Read this account of a trip to the seaside.
We went on the beach and then we built a sandcastle and then we had an ice cream and then we went paddling and then we played cricket and then we had fish and chips.
Did you notice that it was all one long sentence and that 'and then' was used five times?
We can make our writing much more interesting by using time connectives. These are words that link sentences and show the order that things happened.
We went on the beach. First of all, we built a sandcastle and then we had an ice cream. After that, we went paddling. Later on, we played cricket and finally we had fish and chips.
Instead of one long sentence, the account has been split up so that no more than two ideas are linked. This time, 'and then' has only been used once.
Time connectives can be conjunctions, adverbs or prepositions and they all tell us when something happens.
If a time connective is used at the start of a sentence, we often put a comma afterwards.