Transition Words

Transition words and transitional phrases are used more frequently in the English language than we probably realize and even though their name suggests they may be a complex subject, in reality, transition words are quite easy to understand. In this article, we are going to find out exactly what transition words are and the various different types you are likely to see.

Transition words play a critical role in the world of writing, as they function to connect ideas and make a smooth passage from one thought to another. These essential linguistic tools not only establish coherence within the text but also impart a level of professionalism and organized structure to thoughts and arguments. Understanding and properly utilizing transition words can greatly enhance the readability of any written piece, making it more engaging and enjoyable for the reader.

Transition Words

Transition Words

What Is A Transition Word?

In simple terms, a transition word demonstrates the relationship between two portions of the text or spoken language. By using the imagery of a bridge, we can see how these words take us from one statement to another. By using these words, we can better build a sentence and convey what we are trying to say in a more concise manner.

By incorporating transition words into writing, authors allow their audience to smoothly navigate through complex arguments and ideas, ultimately improving the overall quality of the work. In essence, mastering the art of using transition words can be the key to transforming a good piece of writing into an exceptional one.

Types of Transition Words

There is more than one type of transition word, and in this section, we are going to introduce you to some of the most commonly used ones, which will give you a greater understanding of the concept.

Reason

Many transition words follow similar patterns. Because of this, we can categorize similar words together. One category typically used to describe transitional words is the reason. Words in the reason list reveal the cause and effect of a particular event.

Examples of transition words falling under the category of reason can be seen below.

  • Because of
  • With this in mind
  • In fact
  • In order to
  • Provided that
  • Granted that
  • Given that
  • In view of
  • With this intention
  • With this purpose
  • Seeing that
  • For the purpose of
  • Owing to
  • So that

You might see them used in a sentence such as; In order to achieve this, we need a budget.

Cause and Effect

Cause and effect transition words show the relationship between a cause and its resulting effect. These words help to demonstrate why something happened or how it can unfold.

Some examples of commonly used result transition words are:

  • As a result
  • Thus
  • Consequently
  • Hence
  • For this reason
  • Due to
  • As a consequence (of)
  • Therefore
  • Accordingly
  • Then
  • Forthwith
  • Thereupon

You are likely to see a result transitional word in a sentence such as; I cannot attend the party tonight as a result of being so tired from having worked late all week.

Emphasis

Transition words that fall under the emphasis category emphasize a particular fact. They highlight the importance of the information discussed in your essay. These words signal that some key information is forthcoming.

Transition words that show emphasis are essential to any well-written paper. Find examples of these words and phrases below.

  • Undoubtedly
  • Indeed
  • Obviously
  • Particularly / in particular
  • Especially
  • Clearly
  • Importantly
  • Absolutely
  • Definitely
  • Without a doubt
  • Never
  • It should be noted
  • Unquestionably
  • Above all
  • Positively
  • Truly
  • Even
  • Of course
  • Naturally
  • In truth
  • Chiefly
  • Surprisingly
  • With attention
  • To emphasize
  • To repeat
  • To clarify
  • In detail

You might see one of these types of transition words used in a sentence such as; You can travel to Australia and obviously, can visit Tasmania whilst you are there.

Addition

Addition transition words add important information to the topic discussed in your academic paper.

Some examples of addition transition words are found below.

  • Additionally / an additional
  • Furthermore
  • Also
  • Too
  • As well as that
  • Along with
  • Besides
  • In addition
  • Moreover
  • Not only…but also
  • In addition to this
  • Apart from this
  • Further
  • Finally
  • Last
  • And
  • Similarily
  • As well as
  • Coupled with
  • Not to mention
  • Together with
  • In the same fashion
  • First
  • Second
  • Third

An example of a sentence containing one of these common transition words would be; You cannot go into the theatre as you have not got tickets, furthermore, you are not in the correct dress for this performance.

Emphasis – Addition – Contrast – Order Transition Words & Transitional Phrases

Emphasis - Addition - Contrast - Order Transition Words & Phrases

Illustration

An illustration transitional word is used to give an example of what the speaker is referring to.

Some good examples of this type of transition word would be:

  • For example/ For instance
  • Such as
  • Proof of this
  • Like
  • To demonstrate/ To clarify
  • Illustrated by
  • For one thing
  • As an example of
  • In the case of
  • To demonstrate
  • To clarify
  • Including
  • Namely
  • In this case
  • To simplify
  • In another case
  • Specifically
  • In this situation
  • On this occasion

The following sentence shows the use of an illustration transitional word; There are lots of things to do at the park, for instance feeding the ducks or playing on the slide.

Contrast

You will want to select a contrast transition word to show the difference between two key pieces of information expressed in your essay. These words indicate that your paper is linking a sentence or paragraph together by contrasting how two things different.

Contrast transition words make it clear that two pieces of information will be contrasted. The list below showcases some contrast words that will be effective in your writing:

  • Unlike
  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • Nonetheless
  • Despite/in spite of
  • In contrast (to)
  • While
  • Whereas
  • Alternatively
  • Conversely
  • Even so
  • Differing from
  • Contrary to
  • In opposition
  • Up against
  • However
  • Contrarily
  • As opposed to
  • Yet
  • Instead
  • Notwithstanding
  • Rather
  • Nor
  • Though

You might see one of these transitions being used in a sentence such as; While this may be true, it doesn’t mean that biking is not beneficial for your heart.

