What this handout is about.
In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.
The function and importance of transitions
In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.
Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.
Signs that you might need to work on your transitions
How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:
- Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
- Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
- You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
- You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
- You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.
Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.
If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .
How transitions work
The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:
El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.
One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:
Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.
Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.
Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.
In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.
As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.
Types of transitions
Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.
The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.
- Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
- Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
- Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.
Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.
Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.
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Transitional words are like bridges between parts of your essay. They are cues that help the reader interpret your ideas. Transitional words or phrases help carry your thoughts forward from one sentence to another and one paragraph to another. Finally, transitional words link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.
Here is a list of common transitional words and the categories to which they belong.
and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)
whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true
because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is
To Show Exception:
yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes
To Show Time:
immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then
in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted
definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation
To Show Sequence:
first, second, third, and so forth, next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon
To Give an Example:
for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration
To Summarize or Conclude:
in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently
As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.
This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument. The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.
There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.
Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2
Agreement / Addition / Similarity
Opposition / limitation / contradiction, examples / support / emphasis, cause / condition / purpose, effect / consequence / result, conclusion / summary / restatement, time / chronology / sequence, space / location / place.
The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise , add information , reinforce ideas , and express agreement with preceding material.
in the first place
not only ... but also
as a matter of fact
in like manner
in the same fashion / way
first, second, third
in the light of
not to mention
to say nothing of
by the same token
Transition phrases like but , rather and or , express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives , and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning ( contrast ).
although this may be true
of course ..., but
on the other hand
on the contrary
at the same time
in spite of
even so / though
be that as it may
These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .
in the event that
as / so long as
on (the) condition (that)
for the purpose of
with this intention
with this in mind
in the hope that
to the end that
for fear that
in order to
seeing / being that
only / even if
These transitional devices (like especially ) are used to introduce examples as support , to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.
in other words
to put it differently
for one thing
as an illustration
in this case
for this reason
to put it another way
that is to say
with attention to
by all means
important to realize
another key point
first thing to remember
most compelling evidence
must be remembered
point often overlooked
to point out
on the positive side
on the negative side
Some of these transition words ( thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth ) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect .
Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.
as a result
under those circumstances
in that case
These transition words and phrases conclude , summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement . Also some words (like therefore ) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.
as can be seen
in the final analysis
all things considered
as shown above
in the long run
given these points
as has been noted
for the most part
by and large
on the whole
in any event
in either case
These transitional words (like finally ) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time . They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions .
at the present time
from time to time
sooner or later
up to the present time
to begin with
in due time
in the meantime
in a moment
all of a sudden
at this instant
by the time
Many transition words in the time category ( consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever ) have other uses.
Except for the numbers ( first, second, third ) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples . Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.
These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space . Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.
in the middle
to the left/right
in front of
on this side
in the distance
here and there
in the foreground
in the background
in the center of
List of Transition Words
Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page: Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF. It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.
Usage of Transition Words in Essays
Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays , papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms ).
All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions : they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.
Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation : a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.
Example 1: People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.
Example 2: however, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts..
Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).
Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good ¦ Correct Spelling Study by an English University
Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).
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- October 22, 2020
- By Homework Help Global
200 Transition Words For Essays That Will Help Your Writing Flow Better
Need some transition words for essays that will really help your paper flow? We’ve got you covered.
You always hear professors and educators talk about including transition words within your paragraphs, but it can be tricky to figure out which words to use and where to put them. It’s also difficult to come up with new ones off the top of your head instead of using “however,” “but,” or “and” over and over again.
Fortunately, we’re always here to help you out with the right tools and resources. We know all about transitional words and phrases, how to use them in every part of your essay, and how to make sure you make the right impression in your writing.
This master list of 200 transition words for essays will give you some great ideas for your next writing assignment, and we’ve got some great tips and tricks you can use along the way.
What Are Transition Words?
Let’s start with the basics. What are transition words, anyway?
