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Lesson Focus

Signs

When you're driving a car, you're always looking for signs to show you what to do and where to go next.

Three road signs: a stop sign, a yield sign, and a no entry sign
Signs on the road

Similarly, when you're listening to people speak English, you can listen for signs.

Three speech bubbles containing the words: “Consequently...”, “On the other hand...”, and “In my opinion...”

Signs on the road to understanding

Many English words and phrases are like signs, showing you the kinds of ideas that speakers are going to say next. When you hear these words and phrases, you can prepare yourself to understand the speaker's next idea.

In this lesson, we are going to focus on three kinds of signs that speakers use: words and phrases that show us that the speaker is going to give an opinion; words and phrases that show us that the speaker is going to talk about causes and effects; and words and phrases that show us that the speaker is going to talk about differences or similarities.

The following words and phrases are signs of opinions, causes and effects, and differences or similarities. Click on the words and phrases in the chart to hear an English speaker using them in a sentence.