Comparison/Similarity

In order to link two sentences or paragraphs you can introduce compare transition words, The words show how to ideas being discussed relate to each other.

Some examples of this type of transition word might be:

  • Similarly
  • Equally
  • Similar to
  • Same as
  • Compare / compare(d) to (with)
  • By the same token
  • In the same way
  • Correspondingly
  • As with
  • Equal
  • Just as…so too
  • Likewise
  • Just as
  • Just like
  • Both
  • Alike
  • In common
  • In like manner
  • In a similar manner
  • Still another
  • Resembles
  • Either
  • Most important
  • In the spitting image of

An example of a sentence in which you might see a comparison/similarity transition word would be; In the same way, biking also offers many benefits that help you with your fitness goals.

Result – Illustration – Comparison/Similarity – Summary Transition Words and Phrases

Result - Illustration - Comparison - Summary Transition Words and Phrases

Time and Sequence

Time and sequence transition words help to illustrate the progression of events or the passage of time. They create a structure and a sense of order between ideas.

Examples of time and sequence transition words include:

  • First/ firstly
  • Second/ secondly
  • Third/ thirdly
  • Lastly and most importantly
  • Last but not least
  • About
  • Next
  • Later
  • Since
  • Finally
  • At this time
  • Following
  • Now
  • Once
  • In the first place
  • To begin with
  • Prior to
  • Previously
  • Before
  • Subsequently
  • Above all
  • After
  • Eventually
  • Tomorrow
  • In turn
  • Momentarily
  • From this point
  • Not long after

You might see an order transitional word being used in a sentence such as; I will go to the shop, then to the park, and finally, I will relax in the bar.

Conclusion

Conclusion transition words are used to conclude the ideas that have been previously mentioned. A transition word from the conclusion category indicates that you are about to wrap up your argument.

Conclusion transition words work well to clarify your arguments.

  • Therefore
  • To summarise
  • In short
  • To sum up
  • In summary
  • Briefly
  • To conclude
  • In essence
  • In brief
  • On the whole
  • In conclusion
  • Altogether
  • In any event
  • Given these points
  • Ultimately
  • In the final analysis
  • Generally speaking
  • All things considered
  • Usually
  • By and large
  • Overall
  • As noted
  • As shown above
  • As demonstrated above
  • As you can see
  • In a word
  • In the end
  • To end

An excellent example of a sentence to demonstrate this would be; The acting was superb and the lighting was excellent, all things considered, it made for an interesting play.

Condition

Condition transition words are used to establish the condition or to bring into consideration another viewpoint.

Words that fall in this category include:

  • Granted that
  • If
  • When
  • Because of
  • In that case
  • Then
  • Unless
  • As
  • Since
  • While
  • Whenever
  • While
  • Lest
  • Although this may be true
  • In the event that
  • Only if
  • Even if
  • On the condition that
  • Given that

A condition transitional phrase might be used in a sentence such as; Take an umbrella in case it rains.

Concession

A concession transition word is used to acknowledge an opposing view and might be used in the form of the following words and phrases:

  • Admittedly
  • All the same
  • Up to a point
  • Even so
  • In spite of
  • Although/Even though
  • Even if
  • However
  • And still
  • And yet
  • Be that as it may
  • Regardless of this
  • Nevertheless
  • Albeit
  • Although
  • Even though
  • Nonetheless

A good example of a sentence containing this type of transition would be; In spite of the fact that he is rich, he lives in a small house.

Generalization

A generalization transitional word can be used to give an example of an idea relating to the subject.

Some common transition words in this category are:

  • As a rule
  • Regularly
  • Commonly
  • Usually
  • For the most part
  • Normally
  • Predominately
  • In general/ Generally
  • On the whole
  • Overall
  • Typically
  • In most cases
  • Often
  • On the whole
  • Broadly speaking
  • Mainly
  • Generally speaking
  • More often than not
  • Mostly

Here is a sentence that uses a generalization transitional phrase; In general, Japanese cars are very reliable and breakdowns are rare.

Restatement

Restatement transition words provide clarity for your argument. These transition words signal the importance of the information shared before.

To restate your thoughts employ these words in your essay.

  • In other words
  • Otherwise stated
  • That is to say
  • Alternatively
  • Alternatively stated
  • Put differently
  • To put it differently
  • In a nutshell
  • Put in another way
  • In simple terms
  • Simply put
  • Simplified
  • Said differently
  • Reiterated
  • Namely
  • In short
  • In summation
  • Expressed simply
  • In simple language

Let’s look at an example of a sentence that uses a restatement transition; In other words, the elephant is already dancing with the dragon.

Reference

Reference transition words are used to literally make a reference to a continuing idea presented in your essay.

Words and phrases that express these references include:

  • Some examples of these might be:
  • Speaking about/of
  • Considering
  • In terms
  • With respect to
  • Concerning
  • The fact that
  • With regards to
  • Regarding
  • In connection to
  • As far as
  • As applied to
  • Pertaining to

You might see a reference transitional phrase in a sentence like this one; I was explaining to John that the job he wanted was not available due to the fact that they had already hired someone.

Clarification

Sometimes ideas being discussed in your paper needs to be parsed down. Clarification transition words indicate that you will be exploring your ideas in more detail.

To provide clarification in your essay use these words and phrases.

