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Cohesion

Read an article explaining the two types of cohesion that make texts logical and straightforward to read.

Read the following short text. What problems can you see?

1) The bus comes to halt. At the next beep, the time will be 16:04. While we were there, the restaurant was not serving fish. It’s warm in the sunshine.

There are no spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes in this text. Each sentences makes sense on its own, but the overall paragraph is no cohesive: the ideas do not link together in a logical way.

The next sentence is more cohesive. But why?

2) The bus came to a halt. The driver of the bus looked bemused. What was going on? Two passengers in the back yelled something at him.

Cohesion is created in two ways: lexical and grammatical.

  • Lexical cohesion refers to words that have related meanings and are likely to appear together.

bus, halt, driver, passenger (transport). It would not be surprising to encounter further related words like ticket, fare, stop, seat etc.

  • Grammatical cohesion is the way the sentences are organised to show the logical relationships between the actors, actions and ideas. It’s easier to overlook this element of cohesion although mastering it will help learners be far better writers.

came, looked, yelled verbs in the past simple mean this is a narrative being told in sequential order.

In the next step, you will see how we can apply this understanding to analysing the article we read earlier.

This article is from the free online

Teaching English Grammar in Context

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