Transitional words and phrases are used to link sentences together. They are similar to conjunctions in that they make connections and help your writing flow smoothly. You don’t talk to people in choppy sentences, so why would you write that way?
A transition word is almost always followed by a comma. You can also use a semicolon to join the two sentences instead of separating them with a period if they are both complete sentences. This adds a little more connection between your thoughts. Here is an example : “Michael didn’t go to school on Wednesday; therefore, he missed the pop quiz.”
If you’re not sure whether your sentences are complete and should be joined with a semicolon, check out our blog on the types of sentences in English . This will help you get a sense of how to structure your writing properly so you don’t lose marks on technical things.
When using transition words for essays, you should also include them at the beginning of each of your body paragraphs. This not only helps you transition into the next thought, but introduces the next point you’re going to make.
Why Should I Use Transition Words?
Even though it seems like your sentences would be fine without including transition words, they make a really big difference in your writing.
Transitional words and phrases make sentences flow together more effectively, adding that sense of connection between two thoughts or ideas. This makes essays easier to read, and more cohesive for your professor.
For example, take a look at these sentences: “Leanna did not do any homework during the entire semester. She failed her history class.” Now, here are these sentences with a transition word included: “Leanna did not do any homework during the entire semester. As a result, she failed her history class.” As you can see, adding that transition word between the two sentences makes them flow together and connects the idea that one thing has led to another.
When you use transition words for essays, you make your writing flow a lot better and can easily connect one point to another. This is especially important at the end of your body paragraphs, where you need to go from one point to the next in a way that sounds natural.
Think of your sentences like a stack of bricks. Without the mortar to glue the bricks together, you just have a pile of bricks. But with mortar, you have something holding those bricks together to build something more solid – a house or a structure. Transition words are just like that mortar. Sure, your sentences can hold up on their own, but transition words hold your sentences together to create a more cohesive text as a whole.
Types of Transition Words
There are actually a few different categories that transitional words and phrases fall into. These categories are determined by the purpose and use of the word. For example, if you are using a transition word to add on to a point you’ve already made, you would use something from the “agreement, addition, or similarity” category.
Here are the main categories of transition words for essays:
● Agreement, Addition, or Similarity
● Sequence or Order
● Contradiction or Opposition
● Cause and Effect
● Examples, Support, or Emphasis
● Location, Space/Place, or Time
● Conclusion, Clarification, or Summary
Of course, you can use transitional words and phrases however you see fit and don’t have to stick to just these categories and lists. However, these lists are meant to be a guideline to help you choose the right word to complete your thought and idea. Using the wrong transition word in the wrong context can cause your paper to take a complete turn in a different direction.
It’s All About Relationships
Ultimately, what you need to remember about transition words is that they are based on the relationship between two sentences or ideas. Just like there are different types of relationships between people, there are different types of relationships between words. This is where those different categories come in.
When you use transition words at the end of one body paragraph before the next one, you are using them to show how one idea can lead into another. Further, this could be a cause and effect situation, where one point is the result of the previous point, or an agreement relationship where one factor adds on to another.
Here is an example of a cause and effect relationship between sentences: “My grandmother smoked cigarettes for over 50 years. As a result, she developed lung cancer when she was in her 60s.” “As a result” is used as a transitional phrase here to indicate that the grandmother’s lung cancer was the result of her smoking cigarettes for a long time.
200 Powerful Transition Words For Essays
When it comes to using transition words for essays, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right ones in the right place. Penn State recommends using them in “pivotal positions” where the meaning of the sentence shifts.
Your professor is going to be grading your essays based on your ability to present your points, ideas, and arguments in a logical or cohesive way. No matter what type of paper you’re writing, from argumentative essays to personal reflections , you always need to be able to articulate your thoughts in a way that makes it easy for your reader to follow.
If you’re out of ideas or need some new inspiration, you’re in the right place. Follow this list of 200 transition words for essays to find the right words to use in your own papers, assignments, and speeches.
