Discourse Markers

7. dismissal of previous discourse
At least, anyway, anyhow, at any rate, in any case
“At least” is used when one suggests that one thing is certain or all right even though
every thing else is not satisfactory.
“Anyway, anyhow, at any rate, in any case” are used informally and means that what was
said before does not matter and the main point is as follows.
a. Liza is not sure what time she’ll be finished with the report, maybe 4 or 5. Anyway/
Anyhow/At any rate/In any case, she’ll be done today.
Note : Anyway is not the same as “in any way” because it means “by any method”.
Example: I will help you in any way that I can.

8. change of subject
By the way, incidentally, right, all right, now, ok
“By the way and incidentally” are used when introducing something one has just thought of
that is not directly part of the conversation. Also, these expressions are sometimes used to change the subject completely.
a. I enjoyed the movie we watched yesterday with our friends! By the way, have you heard about our
college batch reunion?
b. The party was really a great one and I have seen many of my cousins. Incidentally, where were you last night?

“(All) right, now, and ok” are often used informally by teachers, lecturers, and people giving instructions to indicate that a new section of the discourse is about to start.
a. Do you have any questions? Right, let’s have a recap….
b. Now, I’d like you to pair up and discuss about the topics assigned to you.
c. Is everything clear? Ok, let’s proceed to the exercises.

9. return to previous subject
To return to the previous point (formal), as I was saying (informal)
These expressions are used to return to an earlier subject after an interruption or a brief change of subject.
a. …the meeting is set to 4pm. As I was saying, there will be 5 guests….
..send the report to Mr. Johnson. To return to the previous point, you must not forget to attach the files…

10. structuring
Firstly, first of all, second(ly),third(ly) etc., lastly, finally, to begin with, to start with, in the first/second/third place, for one thing(informal), for another thing(informal)
We used these expressions to show the structure of what we are saying.
a. First(ly), we need food, Second(ly),we need work.
b. There are three reasons why I like to work in this company. To start with, the co-workers are nice and approachable. For another thing, the office is near our house. And finally, the compensation is very good.
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