formal in tone. It can be placed in various sentence positions, but when used at the start, it should usually be followed by a comma:
    Many of the ruins on the Acropolis are well over 2000 years old. However, the rest of Athens is largely modern.
    Many of the ruins on the Acropolis are well over 2000 years old. The rest of Athens is largely modern, however.
  • Nevertheless, … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = desalniettemin
    A more formal version of ‘however’ but more emphatic. It is not normally placed at the end of a sentence.
    In the early 1920s, Greek refugees from Asia Minor swelled the population of Athens. Nevertheless, it was not until the 1950s that Athens really began to expand.

Narrowing of focus

  • More specifically = in het bijzonder
    This article looks at the issue of work-life balance, and more specifically what organizations can do to help their employees to achieve a better balance between their work and their private lives.
  • In particular = in het bijzonder
    This article looks at the issue of work-life balance, and in particular what organizations can do to help their employees to achieve a better balance between their work and their private lives.

Cause and effect

  • Because (+ bijzin) = omdat
    Jupiter’s four largest moons are named the Galilean moons, because they were discovered by Galileo.
  • Because of (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = wegens, vanwege, omwille van
    Jupiter’s four largest moons are named the Galilean moons, because of their discovery by Galileo.
  • Due to (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = wegens, vanwege, omwille van
    Jupiter’s four largest moons are named the Galilean moons, due to their discovery by Galileo.
  • Owing to (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = wegens, vanwege, omwille van
    Jupiter’s four largest moons are named the Galilean moons, owing to their discovery by Galileo.
  • As a result, … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = daarom
    Galileo discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons. As a result, they are named the Galilean moons.
  • As a result of (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = ten gevolge van
    Many beginners struggle to make themselves understood in Hungarian as a result of its sixteen grammatical cases, giving a total of over 90 different personal pronouns.
  • Consequently, … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = daarom
    There are sixteen grammatical cases in Hungarian, giving a total of over 90 different personal pronouns.

Listing

  • Firstly, … Secondly, … Thirdly, … etc. = ten eerste, ten tweede, ten derde enz.
  • In addition, … / additionally, … = bovendien
  • Finally, … = ten slotte, tot slot

These are fairly simple to use when you need to give a list of reasons, factors, effects etc. Used correctly, they help the reader to assimilate information. They are usually (although not always) placed at the start of sentences, and are followed by a comma.
There are many reasons why gold is such a valuable metal. Firstly, it is prized for its beauty. Secondly, it is a relatively rare element. Additionally, it is non-reactive and will retain its lustre even when exposed to the weather. Finally, gold is now also in demand for certain components in electronic equipment.

Giving examples

  • For instance, …/ for example, … = bij voorbeeld
  • Such as (+zelfstandig naamwoord) = zoals

Again, these are fairly simple to use. However, it is usual to use commas with for instance or for example, while such as will not usually require commas. You can also improve readability by avoiding phrases like ‘such as for example’ – you only need to use one of them!
Learners of English should be aware that there are some important differences between UK English and US English, such as words that are used to refer to different things. An American will understand something rather different from the phrase ‘We’re out of gas’ than an Englishman, for example.

Signalling addition

  • Furthermore, … / What is more, … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = bovendien
    Home computers are becoming faster and more powerful all the time. Furthermore, average prices have fallen steeply in recent years.
    Home computers are becoming faster and more powerful all the time. What is more, average prices have fallen steeply in recent years.
  • In addition to (+zelfstandig naamwoord) (meestal vooraan in de zin) = daarnaast
    In addition to its use in thermometers, mercury was also once used in antiseptic skin creams.
  • Besides (+zelfstandig naamwoord), … (meestal vooraan in de zin) = behalve van
    It is illegal to carry mercury on board civil aircraft. Besides the toxic fumes that it gives off, mercury will also eat through the aluminium components of the aircraft in a matter of minutes if spilt, endangering all those on board.

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