Agreement, Addition, or Similarity
1. In addition to 2. As a matter of fact 3. Moreover 4. Similarly 5. Furthermore 6. Equally important 7. Also 8. In the same way 9. Comparatively 10. Correspondingly 11. Again 12. Not only… but also 13. In like manner 14. As well as 15. Thus 16. Therefore 17. In the same fashion 18. In the light of 19. Not to mention 20. Equally 21. Let alone 22. Too 23. Even more 24. And 25. Likewise 26. Just like 27. By the same token 28. Indeed 29. Another 30. Including
Sequence or Order
1. Firstly… secondly… thirdly 2. After 3. Simultaneously 4. Next… then… finally 5. Later 6. In the first place… in the second place 7. Formerly… presently 8. Since 9. Once 10. To begin with 11. Sooner… later 12. As soon as 13. Shortly 14. By the time 15. Now that 16. Immediately following 17. Preceding 18. Afterwards 19. Earlier 20. Both… and
Contradiction or Opposition
1. In spite of 2. While it may be true 3. However 4. On the one hand… on the other hand 5. Nonetheless 6. In contrast 7. Notwithstanding 8. On the contrary 9. Nevertheless 10. Yet 11. Still 12. As much as 13. Although this may be true 14. Even though 15. Rather 16. Be that as it may 17. Above all 18. Despite 19. Admittedly 20. Instead 21. Though 22. Conversely 23. Regardless 24. Different from 25. At the same time 26. Albeit 27. Although 28. But 29. That said 30. Granted
Cause and Effect
1. As a result 2. Consequently 3. Thus 4. Accordingly 5. Therefore 6. Hence 7. So 8. With this in mind 9. Owing to 10. Inasmuch as 11. Due to 12. To the end that 13. In order to 14. In light of 15. While 16. In the event that 17. Unless 18. Provided that 19. Seeing that 20. Being that 21. Since 22. As 23. Because 24. Subsequently 25. In the event that
Examples, Support, or Emphasis
1. For example 2. For instance 3. Specifically 4. Namely 5. Of course 6. Again 7. Truly 8. To illustrate 9. To demonstrate 10. As an example 11. Especially 12. Particularly 13. Also 14. Equally important 15. Besides 16. Including 17. To include 18. Certainly 19. Truly 20. More importantly 21. In fact 22. For the purpose of 23. Another key point 24. Surely 25. In particular 26. To put it another way 27. Namely 28. As an illustration 29. Above all 30. So that
Location, Space/Place, or Time
1. After 2. Afterwards 3. At last 4. Meanwhile 5. Then 6. Subsequently 7. Before 8. Currently 9. Simultaneously 10. Nearby 11. Adjacent 12. Immediately after 13. Back then 14. Nowadays 15. Sometimes 16. This time 17. Following 18. Soon 19. While 20. Today 21. In the future 22. Previously 23. Above 24. Below 25. During 26. Now 27. Beyond 28. Earlier 29. Here 30. There
Conclusion, Clarification, or Summary
1. In conclusion 2. To sum up 3. In summary 4. Finally 5. In a word 6. Briefly 7. In brief 8. In the end 9. To conclude 10. To summarize 11. On the whole 12. In other words 13. Altogether 14. In short 15. Ultimately 16. In a nutshell 17. After all 18. All things considered 19. In sum 20. Given these points 21. In either case 22. As shown above 23. To clarify 24. To put it another way 25. Actually 26. That is 27. To rephrase 28. With this in mind 29. On the subject of 30. Regarding 31. As for 32. Concerning 33. In consideration of 34. With regard to 35. Considering this result
Where to Use Transition Words in Your Essays
Now that you understand which words you should use to transition between points and ideas, you may still have a few questions. For starters, you’re probably wondering where to use transition words in your writing and how they fit in with your overall message.
There are a few different spots where you can use transition words within your essays or writing assignments:
● In your topic sentences at the start of each paragraph.
● To create connections between the evidence presented and the result or argument.
● In your closing sentence at the end of each paragraph to segway into the next one.
● At the beginning of your introduction or summary paragraphs.