  • That is to say
  • To put it in another way
  • To put it clearly
  • To break it down
  • To simplify
  • To clearly define
  • In lay terms
  • In other words
  • I mean
  • Simply stated
  • Simply put
  • In simple terms
  • To explain
  • To make plain
  • In explanation

A good example of a sentence that uses clarification transitional phrase is as follows; I won’t be going because I do not like her, in other words, she will ruin the evening for me.

Space/ Location

Space transition words are to clarify spatial relationships. They provide spatial order and reference.

Some transitions words to describe space/locations are:

  • On top
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Around
  • Underneath
  • To the left
  • Surrounding
  • Over
  • Adjacent
  • Across
  • At the rear
  • Next to
  • Opposite
  • Adjacent
  • On bottom
  • Near
  • Nearby

Examples of transition words and transitional phrases in sentences. 

Transition words and transitional phrases

The Importance and Function of Transitional Words and Phrases

Transition words are so important because they take the reader or listener from one idea to another. Without them, sentences would be singular and would not connect and flow, which can create a more natural way of delivering information. The use of transition words also serves as a way to prevent having to mentally jump from one sentence or paragraph to another, giving the listener or reader greater ease.

The function of transition words is essential to put in place an easy-to-understand, logical connection between paragraphs and sentences.

Using Transition Words in Sentences

Transition words play a vital role in connecting ideas and ensuring a smooth flow within sentences and paragraphs. They provide coherence to a text, guiding readers through different points or concepts. In this section, we will explore the use of transition words in strengthening sentence structure and enhancing readability.

Primarily, the placement of transition words at the beginning of a sentence helps to introduce a new idea or expand upon a previous point. For instance, the word “first” can be used to emphasize the importance of a particular point. Moreover, “in addition” works effectively to bring forth another relevant idea or piece of information.

Example:
- First, we must address the issue of climate change.
- In addition to decreasing carbon emissions, we should also focus on renewable energy sources.

Conversely, transition words can provide a contrast between two ideas or points, showcasing a difference or opposition. Words like “contrary,” “nevertheless,” and “nonetheless” serve this purpose.

Example:
- Technology has increased productivity; nevertheless, it has raised concerns about job displacement.

Transitional phrases can also be utilized to indicate an alternative perspective or highlight an unexpected outcome. Words such as “otherwise” and “conversely” help to achieve this effect.

Example:
- We need to take preventive measures; otherwise, the situation will deteriorate.

In conclusion, including transition words in sentences not only enriches overall communication but also aids easy comprehension. By carefully selecting the most appropriate words, writers can greatly enhance the clarity and effectiveness of their work.

Understanding the Purpose of Transition Words

Transition words serve a vital role in enhancing the clarity and flow of a written piece. They function by establishing connections between sentences and ideas, providing logic and coherence to the text. In doing so, transition words help readers comprehend the intended message and its progression.

One key purpose of transition words is to signal cause and effect relationships. For instance, words like ‘because of’, ‘due to’, and ‘therefore’ illustrate the reasons for specific occurrences, allowing the reader to infer causality. Similarly, ‘consequently’ and ‘as a result’ also demonstrate the direct impact of preceding actions or statements.

Additionally, transition words create a sequence or chronology within the text. Examples of such words include ‘first’, ‘next’, ‘third’, and ‘finally’. These words enable the reader to follow the order of events or the development of an argument, further facilitating comprehension.

Transition words also help introduce contrasting points or different perspectives. For example, when a writer wants to present an opposing view, they can use phrases like ‘on the contrary’, ‘however’, or ‘despite’. This signals to the reader that a conflicting idea is about to be presented, contrasting the preceding sentiment.

Furthermore, they can be used to support ideas by reinforcing the main argument. Words such as ‘moreover’, ‘besides’, ‘in addition’, or ‘furthermore’ emphasize that the following statement agrees with, or reinforces, the previous point.

In conclusion, transition words serve a variety of purposes in written communication, such as demonstrating cause and effect relationships, providing chronology, presenting contrasting viewpoints, and offering support. By applying these words effectively, a writer can guide the reader through the text and maintain clarity, making the reading experience more enjoyable and informative.

Importance of Transition Words in Writing

Transition words play a crucial role in enhancing the clarity and coherence of written content. They effectively connect and relate ideas, sentences, and paragraphs, guiding the reader through the writer’s thought process. By providing context and logical flow, transition words contribute to a better understanding of the presented information.

In essays and papers, transition words express the relationships between different parts of the text, ensuring smooth transitions for the audience. These words bridge the gap between ideas and concepts, allowing readers to make connections easily. For instance, they help link an argument to supporting evidence, establish cause and effect relationships, and clarify the introduction of a new idea.

When writing a summary, transition words like “in conclusion” or “to sum up” signal to the reader that the writer is wrapping up the main points. Such transitions provide clear indications that the summary is about to end, aiding in the comprehension of the overall message.

There are various types of transition words that serve different purposes in writing. Some examples include:

  • Addition: also, furthermore, moreover
  • Comparison: similarly, likewise, by the same token
  • Contrast: however, on the other hand, in contrast
  • Cause and Effect: consequently, therefore, as a result
  • Time Sequence: first, next, finally

Incorporating these transitional phrases assists writers in establishing logical connections and effectively conveying their message to the readers. By improving the readability and organization of the content, transition words aid in maintaining the audience’s interest and guiding them through the writer’s intended message. Ultimately, using transition words ensures that writing remains coherent, engaging, and easy to understand.

