Transition Words and Phrases for Writing

How to use transition words and phrases in your writing

In English, transition words are functional parts of speech that writers use to help readers move easily and clearly from one idea to another without confusion or loss of clarity.

Transition words also add necessary organization and structure to any writing and are critical for creative, expository, or academic writing. Successful writers use common transition words and phrases in both fiction and non-fiction works - research papers, essays, stories, narratives, and other prose types directly benefit from these important writing constructs.

Use this list of 100+ transitional words and phrases for instances where you need to provide comparison/contrast, summarization, conclusion, or to indicate more information.

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Examples of transition words and phrases

Also called connecting or linking words, transition words and phrases help establish clear connections between ideas and ensure that sentences and paragraphs flow together smoothly, making them easier to read.

Using transitional words properly is crucial to the development of good writing composition skills. Use the following words and phrases in the following circumstances.

Cause, Purpose, or Intent Transition Words

Here is a list of transition words/linking words and phrases when you want to indicate cause, intent, or condition. They can be coordinating conjunctions, prepositions, adverbs, etc.

Example: "We can probably finish this hike in less than two hours, as long as we stick to the marked trails and don't stop too often to rest."

Types of transition words for cause, purpose, and intent:

  • As
  • As long as
  • Because
  • Because of
  • Due to
  • For
  • For the reason that
  • For the purpose of
  • Given that
  • In order to
  • If...then
  • In case of
  • In light of
  • On condition of
  • Only if
  • Out of fear of
  • Outside of
  • On account of
  • On balance
  • Only with
  • Only in
  • Owing to
  • Provided that
  • Sincet
  • Seeing as
  • Unless
  • When
  • Whenever
  • Whether
  • While

Effect, Consequence, or Result Words & Phrases

These connecting words and phrases demonstrate effects or results, cause and effect, and are sometimes used to denote consequences that occur after the fact (using time words like "after" and "then"). They are predominantly conjunctive adverbs and are mostly used when starting a new paragraph.

Example: "Kevin never changed the oil in his car - as a result, the engine seized and he had to pay $2000 to get it replaced."

Use transition words for better accessibility. Below are some examples of transitional expressions:

  • Accordingly
  • Finally
  • Consequently
  • Hence
  • So
  • Therefore
  • Thus
  • In that case
  • Henceforth
  • In that case
  • As a result
  • Due to circumstances
  • Then
  • Because of that
  • In light of that
  • For that reason

Comparison or Agreement Transition Words

These transition phrases and words reinforce the concepts and ideas directly preceding them, or enable the reader to directly compare two preceding statements, previous arguments, ideas, or concepts.

Example: "Needing to gain only 2 yards for a critical first down, the coach was faced with going for it or kicking the ball away. Calling a pass play seemed the safest bet. Moreover, the quarterback hadn't thrown an incomplete pass all game."

Check the following examples:

  • Moreover
  • Comparatively
  • Similarly
  • In similar fashion
  • Identically
  • Likewise
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • In light of
  • In the same vein
  • Equally
  • Additionally
  • As a matter of fact
  • First of all
  • In the first place
  • Like
  • Then
  • As
  • Compared to
  • Although
  • Likewise
  • Too
  • In the same way
  • Of course
  • In addition to
  • Identically
  • Part and parcel of
  • By the same token
  • Not only
  • But also

Contrast or Contradiction Words & Phrases

Use these transition words and phrases to point out differences in ideas, or suggest to the reader that there are alternative ideas to consider.

Example: "The coach decided to go for it on 4th down, albeit with a very simple quarterback sneak."

  • However
  • Conversely
  • Despite
  • In spite of
  • Besides
  • Nonetheless
  • Nevertheless
  • Be that as it may
  • On the contrary
  • Otherwise
  • In reality
  • Despite
  • Although
  • Then again
  • Regardless
  • After all
  • While
  • But
  • Even though
  • Whereas
  • Rather than
  • Even so
  • Even though
  • Unlike
  • Yet
  • After all
  • At the same time
  • Even so
  • And yet
  • In contrast with

Sequence and Time Transition Words

Convey a sequence of events or the structure and limits of time with these transition words.

Example: "Attention, passengers: At the present time, the subway is delayed because of a signal issue at the Ashmont station."

  • At the present time
  • After
  • Before
  • Currently
  • Eventually
  • Finally
  • Formerly
  • Immediately
  • Initially
  • Lastly
  • Later
  • Meanwhile
  • Next
  • Previously
  • Simultaneously
  • Soon
  • Subsequently
  • To begin with
  • All of a sudden
  • Henceforth
  • During
  • Prior to
  • At the same time
  • In an instant
  • Now that
  • Quickly
  • Once in awhile
  • In time
  • Right this minute
  • Not a second too soon

Transition Words for Place and Location

Indicate location, presence, and state with these transition words.

Example: "The town finally voted to build a new high school adjacent to the old railway station."

  • Above
  • Over
  • Under
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • By
  • Next to
  • Below
  • Behind
  • Around
  • Opposite
  • Adjacent
  • Central to
  • In the background
  • To the right/left
  • In the back/front
  • In front of
  • Further
  • Nearer
  • Alongside
  • In proximity to
  • Kitty-corner to/from
  • Across from
  • In the vicinity of
  • Inward
  • Outward
  • Amid
  • Across
  • On the horizon
  • In the distance

Summarizing and Concluding Transition Words

Use these connecting words and phrases to summarize ideas and concepts, convey conclusions to readers, or restate particular ideas and concepts.

Example: "Generally speaking, commuting into the city usually takes me an hour, except on rainy or snowy days, when it can take as many as 3 hours to get to work."

  • Briefly
  • In brief
  • Overall
  • In summary
  • To sum up
  • To summarize
  • In the final analysis
  • Mostly
  • For the most part
  • At the end of the day
  • After all is said and done
  • In essence
  • By and large
  • Overall
  • On balance
  • Altogether
  • In the short run
  • As noted
  • All things considered
  • Hence
  • In conclusion
  • Thus
  • To conclude
  • All in all
  • As demonstrated
  • As discussed
  • As decided
  • As indicated
  • Finally
  • In fact

Examples, Emphasis, and More Information

This group of linking words and phrases will help illustrate, add more information, and provide examples for readers.

Example: "There were a number of accidents and breakdowns on the highway today - surprisingly, I still made it to school on time."

  • Besides
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • Indeed
  • Moreover
  • For example
  • For instance
  • In particular
  • Particularly
  • Specifically
  • To illustrate
  • To demonstrate
  • For this reason
  • Namely
  • In detail
  • To explain
  • Such as
  • Frequently
  • In this case
  • Putting it another way
  • That is
  • By all means
  • In general
  • Generally
  • Truly
  • Surely
  • Hypothetically
  • Putting it differently
  • Significantly
  • In fact

A crucial writing tip every writer must adopt is the use of transition words. It’s essential to establish smooth comparisons and additions and links the entire paragraphs effectively. You can use a comma to separate the transition word from the rest of the sentence. Additionally, you can use a semicolon between two independent clauses connected with a transition word. Lastly, variation is key when using transition words, so use synonyms to avoid repetition.

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