List of Transition Words and How to Use Them

Have you ever gotten a paper back and found it covered in red ink? A common critique you may see is that your work lacks transition words at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph. Or you may get stuck in a rut using the same transition words over and over. It can be difficult to think of different words in the moment, so we’ve compiled a handy list to help you pick the perfect transition words to help you make the grade.

Word Cloud With List Transition Words Word Cloud With List Transition Words
Advertisement

51 Common and Useful Transition Words

Transition words are the glue that holds your writing together and makes it more comprehensive and easy to read. Sometimes transition words are single words, and other times they are whole phrases, such as “for example” or “as well as.”

above all

according to

additionally

after(wards)

also

alternatively

although

as a matter of fact

as a result (of)

as well as

at the same time

before

besides

by all means

compared to

earlier

either

especially

even so

even though

finally

first

for example

for instance

for the most part

for this reason

further(more)

generally

however

in other words

in particular

in relation to

in short

in summary

in the meantime

in this case

including

lastly

likewise

meanwhile

moreover

neither

not to mention

on the contrary

on the other hand

ordinarily

otherwise

particularly

regularly

secondly

similarly

simply

still

subsequently

therefore

though

to summarize

usually

whatever

yet


39 Less Common Transition Words

Some transition words are more formal or specific and are therefore used less often. However, they are a perfect way to make your writing stand out from the crowd.

accordingly

all the more

as a rule

as an example

beyond

by contrast

certainly

consequently

conversely

coupled with

demonstrably

hence(forth)

in the first place

in the same manner

in which case

inexplicably

namely

opposite

over time

put another way

notwithstanding

singularly

so then

surely

thereby

this is why

thus

to be sure

to begin with

to clarify

to illustrate

to that end

to the left/right

to the point

undeniably

under

undoubtedly

what is more

wherefore

Purpose of Transition Words

Transition words are the threads that tie the rest of your work together. Instead of having disjointed and clunky sentences, you can smooth out rough edges with cohesive transition words. When and where to use transition words and phrases will depend on what you are writing and what works in different types of sentences. For example, if you are writing a paper for school you should use a more formal voice than you would in everyday conversation. This also depends on the type of essay.

Advertisement

Transition Words Make a Difference

It's important to make sure transitional words flow naturally. To determine whether or not you need a transition word at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph, look at the sentence with and without the transition word or phrase and compare the results.

Without Transition Words

With Transition Words

Carla couldn’t sleep the night before her big presentation. She needed an extra large cup of coffee before work.

Carla couldn’t sleep the night before her presentation. Therefore, she needed an extra large cup of coffee before work.

Jeffrey, we’ll be ready to leave for the trip in 20 minutes. Fill up the car with gas, please.

Jeffrey, we’ll be ready to leave for the trip in 20 minutes. In the meantime, fill up the car with gas, please.

The trip through the desert was long and tiring for the crew. They all agreed it was worth it.

The trip through the desert was long and tiring for the crew. Afterward, they all agreed it was worth it.

Denise decided to stop doing her homework. She failed freshman English.

Denise decided to stop doing her homework. Consequently, she failed freshman English.

Last night, I had a vivid dream. I was living in Paris. I went online and booked a trip.

Last night, I had a vivid dream. I was living in Paris. As a result, I went online and booked a trip.


Thread Your Work Together

The purpose of transition words is to weave your points together and guide the reader through your work. You can use them in all forms of writing, but they are particularly handy when writing an essay. Read more about how and when to use transitions in essay writing.