Transition Words and Proper Punctuation

Transition words and phrases are essential elements in writing. They help establish connections between ideas and provide smooth progressions from one thought to another. Proper punctuation is necessary when using these transition words to ensure clarity and coherence in your writing.

When using transition words between two independent clauses, a semicolon is often used before the transition word and a comma after. For example:

  • He studied diligently; therefore, he passed the exam.

In cases where the transition word connects a dependent clause to an independent clause, a comma is typically used:

  • Although she was tired, she continued working on the project.

Here are some common transition words and their proper punctuation:

Additive transitions:

  • and: He is a talented musician, and he also excels in sports.
  • in addition: I enjoy painting; in addition, I like to write poetry.
  • furthermore: She has a demanding job; furthermore, she volunteers in her local community.

Adversative transitions:

  • however: They wanted to see the movie; however, the theater was closed.
  • on the other hand: My friend enjoys hiking in the mountains, on the other hand, I prefer swimming in the ocean.

Causal transitions:

  • because: He couldn’t attend the party because he was not feeling well.
  • so: It rained all day, so the picnic had to be rescheduled.

Sequential transitions:

  • first/second/third: First, she folded the laundry; second, she vacuumed the floor; third, she cooked dinner.
  • finally: He completed his homework, walked the dog, and finally, went to bed.

In summary, using transition words helps connect thoughts and ideas, while proper punctuation ensures clear and coherent writing. Understanding the correct use of punctuation with transition words and maintaining a neutral and confident tone will enhance the readability and effectiveness of your writing.

Examples of Transition Words in Use

Agreement and Similarity

Transition words such as “likewise,” “in addition,” and “moreover” indicate agreement and similarity between ideas or points. These words are used to show that the following idea reinforces or adds to the previous one. Here are some example sentences:

  • Maria loves to paint landscapes; likewise, her sister also enjoys painting nature scenes.
  • The conference covered a variety of subjects, including economics, sociology, and psychology.
  • Jane is an excellent researcher; moreover, she excels at presentations and project management.

Opposition and Contrast

Transition words like “however,” “on the other hand,” and “but” express opposition or contrast between two ideas, showing that the next idea either contradicts, differs from, or is an exception to the previous one:

  • John prefers jogging at night; on the other hand, Susan enjoys early morning runs.
  • Thomas is a talented writer, but he struggles with public speaking.
  • The area is known for its beautiful waterfalls; however, tourists should be cautious of slippery rocks and steep cliffs.

Illustration and Examples

Transition words such as “for instance,” “to illustrate,” and “in other words” are used to provide specific examples or clearer explanations of a particular point, making the idea more concrete and easier to grasp:

  • Many people in the company have diverse backgrounds; for instance, some employees were previously teachers, while others were engineers.
  • Technology has significantly impacted our daily lives; to illustrate, smartphones and social media have changed the way we communicate and access information.
  • The new policy aims to reduce pollution and waste; in other words, the company is working to improve its environmental impact.

In conclusion, using appropriate transition words is essential for maintaining the coherence and cohesion of a written piece. This brief overview of examples demonstrates the importance of transition words in showcasing relationships between ideas, emphasizing certain points, and providing clear illustrations to clarify arguments and conditions.

Transition Words List

List of 289 transition words and phrases from A to Z.