● Within your conclusion to make summarized points.
For more help with this, take a look at our blog on essay format . In this article, we show you exactly what should be included in each section of your essay so you can make sure you’re on the right track for success.
Important Things to Remember
If you have even more questions, here are some important things to remember when using transition words that will help you as you write your essay.
● Don’t overuse transition words in your essay. You need them in key places, but you don’t need them in every single sentence. If you use too many transitions, your reader might feel like you’re not giving them enough credit to make obvious connections.
● Make sure you understand the word you’re using. The point of a transition word is to make a logical connection, so when you use the wrong word, the logic becomes lost entirely.
● Understand how to start your sentences. Many transition words are used at the beginning of sentences, but some are too casual and should be avoided in an academic essay. For example, never start a sentence with “and,” “but,” or “because.” Find a better and more formal word to replace these.
● Watch your sentence fragments. It’s easy to write sentence fragments with transition words and not realize they aren’t complete sentences because we are so accustomed to saying them in casual language. Make sure all of your sentences can stand on their own.
● Use an essay outline to help organize your writing. This way, you get a clear idea of exactly where you should be including transition words, and can avoid overusing them wherever they aren’t necessary. For more help with your essay outline, check out Episode 47 of The Homework Help Show .
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Transitional Words and Phrases
One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.
While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.
In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.
Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.
Categories of Transition Words and Phrases
Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example
Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession
Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary
Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships
Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).
accordingly as a result and so because
consequently for that reason hence on account of
since therefore thus
Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.
after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime
later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes
soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while
Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.
additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more
finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place
last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too
Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.
after all although and yet at the same time but
despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding
on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet
Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.
as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)
for example for instance specifically that is
to demonstrate to illustrate
Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.
foundationally most importantly
of less importance primarily
Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.
above adjacent to below beyond
centrally here nearby neighboring on
opposite to peripherally there wherever
Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.
by the same token in like manner
in similar fashion here in the same way
Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification
i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words
that is that is to say to clarify to explain
to put it another way to rephrase it
granted it is true
naturally of course
in conclusion in the end
in fact indeed no
of course surely to repeat
undoubtedly without doubt yes
for this purpose in order that
so that to that end
to this end
in brief in sum
in summary in short
to sum up to summarize
Improving Your Writing Style
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Clear, Concise Sentences
Use the active voice
Put the action in the verb
Tidy up wordy phrases
Reduce wordy verbs
Reduce prepositional phrases
Reduce expletive constructions
Avoid using vague nouns
Avoid unneccessarily inflated words
Avoid noun strings
Connecting Ideas Through Transitions
Using Transitional Words and Phrases
33 Transition Words and Phrases
Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.
Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .
as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY
The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.
in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE
The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.
at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER
Afterward, she got a promotion.
even though : ALTHOUGH
She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.
in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made
They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.
in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE
I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.
as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY
The words are often confused and are consequently misused.
in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility
Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.
used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said
These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.
used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"
I'm planning to go even though it may rain.
in addition : MOREOVER
I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.
in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement
These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.
because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE
He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.
from this point on : starting now
She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.
in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement
I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.
as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement
The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.
all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement
He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.
for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension
He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.
in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement
She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.
at or during the same time : in the meantime
You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.
BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement
It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.
in spite of that : HOWEVER
It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.
in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS
The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.
without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true
Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.
if not : or else
Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.
more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said
We can take the car, or rather, the van.
in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true
I tried again and still I failed.
by that : by that means
He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.
for that reason : because of that
This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.
immediately after that
The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.
because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY
This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.
while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different
Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.
NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way
It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.
Some may be more useful than others.
Feeling 'bumfuzzled' or have the 'collywobbles'?
How every letter can be (annoyingly) silent
Helping you navigate the linguistic road ahead
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All About Transition Words
Think back to when you were first taught how to write essays. You were probably taught to organize your writing by starting each paragraph with a word like first , additionally , further , secondly , or third . These words are transition words .
