English wRIting Consultant (ERIC)

Transition words

English wRIting Consultant (ERIC)

By Karen Xu

July 11, 2017

Transitions words link the previous sentence to the next sentence. One common mistake is using a transition word without knowing how it relates to the previous sentence.

There are four main categories for transition words, with examples for each subcategory.

Additive – Gives more information about or supports a topic


Addition: also, in addition, or, indeed, furthermore

Introduction: for example, such as

Reference: regarding, as for (this)

Similarity: similarly, likewise

Identification: namely, specifically

Clarification: in other words

Adversative – show some kind of contrast to the previous topic


Conflict: however, in contrast, whereas

Emphasis: even more, above all, indeed

Concession: still, nevertheless, on the other hand

Dismissal: either way, in any case

Replacement: (or) at least, (or) rather, instead

Causal – shows cause -> effect/result


Cause/Reason: because, being that, for, due to, since

Condition: in the event that, granted, if, unless, even if

Effect/Result: as a result, consequently, hence, so that, so

Purpose: with this intention, to the end that, in the hope that, in order to

Consequence: under the circumstance that, in that case, if not

Sequential – show a chronological or sequential order


Numerical: first, initially, second, for a start

Continuation: subsequently, previously, afterwards, eventually

Conclusion: in the end, to conclude, finally, eventually, lastly

Digression: by the way, incidentally, to change the topic

Resumption: to resume, to get back to the point, to return to the subject, anyway

Summation: so, in summary, in conclusion, altogether, overall, briefly

If you feel that you are using too much of one transition, pick another one! Vary your language so that it does not repeat words to make it sound more sophisticated!

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