  • About
  • Above all
  • Absolutely
  • Accordingly
  • According to
  • Across
  • Additionally / an additional
  • Adjacent
  • Admittedly
  • After
  • Albeit
  • Alike
  • All the same
  • All things considered
  • Along with
  • Also
  • Alternatively
  • Alternatively stated
  • Although
  • Although this may be true
  • Altogether
  • And
  • And still
  • And yet
  • Apart from this
  • Around
  • As
  • As a consequence (of)
  • As a result
  • As a rule
  • As an example of
  • As applied to
  • As demonstrated above
  • As far as
  • As noted
  • As opposed to
  • As shown above
  • As well as
  • As well as that
  • As with
  • As you can see
  • At the rear
  • At this time
  • Be that as it may
  • Because of
  • Before
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Besides
  • Both
  • Briefly
  • Broadly speaking
  • By and large
  • By the same token
  • Chiefly
  • Clearly
  • Commonly
  • Compare / compare(d) to (with)
  • Concerning
  • Consequently
  • Considering
  • Contrarily
  • Contrary to
  • Conversely
  • Correspondingly
  • Coupled with
  • Definitely
  • Despite/in spite of
  • Differing from
  • Due to
  • Either
  • Equal
  • Equally
  • Especially
  • Even
  • Even if
  • Even so
  • Even though
  • Eventually
  • Expressed simply
  • Finally
  • First
  • Firstly
  • Following
  • For example/ For instance
  • For one thing
  • For the most part
  • For the purpose of
  • For this reason
  • Forthwith
  • From this point
  • Further
  • Furthermore
  • Generally speaking
  • Given that
  • Given these points
  • Granted that
  • Hence
  • However
  • I mean
  • If
  • Illustrated by
  • Importantly
  • In a nutshell
  • In a similar manner
  • In a word
  • In addition
  • In addition to this
  • In another case
  • In any event
  • In brief
  • In common
  • In conclusion
  • In connection to
  • In contrast (to)
  • In detail
  • In essence
  • In explanation
  • In fact
  • In general/ Generally
  • In lay terms
  • In like manner
  • In most cases
  • In opposition
  • In order to
  • In other words
  • In short
  • In simple language
  • In simple terms
  • In spite of
  • In summary
  • In summation
  • In terms
  • In that case
  • In the case of
  • In the end
  • In the event that
  • In the final analysis
  • In the first place
  • In the same fashion
  • In the same way
  • In the spitting image of
  • In this case
  • In this situation
  • In truth
  • In turn
  • In view of
  • Including
  • Indeed
  • Instead
  • It should be noted
  • Just as
  • Just as…so too
  • Just like
  • Last
  • Last but not least
  • Lastly and most importantly
  • Later
  • Lest
  • Like
  • Likewise
  • Mainly
  • Momentarily
  • More often than not
  • Moreover
  • Most important
  • Mostly
  • Namely
  • Naturally
  • Near
  • Nearby
  • Never
  • Nevertheless
  • Next
  • Next to
  • Nonetheless
  • Nor
  • Normally
  • Not long after
  • Not only…but also
  • Not to mention
  • Notwithstanding
  • Now
  • Obviously
  • Of course
  • Often
  • On bottom
  • On the condition that
  • On the other hand
  • On the whole
  • On this occasion
  • On top
  • Once
  • Only if
  • Opposite
  • Otherwise stated
  • Over
  • Overall
  • Owing to
  • Particularly / in particular
  • Pertaining to
  • Positively
  • Predominately
  • Previously
  • Prior to
  • Proof of this
  • Provided that
  • Put differently
  • Put in another way
  • Rather
  • Regarding
  • Regardless of this
  • Regularly
  • Reiterated
  • Resembles
  • Said differently
  • Same as
  • Second
  • Secondly
  • Seeing that
  • Similar to
  • Similarily
  • Similarly
  • Simplified
  • Simply put
  • Simply stated
  • Since
  • So that
  • Some examples of these might be:
  • Speaking about/of
  • Specifically
  • Still another
  • Subsequently
  • Such as
  • Surprisingly
  • Surrounding
  • That is to say
  • The fact that
  • Then
  • Therefore
  • Thereupon
  • Third
  • Thirdly
  • Though
  • Thus
  • To begin with
  • To break it down
  • To clarify
  • To clearly define
  • To conclude
  • To demonstrate
  • To emphasize
  • To end
  • To explain
  • To make plain
  • To put it clearly
  • To put it differently
  • To put it in another way
  • To repeat
  • To simplify
  • To sum up
  • To summarise
  • To the left
  • Together with
  • Tomorrow
  • Too
  • Truly
  • Typically
  • Ultimately
  • Underneath
  • Undoubtedly
  • Unless
  • Unlike
  • Unquestionably
  • Up against
  • Up to a point
  • Usually
  • When
  • Whenever
  • Whereas
  • While
  • With attention
  • With regards to
  • With respect to
  • With this in mind
  • With this intention
  • With this purpose
  • Without a doubt
  • Yet

Using Transition Words in Essays & Academic Writing

When writing an academic essay you want to clearly communicate your arguments. Transitions aid you in creating a logical relationship between sentences and paragraphs. Transitions help writers focus their reader’s attention in a particular way. They direct the reader on how to interpret the content of your essay.

Do not expect transitions to compensate for a poorly organized essay. Transitions are not used to make a piece of writing sound smarter. Instead, transitions allow the reader to follow the argument your paper lays out. Through transitions, readers see how ideas work together to develop a logical argument. Transitions convey a relationship between concepts or ideas. Transitions indicate an upcoming example, an exception to a previous argument, or an alternative to an established argument.

You can add transitions to improve the logical flow of your essay writing. Transitions operate boldly and in a straightforward manner. They fill the gaps between one topic and the next.

Transitions shape your essay’s argument for your reader. They work between and within paragraphs to help you write with precision.

Transition Words Between Paragraphs

Transitions connect the current paragraph to the previous one. They summarize the previous paragraph and introduce a new idea. Transitions between paragraphs occur at the end of one paragraph or the beginning of a new one. Furthermore, you can use the transitions between paragraphs in both places. Transitions between paragraphs can be a word, phrase, or sentence.

A good transition in an essay reminds the reader of what they just read and states what they are going to read next. It also expresses why this information is important.

Examples of transition words between paragraphs

  • Similarly
  • For example
  • However

Why do transitions between paragraphs often appear at the start of a new paragraph?

It easy to connect the previous paragraph to the current one with a transition. These transitions often use phrases to link the two paragraphs.

Examples of transition words at the start of the paragraph

  • Next
  • Despite the argument
  • In conclusion
  • Lastly
  • It logically follows
  • Subsequently
  • In comparison to

Transitions within Paragraphs

Transitions within paragraphs help the reader of your essay understand what information will be forthcoming. Expect these transitions to appears as a word or short phrase. Transition words can logically structure your paragraphs. They help improve the flow of your essay.

Example

Without transitions: Wanda did not have any money to buy her brother a gift. She did not receive an allowance at age four. She was sad on his birthday.

With transitions: Wanda did not have money to buy her brother a gift because she did not receive an allowance at age four. Nevertheless, she was sad on his birthday.

When you add transitions to the above example text you show how the three sentences relate to each other. Without relation, these sentences can appear disjointed. Readers may fail to grasp how these three sentences relate. With these transitions, your essay’s arguments become clearer.