Not all transition words are individual words. Sometimes, you need a whole phrase to make a smooth transition in your writing. These phrases are known as transition phrases . One transition phrase you were probably taught in school is in conclusion , a common way to begin an essay’s final paragraph . As you moved further in your academic career, you were probably taught to move away from these transition phrases and use subtler ones in your writing.
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Read on to learn all about the best transition words and phrases and when to use them, as well as common pitfalls you might encounter when incorporating transitions into your writing.
When to use transition words
Transition words illustrate relationships between other words and phrases. Although students are generally taught to use transition words at the beginning of sentences, this isn’t the only place they’re used.
Generally, a transition word is the crux of its sentence . This is the decisive point where the sentence’s core message is communicated. Not every sentence contains a transition word, but when one does, the transition word is usually critical to its question or statement.
Types of transition words
Transition words present the writer’s thoughts in an orderly fashion, express nuance, clarify vagueness, forge connections, and demonstrate comparisons. Because they do so many different jobs, transition words are divided into eight distinct categories.
Transition words that introduce, agree, and add on
One of the most common ways transition words are used is to introduce new ideas and add onto topics that have already been explored in the piece.
Transition words and phrases in this category include:
- coupled with
- in addition (to)
- equally important
Take a look at a few ways you can use these kinds of transition words in a sentence:
- We have to consider the students’ needs, but the staff’s needs are equally important .
- First , preheat the oven. Second , sift together all your dry ingredients.
- The weather, coupled with the fast and loose itinerary, is the reason why I’m skipping the trip.
Transition words that oppose and limit
Transition words can also communicate opposition or limits to ideas and phrases. These words’ role is largely the opposite of the role played by the category above. Transition words that create opposition and limits include:
- on the contrary
- on the other hand
Here are a few examples:
- We managed to have a decent harvest despite the drought.
- I went to the seminar expecting a long, boring presentation but on the contrary , it was engaging and a lot of fun!
- While Shekani is a stickler for tradition, Mei gives every holiday party a new twist.
Cause and conditional transition words
These transition words show how one action led to a specific effect or how one circumstance is conditional on another. This category also includes words and transition phrases that illustrate the relationship between an intention and an action.
Cause and conditional transition words include:
- in the event of
- for fear of
- I hope that
A few examples of these words in sentences include:
- As long as there are pets that need homes, I’ll keep volunteering at the shelter.
- I brought extra socks in case we have to walk through puddles.
Effect and result transition words
Similar to the category above, these transition words demonstrate the result of a specific action. Here’s the difference between the two: When your sentence is focused on the cause of the effect, you’d use one of the transition words from the “Cause and conditional” category above. When the emphasis is on the effect itself, you would use a word from this “Effect and result” category that fits with the rest of your sentence.
For example, you might announce that you’ve postponed your barbecue by sending a group message that says “ because of the weather, I postponed the barbecue.” But you can communicate the same message with a slightly different focus by phrasing it as “it’s raining, so consequently I’ve rescheduled the barbecue.”
Words and phrases in this category include:
- as a result
- because the
- under those circumstances
A few more examples of sentences that include these transition words are:
- It’s very humid outside, hence the condensation on the window.
- We stayed to see the whole show and consequently missed our train home.
- Miguel forgot to add the yeast to his dough and as a result , the bread didn’t rise.
Transition words that describe examples and support
Other transition words make it clear that one concept supports another, either by providing evidence, emphasizing it, or simply being an example. These words include:
- for this reason
- by all means
- in other words
Here are a few examples of these transition words at work:
- They had to slow down production, particularly of items with a low profit margin.
- I love all kinds of pizza, especially stuffed-crust pizza.
- The sequel’s tone was markedly different from the first movie’s.
Conclusion and summary transition words
These are the transition words that bring paragraphs , arguments, and pieces of writing to a close. They can also be used to summarize and restate ideas. These transition phrases and words include:
- in conclusion
- to conclude
- in any event
- in either case
- to summarize
Take a look at a few ways these words work in sentences:
- There were some surprises, but overall we had a great time.
