What is Textual Cohesion?

What Does Textual cohesion Mean

Textual cohesion (or text cohesion ), is the degree of linkage that exists between the elements of a text , that is, to the extent that its structured sequence of words flows, allowing one word to lead to the next without stumbling, organically. Texts that are like this are called cohesive.



Any well-written text aspires to cohesion , that is, to the organic relationship between its parts, whether it is the words of a sentence , the sentences of a paragraph, or the paragraphs of the entire document. To do this, the writing makes use of different mechanisms and elements, such as:

  • Grammatical agreement , which is the degree of adequacy that certain words show with respect to others, so that the meaning between them is totally clear. For example, when conjugating a verb , we must do so in accordance with the subject of the sentence, especially if said sentence is part of a paragraph in which it coexists with other sentences and ideas. "The dogs run and do it quickly" is a concordant sentence, while "The dog run and does it quickly" is a sentence whose terms do not agree in gender and number.
  • The use of discursive connectors , which are words that serve as a bridge between one sentence and another, or between one paragraph and another, establishing a specific relationship between the connected parts. Terms and phrases such as "however", "on the contrary", "in addition", etc., serve as discursive connectors to clarify the common thread between a paragraph (or a sentence) and the following.
  • The use of synonyms and hyperonyms , which allow you to escape the repetition of words or phrases. Synonyms are words that have a very close meaning and therefore can be substituted one for another to a certain extent, such as "house", "home", "lar" and "residence". On the other hand, hyperonyms are words whose meaning is a category in which other more specific words are included, such as "dog" which is a hyperonym of "poodle", "sausage", "pitbull", etc.
  • The use of ellipsis and pronouns , which allow either to omit parts of the sentence so as not to have to repeat them, or to use certain words that replace whole referents. In the first case, elements considered obvious, unnecessary or tacit are suppressed, as is often the case with the "I" in sentences in Spanish: "I am hungry" does not require the appearance of the subject as the verb conjugation makes it clear. On the other hand, we can use pronouns like "it", "that" or "this" to refer not only to specific references, but even to entire parts of the paragraph or text.

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Textual coherence

While cohesion has to do with the uniqueness of the text, with its connection with itself, coherence instead has to do with its meaning. A coherent text is one whose meanings are sustained throughout its reading , that is, it has the necessary elements to fully convey the message . On the contrary, an incoherent text is one whose meaning cannot or cannot be fully recovered.

Thus, there are two forms of coherence:

  • Global coherence , which concerns the entire text, and which depends on the existence of a central theme around which the main and secondary ideas revolve, and which cannot be altered out of nowhere.
  • Local coherence , which has to do with the order in which ideas and messages are expressed, to generate a certain common thread. Every text has its own order on which its reading depends, and local coherence has to do with the sequence in which its main and secondary ideas are addressed.
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