The transition because joins the first and second sentences. It establishes a cause and effect relationship. The word nevertheless helps the prior sentence flow into the current sentences.

Examples of transition words within paragraphs

  • Because
  • So
  • And
  • Like
  • And
  • Or

Common Transition Words for Different Essay Types

Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays, transition words are essential for establishing arguments, explaining their importance, and supporting them with evidence. Some common transition words used in this essay type are:

  • To emphasize: specificallyindeedin fact
  • For contrast: howeveron the other handyet
  • To introduce examples: for instancefor examplesuch as
  • To show consequence: as a resultthereforeconsequently
  • To establish sequence: firstlysecondlyfinally

Here are some examples using transition words in argumentative essays:

  • Though it may seem inconsequential, recycling can significantly reduce waste in landfills.
  • To clarify, using public transportation instead of personal cars can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Expository Essays

Expository essays aim to inform or clarify information for the reader. Transition words help organize and connect the information being discussed. Common transition words for expository essays include:

  • To compare: similarlylikewisein the same way
  • To contrast: on the contraryratherstill
  • To explain circumstances: due tobecause ofin light of
  • To introduce examples: for examplespecificallyto illustrate
  • To summarize: in summaryin conclusionto sum up

Examples of transition word usage in expository essays:

  • In light of recent events, many people are reconsidering their travel plans.
  • Known for its innovation, the company launched several successful products, such as a groundbreaking smartphone and a popular tablet.

Comparative Essays

Comparative essays analyze the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. Utilizing appropriate transition words is key. Common transition words for comparative essays include:

  • To indicate similarity: similarlyequallyin comparison
  • To designate difference: howeverin contraston the other hand
  • To confirm a point: indeedcertainlyin fact
  • To provide examples: for instanceto illustrateas an example
  • To highlight significance: notablyespeciallyin particular

Examples of transition word usage in comparative essays:

  • Similarly, both classical and modern music share emotional depth and complexity.
  • In contrast, the cost of living in urban areas tends to be higher than in rural areas.

Transition Words & Transitional Phrases with Examples

Learn an extensive list of transition words and phrases in English with example sentences.

Reason Transition Words

A reason transitional word is one that shows the cause and effect of a situation.

Usage: provide reasons for what has been stated or has occurred.

Reason transitional words list with examples:

  • Because of the pollution, many people moved out of the community.
  • For the purpose of understanding the consumers’ buying habits, the CEO interviewed many of his customers.
  • Given that the money was missing, the employee called the police.
  • In order to get the lawsuit dropped, the girl had to write a public apology in the newspaper.
  • In view of the court’s findings, the prosecutor dismissed the case.
  • With this in mind, the girl sought out her birth mother.
  • With this purpose, the boy set out to find his grandfather.

Result Transition Words

The result group of transition words is closely linked to the reason category. Result transition words tell the reader to expect to learn about the outcome of a specific situation.

Usage: Provide the result of what has been stated or has occurred.

To find result-oriented transition words explore the examples below:

  • The sky suddenly darkened and it began to rain. As a result, the couple got drenched.
  • The girls went out in the cold without their mittens. Consequently, their fingers had frostbite.
  • Due to the warm weather, the girl’s ice cream melted.
  • Tim always starts a brawl at the bar. For this reason, I now go there without him.
  • She fed the dog chocolate. Hence, the dog got really sick.

Emphasis Transition Words

An emphasis transitional word is used to support a piece of information that has just been given, they can also be used to emphasize an idea.

Function: Put forward a point or idea more forcefully

Let’s look at some example sentences of emphasis transitional words & transitional phrases:

  • Above all, the voice was captivating.
  • Even her dog hated living in the desert climate.
  • It should be noted that the doctor originally prescribed antibiotics to his patient.
  • Of course, no one understood the teacher’s predicament better than the students.
  • To clarify, dogs cannot eat chocolate without dire consequences.
  • To repeat, vegetables are good for you.
  • Without a doubt, she was the best cyclist in the area.

Addition Transition Words

An Addition transition word will give additional information in a sentence, deepening the meaning that is taken from it.

Function: Add to what has been previously stated.

Addition transitional words and transitional phrases list with examples:

  • Also, I believed the man was evil.
  • I loved her smile and I treasured her touch.
  • Besides, I could not afford the blue cabinet.
  • Finally, she adds the sauce to the boiled noodles.
  • First, the picture lacked ingenuity.
  • In addition, inadequate insulation is responsible for heat loss.
  • Not to mention, more people die from cow attacks than shark encounters.
  • Additionally, the smoke was carcinogenic.

Illustration Transition Words

There are many transition words that will indicate that an example is forthcoming. These words clarify that evidence for your argument is coming up.

Function: Provide examples.

Some vibrant transition words appear below to help prepare your reader for new evidence or examples.

  • For one thing, the child was unable to reach the remote.
  • In this case, the scientist examined over 500 responses.
  • In this situation, the orator’s words were more than hyperbole.
  • Like FDR, he was progressive and thoughtful.
  • On this occasion, her arguments lacked cohesion.
  • Proof of this feminist critique comes from her positioning of the female figure.
  • To clarify, her adherence to social norms undercut her feminist agenda.
  • To simplify, a person’s negative attitude affects the group as a whole.

Contrast Transition Words

A contrast transitional word can be used to show a contrast between two ideas within a sentence.

Function: Show how things are different.

