Transition words are like sprinkles on a cupcake – they make your writing even sweeter! They‘re words that help connect ideas, paragraphs, and sentences, allowing your writing to flow smoothly from one point to the next. You’ve no doubt read them before, perhaps without even knowing what they are.
Some common transition words include “however,” “therefore,” “in addition,” and “consequently,” but there are hundreds of them. If that sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry! Some are far more common and if you’re learning how to write or learn English, you can always add them to your vocabulary as you improve.
For now, here’s a big list of the most common transition words in the English language. So, explore them, become familiar, and maybe even memorize a few to use on your own.
Conclusion and Summary Transition Words
Conclusion and summary transition words and phrases are used to indicate that the writer is summarizing the main points or drawing a final conclusion from the evidence presented. These transition words and phrases can be used at the beginning of a sentence to signal the conclusion of a paragraph or section of a paper, or at the end of a sentence to signal that the writer is summarizing or drawing a conclusion from the information presented.
As can be seen, in the final analysis, in conclusion, in brief, in sum, on the whole, to conclude, to summarize, ultimately, to sum up, in summary, generally speaking, in closing, to put it briefly, to recapitulate, in short, in essence, in a nutshell, in the end, in the long run, to conclude, in the final tally, all in all, all things considered, to sum it all up, in the final analysis, in short, in essence, altogether, overall, ultimately
Opposition and Contradiction Transition Words
Opposition or contradiction transition words and phrases are used to express opposition, limitation, or contradiction between two ideas and help the reader know to expect an opposing argument.
In contrast, of course, but, on the other hand, in spite of, then again, in reality, besides, even so, conversely, despite, yet, however, notwithstanding, on the contrary, still, although, instead of, regardless of, in opposition to, in defiance of, in disagreement with, notwithstanding, on the flip side, in defiance of, despite that
Results and Effects Transition Words
Effect/Consequence/Result transition words and phrases are used to connect two ideas and draw a relationship between them. They are used to explain the cause-and-effect relationship between two events or actions. These transitions can be used to emphasize the consequence of an action or the effect of a situation.
consequently, thus, hence, accordingly, effectively, ultimately, eventually, because, as a result, when this happens, in effect, thus, for, then, therefore, accordingly
Location-Based Transition Words
Space and location transition words and phrases are used when transitioning between ideas to indicate a change in location, or to help the reader understand that the writer is referring to something in a different area or time. They help the reader to understand the context of the writing, and can be used to establish a sense of continuity within the text.
Across, along, around, at, beyond, down, from, in, inside, into, near, off, on, out, outside, over, to, toward, under, up, within, in the middle, via, through, by, beside, adjacent to, among, amid, between, in front of, in the back of, opposite, above, below, beneath, beyond, next to, nearby, far away, adjacent, in the vicinity of, in the region of, in the area of, in the neighborhood of
Support and Example Transition Words
Support transition words and phrases are used to show agreement or to strengthen an argument. These words and phrases can be used to provide additional evidence for a point, to reinforce an idea, or to demonstrate understanding of a topic.
Indeed, in fact, certainly, clearly, for example, for instance, to demonstrate, notably, including, like, to be sure, namely, to put it differently, to illustrate, specifically, particularly, in particular, especially, in fact, chiefly, indeed, unquestionably, undeniably, surely, emphatically, unquestionably, undeniably, positively, certainly, absolutely, undeniably, without a doubt
Causal and Conditional Transition Words
These types of transition words and phrases are used to connect ideas or sentences that are related to a cause, a condition, or a purpose.
In the event that, granted (that), so long as, for the purpose of, with this in mind, in the hope that, in order to, if (something) then, when, due to, in order to achieve, as a result of, to the end that, provided (that), with the aim of, in order to facilitate, in order to prevent, with the intention of, so as to, with the objective of
Time and Sequence Based Transition Words
Time or sequence transition words and phrases are used to indicate the order in which events have occurred, or are about to occur. They can be used to indicate the passage of time, to signal a change in the chronological order of events, or to show a relationship between two events.
First, next, then, later, in the meantime, subsequently, finally, in conclusion, prior to, at the same time, concurrently, immediately, eventually, in the end, previously, shortly, simultaneously, meanwhile, subsequently, soon, beforehand, afterward, in due course, in the future, afterward, ultimately, at length, to begin with, from time to time, at the present time, since, now, whenever, occasionally
While learning how and when to use transition words in your own writing isn’t easy, it’s how the best writers in history make their work so darn easy to read! Mixing and matching different transitions with the points you are trying to make is a way to keep your reader engaged, and more importantly, more willing to continue reading your thoughts! Just be sure not to overuse any particular one, as it tends to make writing a bit more bland and repetitive. Good luck!
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