- In conclusion , an upgraded security system isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Transition words for describing time
Another category of transition words deals with time, specifically when something happened or will happen in relation to another event. These words include:
- in the meantime
- in a moment
- at the present time
- all of a sudden
- every so often
Take a look at these transition phrases and words in action:
- I was walking through the mall when all of a sudden , I recognized my long-lost sister standing in line to buy a pretzel.
- I’d love to hang out at the coffee shop after work.
- Don’t leave the lobby—we’ll be with you momentarily .
Transition words for locations
Transition words can also draw a reader’s attention to where something is located, or the physical or spatial relationship between two things. This can mean where someone or something is literally located, or they can be used figuratively, like “Dan’s auto body shop is above Rick’s when it comes to quality and attention to detail.”
These words and phrases include:
- in front of
- adjacent to
You’ll notice that many of these words can also function as prepositions in a sentence. They can also function as transition words that are part of adverbial clauses . Here are a few examples of this kind of transition word at work:
- In the back , my cousin was grilling hamburgers.
- Among the students surveyed, more than half were excited to return to campus full-time.
- Next to the garage , they found a parking spot.
Common mistakes writers make with transition words
Working with transition words isn’t always easy. Sometimes, especially when English isn’t your primary language, you may accidentally use the wrong word for the type of transition you’re making or use a word that doesn’t have quite the right connotation for your message. For example, you might say something like, “We could go out for burgers, pizza, sushi, or tacos. In either case, that works for me.” Either implies that there are only two choices, so in this scenario, it doesn’t fit because there are a total of four choices. (Here, the best way to phrase this would be “in any case.”)
Here are a few other commonly mistaken transition words:
- Adam and Jeremy came over for dinner.
- I made ribs and mac and cheese as well as a bagged salad.
- Although they offer personal training and classes, that gym is essentially an overpriced equipment store.
- The gym’s website explicitly states that no guest passes will be issued until further notice.
Another mistake writers sometimes make with transition words is using them in inappropriate contexts. As you saw in the lists above, some transition words and phrases feel more formal and academic than others. You can make your writing feel too formal—or too casual—by choosing a transition word that doesn’t fit your tone or the type of writing you’re doing. Here are a few examples of transition words that don’t fit their sentences:
- I just picked up a new dress, got my makeup done, and therefore , I’m ready to hit the club.
- In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Edna Pontillier felt inadequate whenever she spent time with Adele Ratignolle.
- I’ll be out of the office on Wednesday and consequently won’t be responding to emails.
See how they’re all either too formal or too casual for the messages they’re communicating? Word choice is crucial to effective communication, and that includes choosing the right transition for each sentence.
Make every transition a smooth one
Not sure if the transition word you chose is the right one? Run your writing through Grammarly and get suggestions for how to pick the perfect words and strike the appropriate tone that works best for what you’re communicating.
Transitional expressions ; Additional Support or Evidence, additionally, again, also, and, as well, besides, equally important, further, furthermore, in addition
Transitional words are like bridges between parts of your essay. They are cues that help the reader interpret your ideas. Transitional words or phrases help
Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays, papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences
200 Powerful Transition Words For Essays · 1. In addition to · 2. As a matter of fact · 3. Moreover · 4. Similarly · 5. Furthermore · 6. Equally
Transitional Words and Phrases ; Chronology–Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur. after afterwards always at length during earlier following
As a "part of speech," transitional words are used to link words, phrases, ... These transitional words and phrases conclude, summarize and / or restate
33 Transition Words and Phrases · accordingly | see definition». as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY · additionally | see definition» · afterward | see
Therefore, finally, consequently, thus, in short, in conclusion, in brief, as a result, accordingly. Suggestion. For this purpose, to this end, with this in
Conclusion and summary transition words · in summary · in conclusion · to conclude · in any event · in either case · overall · altogether · in essence
Clear transitions are crucial to clear writing: they connect different parts of your essay and structure your text. This video will walk you