Contrast transition words list with examples:

  • Despite this, she loved him.
  • Her mother thought a woman should not work. Even so, Mary took a job as a mechanic.
  • She loved horses; however, she was afraid to ride.
  • On the other hand, doctors promise to do no harm.
  • Rather than visit her friend, the girl decided to watch a movie.
  • She committed many crimes; though, she did not consider herself a criminal.
  • Unlike her brother, she knew a good bargain when she saw it.
  • Whereas his intentions were good, hers were bad.

Comparison/Similarity Transition Words

A comparison/similarity transition word is used to compare two ideas or thoughts.

Function: Show how things are similar.

Comparison/Similarity transitional words and transitional phrases examples:

  • As with most young girls, the sibling’s favorite color is pink.
  • Both doctors and nurses struggle to deal with the onslaught of covid-19 cases.
  • The two girls worked equally on the project.
  • In like manner, the girl exited the building.
  • Just as Tina enjoyed visiting the horse so too did Jenna.
  • Likewise, the girls showed interest in the piano.
  • Similarly, he crushed her self-esteem.

Order Transition Words

Some transition words point to an order to keep your arguments functioning logically. These words and phrases show how you should perceive information.

  • First, he hid the proof of his deception.
  • Second, he spread lies about the soldier.
  • Third, he took the murder weapon and hid it in the soldier’s room.
  • Finally, he convinced the prince of his lies.
  • Following the visit to the dentist, she got ice cream.
  • Lastly and most importantly, there was a witness to the crime.
  • From now on, the Board of Directors will continue to focus on our employees first and foremost.

Conclusion Transition Words

Function: Transition words and phrases to sum up what has been previously stated.

Summary transition words list with examples:

  • All things considered, the wedding was delightful
  • As noted, the taxes remain at 5%.
  • Generally speaking, the first two test drives were the hardest.
  • In conclusionthe council needs to deal with the community’s water and sanitation concerns.
  • In short, the ducks won.
  • In the end, nothing of importance happened.
  • Ultimately, the world survived catastrophic annihilation.

Condition Transitional Words

Transition words that suggest another perspective fall under the category of conditional transitional words. That is to say, that the facts discussed may be mutable depending on specific conditions

Function: To provide a condition to what has been stated

Condition transitional words and transitional phrases examples:

  • As the days get longer, people stop visiting the museum.
  • Even if the dog comes home, she could not forgive her boyfriend.
  • If she calls, I will go to the store.
  • Since the store closed, she was unable to buy the banner.
  • Unless she avoids him, she will get in trouble.

Concession Transition Words

Function: To accept a point or idea with reservation/to express an opposing viewpoint.

Concession transition words list with examples:

  • Admittedly, the project was not well thought out.
  • All the same, I’ll have that drink now.
  • Be that as it may, she will still be apart of this project.
  • Even if I win, I will not accept the prize.
  • In spite of everything, I still loved her.
  • Regardless of this, I planned to attend the meeting.

Generalization Transition Words

Words in the generalization category reveal a forthcoming example that will illustrate a traditional viewpoint.

Function: Transition words and phrases to make a general statement.

  • As a rule, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day.
  • In general, the boys misbehaved.
  • Mainly the girls wanted to read.
  • More often than not, there is a class-clown in every classroom.
  • On the whole, the class behaved well.
  • Overall, the boy’s arguments were strong.

Restatement Transition Words

Restatement transition words are used to summarise an idea or restate something that has already been said.

Function: Express an alternative to what has been previously stated.

  • Expressed simply, her works provide food for thought.
  • In a nutshell, words can insight violence.
  • In other words, our individual truths influence how we see a painting.
  • That is to say, writing letters is an art.
  • To put it differently, the story lacked structure.

Reference Transition Words

People use reference transitional words and phrases to a relationship between continuing ideas.

Function: Literally make a reference to a continuing idea.

  • As far as I can determine, he plagiarized his paper.
  • Considering her personal life, it difficult to understand how she found the time to paint 421 pictures.
  • Regarding his pension for dense language, I am surprised more people don’t find his books tiring to read.
  • The fact that she abandoned her work suggests she did not find evidence to support her theory.
  • With regards to her, I do not have an answer.

Clarification Transition Words

Usage: Further explain an idea or thought.

  • I mean that she lacks the ability to be subtle.
  • In other words, Penelope was a mule, not a horse.
  • Simply put the project was dead in the water.
  • Simply stated, I reject your terms.
  • That is to say, I made a terrible mistake.
  • To put it clearly, I wanted what I could not have.

Space/Location Transition Words

Function: To clarify spatial relationships/to provide spatial order and reference.

  • Across the street, the people gathered
  • Adjacent to the store was the park.
  • Around the corner, I saw a bear.
  • At the rear, I found twenty dollars.
  • Below the table, I saw used gum.
  • Next to the dungeon, the princess slept.
  • Underneath the blankets, she hid the beagle.

A Chart of Common Transition Words 

All transitional words and transitional phrases in one table.

Transition Words

Learn the quick list of linking words and phrases in English with pictures.

Transitions vs. Conjunctions

Conjunctions sometimes masquerade as transitions. However, conjunctions and transitions have different functions. A conjunction joins two clauses in a sentence. In contrast, transitions reveal the relationship between two sentences or paragraphs. Transitions signal to the reader how pieces of information fit together in a logical way. Similarly, both conjunctions and transitions connect ideas or thoughts.

