Use: Saying that something is the most important
Example 1: Why did you choose to study English?
I chose it for several different reasons. I like learning foreign languages. I enjoy watching American TV shows. Above all, I think it will help me to get a good job in an international company.
Example 2: Why do you think we should protect the environment?
There are many reasons. I think we have a duty to protect animals and plants, but, above all, we should protect the environment for future generations.
Use: Saying why something happened or was done
Example 1: Why did you choose to study at that university?
There were many good universities to choose from, but that was the only one in my home town. Accordingly, I decided to go there.
Example 2: Why did you decide to follow that career?
I have always wanted a job that involved international travel and paid a lot of money. I chose accordingly.
(1) Giving a reason
(2) Saying what finally happened or was discovered
Example 1: Why do you like playing basketball?
It’s a game that requires a lot of energy and helps me to stay healthy. After all, I think it is important to keep fit.
Example 2: Do you think that what a person wears is important?
Yes, I do. Clothes can help to create a favourable first impression. But we shouldn’t only judge people by their clothes, as they may wear clothes we don’t like but be great people after all.
Use: Saying that one event happened after another
Example 1: Do you think the Internet is a good way to meet new people?
It can be. I met a new friend in a chat room. We sent each other messages for several weeks before deciding to meet. Afterwards, we became best friends.
Example 2: How do people celebrate weddings in your culture?
People often get married in the morning. Afterwards, everyone goes to a hotel for a reception where they eat, drink and dance.
Use: Explaining exceptions
Example 1: Do all children in your country learn English?
All but a few. Children might be exempt if they have a special talent for sport or if they are learning another foreign language
Example 2: Do you usually have a party on your birthday?
Yes, I do. Last year I was eighteen, so I had a big party. All my relatives and best friends came but one. My sister is working abroad and couldn’t come.
Use: Giving additional information
Example 1: Do you have the same hobbies as your friends?
Some are the same and some are different. My friends like football, but I prefer swimming. I collect stamps and my friends also collect them, but they don’t have as many as me!
Example 2: Are there any interesting places to visit in your home town?
Yes, you can visit several temples which are beautifully decorated. You can also go to the art gallery, which has many interesting paintings and sculptures.
Use: Giving other options or possibilities
Example 1: What do you do when you have free time but the weather is bad?
I sometimes read a book – perhaps a novel. I like detective stories. Alternatively, I might watch a film with Sherlock Holmes or another detective.
Example 2: Why do people often save money?
Some people want to buy something very expensive, like a house or a car. Alternatively, they might want to go on an expensive holiday on the other side of the world.
Another way to
Use: Suggesting a different method or approach
Example 1: How can we reduce traffic jams in cities?
Many people think that we should improve public transport. Another way to reduce the problem is to make driving more expensive so people use cars less.
Example 2: How do people find jobs in your country?
A lot of people reply to advertisements, especially those in newspapers. Another way to find a job is to ask friends and relatives. I know many people who found jobs that way.
(1) To say something happened or happens in any case
(2) Saying that a statement supports a previous one
Example 1: Will you need help from other people in order to achieve your ambitions?Sure. I don’t know exactly who those people will be in many cases. They may be family members, teachers, friends or colleagues. I will certainly need their help anyway.
Example 2: What was your secondary school like?
I went to a so-called ‘key’ school. In my country, these are schools where students are accepted by competitive examination. So, my school had very good facilities and teachers and the buildings were modern. Anyway, it was a good school to attend.
(1) Giving reasons
(2) Saying that two things happened at the same time
Example 1: Why do you like playing computer games?
As I am a computer programmer, I spend much of my time around computers. I think I like computer games for a second reason – I find them exciting.
Example 2: When do you usually listen to music?
I generally listen to music when I’m travelling on the bus or as I’m doing my homework. I find that a little quiet music helps me to concentrate.
As a consequence
Use: Explaining a result of an action
Example 1: Do you like buying things online?
Yes, I do. The vendors often have lower overheads than shops. As a consequence, they often sell the same things at lower prices.
Example 2: Is history considered an important subject at schools in your country?
No, it isn’t. The university entrance exam doesn’t require any knowledge of history. As a consequence, few students spend time on it.
As a result
Use: Explaining why things happen
Example 1: Is the public transport good in your home town?
Yes, it is. In the past, we only had buses which were old and caused a lot of pollution. Then the local government invested more money in public transport. As a result, we have two subway lines and modern buses.
Example 2: Are examinations important in the education system in your country?
Yes, they are. As a result, students spend a lot of time preparing for the exams rather than learning more useful knowledge or practical things.
As far as
Use: Saying that something is true to a certain degree or extent
Example 1: How much does advertising influence what you buy?
As far as I’m concerned, advertising has little influence on what I buy. I don’t pay much attention to adverts and just buy the things I need or want when I go shopping. I often buy things that I have bought before and liked.
Example 2: Do you think people behave differently when they are in a group?
As far as the scientific evidence shows, yes they do. Often people become more confident when they are surrounded by their friends. We can see this with gangs, for example.
At any rate
(1) Saying that a statement supports a previous one
(2) At least, if nothing else
Example 1: How has the style of furniture changed in your country in recent years?
The furniture is more modern in style. There is also a greater variety of colours and materials. I think that most furniture is also lighter than more traditional furniture. At any rate, the style of furniture in my country has changed a lot in recent years.
Example 2: What kind of training do people need to be lawyers?
They need training in the law at any rate. They need to know what the laws are and how they are applied. This means that they need to know about legal procedures and the legal system in general.
At the same time
(1) Describing simultaneous events
(2) Discussing different points of view
Example 1: Do you like going to parks?
Yes, I often go jogging in my local park in the evenings. At the same time, I can listen to my favourite songs.
Example 2: Do you think that knowledge of English is essential?
It is if you want to be involved in international business or do work that involves dealing with people from other countries. At the same time, there are people who do not need to know any English because their work doesn’t require it.