6 adverbs to make you sound more professional, including 2 you are definitely NOT using!

I had an email only yesterday about the use of the word ‘thus’.  So I thought I would write a post about adverbs in general, and how they are a great tool to make yourself sound more professional in English.  Here is my guide to the 6 most professional-sounding adverbs!

If you write a lot in English, be very careful of the punctuation with these! I will explain the punctuation for each individually:

#1 Thus

Thus is one of my favourite words to teach students.  The basic meaning is ‘in this way’, and there are 3 places you can use it in a sentence to sound professional.  It will become clearer with the examples: 

One of the best ways to use it is to talk about your intended consequences of an action, This is best used after ‘and’: ‘and thus…’:

‘I want to use sophisticated words in English, and thus sound more professional’

‘In my career I intend to work hard, and thus secure a management role by the age of 30′

So the construction here for writing is [COMMA + AND + THUS] (as I said, punctuation is important here).

You can also use it before an -ing form, with the same meaning:

‘We should recycle more; thus reducing global warming’

‘I suggest that we make cutbacks on staff; thus reducing our overheads’

In writing, this is always used after a semicolon, which is this symbol ;  so the pattern is [SEMICOLON + THUS + -ING FORM]

 Thus can also be used at the beginning of a sentence with the same meaning:

‘We have significantly improved our marketing strategy in the last year.  Thus we have increased our customer base by 10%.’

#2 Hence

 Hence is another word meaning consequently.

‘It was snowing earlier today; hence the roads have all been closed.’

One great advantage of hence is that you don’t need to use it before a full sentence, you can just use it before a noun. The meaning is similar to above, but a better explanation here would be: that explains…

‘It was snowing today, hence the road closures

‘We have just finished a process of re-branding in the company, hence the new logo

‘I have a job interview today, hence the smart shirt’

‘We have been working very hard, hence the rising profits’


#3 However   #4 Nevertheless

These words are used to contrast what has been said in the sentence before.  In a sense, they both mean the same as ‘but’, but they are used to split 2 big sentences.  Both words are used at the beginning of a sentence, which means they are very easy to use, and they are great for sounding professional both in writing and also in speaking:

‘I don’t really agree with delaying the product launch.  However, if you think it is a good idea I trust you.’

‘I don’t really enjoy networking.  Nevertheless, I understand that it is an important part of business’

‘However’ can also be used between the subject and verb of the sentence.

‘I don’t think it is a good idea.  John, however, thinks we should try it.’

As you can see above, however comes between John (subject) and thinks (verb).  When it is used like this there must always be a comma on either side of however, so the structure is [SUBJECT+COMMA+HOWEVER+COMMA+VERB].

Here’s another example:

‘One of the boys escaped from the fire.  The other one, however, was trapped inside.’


#5 Moreover   #6 Furthermore

Both of these words mean ‘in addition’.  They can both make a speaker sound very professional, and the great thing is that are both very easy to use, just like the words above. They are both used at the beginning of a sentence, and they are always followed by a comma in writing.

‘I think it is a good idea to call a meeting to establish the budget for the project.  Moreover, we can use the meeting to discuss some other important issues.’

‘I am an extremely hard-working person.  Furthermore, I have a real passion for marketing, so I feel I would be the perfect candidate for the job.’

Similar to adverbs, click here to check out the most useful conjunctions for business English! Also, If you would like me to add some more words to this list, feel free to email me at [email protected], or message me on Skype at live:fluencyspace! Check out more useful vocabulary here!


 David Cox

 Fluency Space

 Make the world your fluency space. Business English for career and life success

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