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Lect. dr.

Annamaria Kilyeni
annamaria.kilyeni@upt.ro

Sentence links: Reference words

Reference words are used to create cohesion in a text; that is, to link ideas
together so that the text is smoother to read. They usually point backwards to something
that has already been mentioned in the text, but they may also point forwards to
something that is about to appear. Thus, they serve as substitutes for other elements in the
text (e.g. a word, a group of words, a sentence, a whole paragraph). Also, reference words
often occur in combination with other cohesive devices such as repetition and the use of
(approximate) synonyms.

Example 1:
There are a number of distinct phases of childhood development. Broadly speaking, these
are linked to the motor, emotional and linguistic development of the child.

In this example, the reference word these takes our thoughts back to the noun phases in
the preceding sentence.

Example 2:
Those changes requiring only a moderate level of financial support were addressed first.

Here, those is a reference word pointing forwards to the nominal group changes
requiring only a moderate level of financial support.

The most frequently used types of reference words in ESP are:


1. The personal pronouns it (referring to things) and they (referring to either things or
people), and, less commonly, he / she and I / we;
2. The possessive pronouns its and their, and, less commonly, his/her and my/our;
3. The demonstratives this / that (singular), these / those (plural), and such; they may be
used as pronouns or as adjectives;
4. The relative pronouns that, which and who / whose;
5. The comparatives another, other, both, the same, the former / the latter.
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Lect. dr. Annamaria Kilyeni
annamaria.kilyeni@upt.ro

Exercise 1
Look at the following table on population density (inhabitants per square kilometer) in
the countries mentioned in 2000 (white) and 2011 (grey). Then read the paragraph below
it and say what the words in italics refer to.

318 323 248 248 95 99 43 49 181 190 68 75 159 164 281 311 324 346

EEC
Belgium Germany France Ireland Italy Spain Japan Netherlands
average

The first country is Belgium and we can see that its population density went from 318 to
323 inhabitants per square kilometer, quite a jump compared to Germany, whose
population density stayed level at 248. That of France went up somewhat from 95 to 99
and Irelands rose similarly. Italy and Spain experienced a higher growth than the EEC
average, which was of 5 inhabitants per square kilometer. They had a rise of 9 and 7
respectively. This may well have some effect on future housing policies in these two
countries. The country with the biggest growth in population density is Japan. It shot up
from 281 in 2000 to 311 in 2011. However, the Netherlands is not far behind, with a rise
of 22 inhabitants per square kilometer in this period.

Exercise 2
The following table shows imports as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in
the countries mentioned in 2000 (white) and 2011 (grey). Use reference words to
complete the paragraph below it.

17 28 74 84 42 52 22 23 21 29 5 10 8 15

Italy Luxemburg Netherlands UK EEC average USA Japan

Italys level of imports as a percentage of GDP rose to nearly 30% in the year 2011, in
common with many of (1). European neighbours. However, (2)
of Luxemburg outdistanced all (3).. competitors with nearly 85% in the same
year. The Netherlands, (4). rate was far lower than (5).. of

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Lect. dr. Annamaria Kilyeni
annamaria.kilyeni@upt.ro

Luxemburg, stood at about 52% in 2011. In that year, UKs rate stayed at about 23%,
similar to (6) 2000 rate, in fact. The average EEC rate rose by about 9%
over the period in question, higher than for the US and Japan. But even
(7). countries experienced a rise in imports against GDP, the USA by 5%
and Japan by 7%.

Exercise 3
Use the following reference words to fill in the blanks: both, other, this, that, who, their,
these (x2), those.

Poverty is generally defined as deprivation of material needs. However, the term


poverty can also apply to deprivation in (1) . circumstances, such as
emotional deprivation in young children. While it has long been recognized that children
living without family support are more at risk, research is now indicating the impact of
emotional deprivation. (2) . is particularly relevant to the development of a
childs self-esteem, in their ability to form relationships and in their learning capabilities.
Anecdotal evidence has for some time recognized the lack of self-worth among orphans
(3) . have spent their early years in institutional environments. But
comparative, longitudinal case studies of (4) . children reaching adulthood
have confirmed that (5) . ability to form lasting emotional relationships is
less successful than (6) . of children coming from a nuclear family. (7)
. studies also took into account comparative learning difficulties encountered
by (8) . groups. It was found that (9) . without family support
and consistent emotional input had the greater difficulties.

Exercise 4
Rewrite the paragraph below, using the following reference words: he (x2), which, they.

The Chancellor said yesterday that the Chancellor expected the cut in the basic rate of
income tax to be reflected in lower pay settlements. The cut was announced on Tuesday.
The Chancellor said that rapid growth in unit labour costs is keeping Britains interest
rates higher than the interest rates should be.
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