What Are Conjunctions?

Conjunction brings two clauses in a sentence together. Removing conjunction from a sentence causes grammatical changes to the text. There are two main types of conjunctions that exist: subordinate and coordinating. Each serves a specific function.

Subordinating conjunctions

This type of conjunction will link an independent clause to a dependent one. Subordinating conjunction indicates a relationship between clauses. It stresses which clause is most important within the confines of a sentence.

Example

  • Even though the lights went out, he was able to see the intruder.
  • As I learned the truth, the world around me made sense for the first time.
  • She went to the doctor because her eyes burned.

Coordinating conjunctions

Join two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction to create a compound sentence. It is easy to remember the seven coordinating conjunctions with the mnemonic FANBOYS. The seven coordinating conjunctions include: for, as, nor, but, or, yet and so.

Example

  • The girl smiled, so I knew she was okay.
  • Her heart broke, but she did not cry.
  • I could go to the store, or I could go to the movies.

In addition, to the above main conjunctions, you may come across correlating conjunctions. Correlating conjunctions are word pairs that function together to connect equal sentence elements. Common correlating conjunctions include word pairs like neither…nor or not only…but also.

What Are Transitions?

Removing a transition from a sentence does not hold any grammatical consequences to your writing. Transitions can either be words or phrases. They connect two ideas and establish the relationship between these ideas. Transitions direct readers to the logical progression of your argument. They create a shift in perspective. That is to say, transitions can signal an upcoming comparison, opposition, or result.

Unlike conjunctions, transitions connect more than the idea of one sentence together. They instead showcase the relationship between two sentences or a paragraph. Transitions are usually set apart from a sentence with a comma. This is not always the case with conjunctions. For example, subordinating conjunctions do not need commas.

You can categorize transitions by their specific functions. Listed here are transition examples sorted by their use.

Examples

Transitions work to connect sentences or paragraphs. Below find examples of how transitions operate in writing.

  • Marcy cut class with her boyfriend. As a result, her parents sent her to boarding school.
  • In general, politicians want to help their constituents. However, some are only out for themselves.
  • School finished at 3 pm. Despite that, Mary did not get home until 11 pm.

Transitions vs. Conjunctions Chart

Transitions vs. Conjunctions

Transition Words | Video

Conclusion

Transition words play a crucial role in conveying logic and coherence in written communication. They serve various purposes such as illustrating ideas, emphasizing points, and providing smooth transitions between thoughts. In this section, the importance of these entities and their applications in various situations will be discussed briefly.

In the realm of logic, transition words such as “since,” “thereupon,” and “henceforth” help establish causal relationships or demonstrate the progression of ideas. For instance, using “since” can provide a reason for a certain action or event, while “thereupon” indicates a subsequent development.

On the other hand, words like “too” and “above all” signal additional information or highlight the importance of an idea in relation to others. “In other words” serves to clarify or rephrase a statement, assisting readers in comprehending complex concepts.

When it comes to illustrating similarity or opposition, transition words play a significant role. Phrases like “meantime” and “despite” demonstrate contrast, while “similarity” emphasizes a connection or likeness between two ideas.

Regarding the purpose and effect of actions or events, transition words like “purpose” and “effect” can be employed to establish a clear connection between the cause and the result. “Illustration” can be utilized to provide examples or further clarify a particular concept or scenario.

In closing, transition words such as “in conclusion” and “all things considered” act as a signal for readers that the discourse is coming to an end, summarizing the core ideas and bringing the discussion to a close.

Ultimately, using transition words effectively is a matter of fact, and plays a crucial role in enhancing the readability and coherence of any written piece. By incorporating these entities appropriately, writers can make their articles clear, concise, and engaging for the readers.

FAQs on Transition Words

What are transition words?

Transition words are words or phrases used to connect sentences and ideas in writing. They help to create cohesiveness and a logical flow between different thoughts or paragraphs. Examples of transition words include ‘however,’ ‘moreover,’ ‘in addition,’ and ‘on the other hand.’

Why are transition words important?

Transition words are crucial for a smooth and coherent writing style, as they help guide readers through the text. They signal the relationships between ideas and make it easier for the reader to understand how different points are connected, improving the overall flow and readability of the text.

What are the types of transition words?

There are four main types of transition words:

  1. Additive: These words introduce or add new information, such as ‘in addition,’ ‘moreover,’ and ‘furthermore.’
  2. Adversative: These words contrast or show a difference between two ideas, such as ‘however,’ ‘on the other hand,’ and ‘nevertheless.’
  3. Causal: These words show cause and effect relationships, such as ‘because,’ ‘due to,’ and ‘therefore.’
  4. Sequential: These words guide the reader through a sequence of events or ideas, such as ‘first,’ ‘next,’ ‘then,’ and ‘finally.’

When should transition words be used in writing?

Transition words should be used whenever there is a need to link ideas, sentences, or paragraphs together. They can be used to introduce new points, show a relationship between ideas, or clarify the meaning of a sentence. When used effectively, transition words make writing more coherent and easy to read.

How can transition words be used effectively?

To use transition words effectively, consider the following tips:

  • Choose the appropriate transition word based on the relationship between the ideas being connected.
  • Don’t overuse transition words; this can make the writing feel choppy.
  • Be consistent with your use of transition words throughout your text.
  • Practice using different types of transition words to get a feel for their nuances and applications.

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