Transitional word lists are important for students to have when learning to write. Transitional words are used in writing to link paragraphs, sentences and ideas. This linkage using verbs, adverbs, conjunctions or prepositional phrases adds to the clarity and complexity of writing and serves to better communicate the message being transmitted by the writer. The following examples of transitional words are presented in different categories and show that transitional words can be used in and between sentences, as well as between paragraphs.
Transitional words can be used to add to a central point. Consider the following example:
The transitional words here are "coupled with" as shown in italics in the sentence. In this case, those words connect two separate pieces of evidence into a basis for an action.
Transitional words are commonly used to provide alternatives in the message the writer is attempting to communicate. Very common alternative words are "or" and "either."
A more complex transitional word in this category is "alternatively" as used in the following example:
The transitional word "alternatively" distinguishes between two separate courses of action open to the bank.
In writing, it is a common to make comparisons in the course of communication. Common transitional comparison words are "but," "conversely," "similarly" and "by way of comparison." These words can be used both within the structure of a sentence or used to link separate sentences or whole paragraphs.
For example, consider the transitional phrase "by way of comparison" as the beginning sentence in a paragraph concerning educational research:
Both in fiction and in academic writing, the author often needs to make a point offering evidence in support of or proving a particular point. Common transitional words used to accomplish this include: "given these facts," "in the final analysis," "since," and "evidently."
This can be seen in the following example:
Transitional words are essential in setting times and chronology of action in writing. Transitional words used for these purposes include:
Consider an example of a reporter commenting on the status of tabulating election night results:
Other transitional words fall into a category called quantifiers. These words define differences between amounts, whether of physical materials or in reference to ideas. Common quantifiers are:
Consider the following example:
There are times when a writer wants to make clear to the reader that a new idea, section or sequence is about to begin. Certain transitional words serve as introductions to make it clear that a new section is commencing.
Introduction words examples are:
Transitional words used correctly greatly enhance the ability of a writer to convey a message and allow a reader a clearer understanding of what is being presented.
Several of the examples presented show that transitional words are also necessary in spoken language as well as the written word. They allow the placement of ideas and concepts without extensive written or spoken explanation.
Transitional words allow for both shortcuts and amplification in the same word groupings depending on the use and placement of the words. For those interested in the clearest communication of their message in either written or spoken form, mastery of transitional words is an essential skill.
Create and save customized word lists. Sign up today and start improving your vocabulary!