Transition words: What are they and how to use them?
Transitional words are a part of speech that is used to connect words, phrases, or sentences. They help the reader to connect one idea to another, hence creating cohesion and coherence within the text.
Types of transition words
There are three types of transitions in English texts:
- Transitions between sections: In long written works, it is necessary to include transitional paragraphs to summarize information covered and to link this information to the coming section.
- Transitions between paragraphs: Transition words help to highlight the relationship between the two paragraphs. The transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transition words can be at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph, or in both places.
- Transitions within paragraphs: Transitions within paragraphs help readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transition words tend to be single words or short phrases.
There are about 200 transitional words in the English vocabulary; they are used to convey the following transitions:
- to connect ideas – and, also
- introduce a particular shift – but
- contrast – otherwise, however
- opposition – on the other hand, notwithstanding
- emphasis – notably
- agreement – granted
- purpose – in the event that
- result – as a result
- conclusion – as it can be seen
Transitional words can belong to more than one word-category and can also be prepositions.
Categories of transitional words:
These transition words are a sample of the 200 or more transition words in English. They are used to express the followings:
Cause / Condition / Purpose
These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions.
|in the event that||granted (that)||as / so long as|
|on (the) condition (that)||for the purpose of||with this intention|
|in the hope that||to the end that||with this in mind|
Agreement / Addition / Similarity
These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions:
|in the event that||also||moreover|
|on (the) condition (that)||equally||as well as|
|in the hope that||too||likewise|
Examples / Support / Emphasis
These transitional words are used to introduce examples to support, to indicate importance or to illustrate an idea
|in other words||notably||in fact|
|to put it differently||including||in general|
|that is to say||including||in particular|
Effect / Consequence / Result
These transitional words indicate that after a certain time there was a consequence or effect.
|in that case||for||consequently|
|as a result||thus||therefore|
|for this reason||hence||henceforth|
Conclusion / Summary / Restatement
These transition words and phrases conclude and summarize ideas, or indicate a final statement.
|as can be seen||after all||Obviously|
|as a result||in fact||Ultimately|
|for this reason||to summarize||Definitely|
Time / Chronology / Sequence
These transitional words have the function of defining time
|at the present time||after||during|
|sooner or later||henceforth||prior to|
|for this reason||next||by the time|
Space / Location / Place
These transitional words limit or quantity space.
|in the middle||here||beyond|
|in front of||there||prior to|
|on this side||near||amid|
Transitions are words or phrases that connect sentences and paragraphs; they bring the reader from one idea to the next. When one subject is concluded, the next subject must be introduced smoothly.