Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

When learning a language it can be easy to use one sentence after another without linking relevant information together but transition words help you to avoid this. In fluent language, this makes speech more coherent and allows the listener to more easily understand the link between two points or ideas.

These words are some of the most commonly used within the English language and in order to improve your ability to communicate in the language, it important to learn them. In this article, we are going to be looking at what a transition word it, how they are used and why it is important to have a good knowledge of them as you progress through your language learning journey. We will also be exploring some examples of transition words being used within a sentence,

What Are Transition Words?

The most simple way of explaining what transition words are is to say that they are words that join one idea to another in a sentence. This avoids having many overly concise sentences which can cause speech to sound disjointed and unnatural. Consider the following example:

  • My brother is going to France. My brother is going to Spain. My brother is going to Russia. My brother loves to travel.

These sentences can be easily understood by any English speaker but they do not flow and all four of the sentences could be made into one sentence through the use of transition words. Let’s explore how this might look:

  • My brother is going to France and to Spain then to Russia because he loves to travel.

It isn’t difficult to see how much better this sentence flows and the listener can connect each idea much more freely.

Another job of the transition word is to let your listener or reader know what is going to happen next. These words do not always need to be used on their own, there are also opportunities to create a transition phrase to further inform the listener or reader how the two ideas are connected. Through the use of transition words and phrases, you can lead your audience from one idea to the next. Think about these sentences.

  • The girl stole from her employed. She lost her job.

Now when we add a transition phrase, the two ideas become linked and much more easy to follow.

  • The girl stole from her employer and as a result lost her job.

A transition word or phrase can link two sentences but they may also link together two paragraphs or simply two clauses. In essence, they are considered to be the glue that will hold your speech together, in other words – they are super important.

Why Should You Learn Transition Words?

Whilst it is perfectly doable to speak English without transition words, this will make your speech and writing sound much less natural and quite often, disjointed and unpleasant to hear.

In order to effectively convey your thoughts and ideas, transition words are essential and they will certainly give your English a more native feel. Using transition words and phrases will allow you to show your audience that two sentences are related to one another in some way.

Types Of Transition Words

It may come as little surprise that there are is more than one type of transition word and learning their types can go a long way in helping you to select the right word or phrase to use in your speaking or writing. Let’s take a look at the most commonly used types of transition words along with some examples of how they might look when used in a sentence.

Conclusion Transition Words

You might see these words used in the following sentences:

  • The threatening strike did not take place after all.
  • Sometimes she is grouchy, but all in all, she is an excellent teacher.
  • I think the party was great, all things considered – I mean we didn’t have much time to prepare and no help, but it still went well.
  • Altogether, our achievements are very great.
  • By and large, these people are peace-loving, law-abiding citizens.
  • Definitely, she has got something to hold over old rival Adam.
  • Finally, he returned to the official line from which he had swerved.
  • For the most part, he left the books to his managers and accountants.
  • In a word, I can’t go out as I have many things to do.
  • In any event, the bowling alley restaurant proved quite acceptable.
  • We should, in brief, invest heavily in digital systems.
  • Briefly, she ran through details of the morning’s events.
  • In conclusion, walking is a cheap, safe, enjoyable and readily available form of exercise.
  • In either case, the term lacks the generative force to stimulate investigation and to produce verifiable hypotheses.
  • In essence, you are rewarding the behaviour, so he is even more likely to repeat it.
  • In short, the style concerns not what a writer says but how he says.
  • In summary, there are well established, simple procedures for giving judgments credibility.
  • In the end, they had to amputate his foot to free him from the wrecked car.
  • In the final analysis, humour is a matter of individual interpretation.
  • In the long run, it does not work; if it did, the parents would not be asking for advice.
  • On balance, the book is a friendly, down-to-earth introduction to physics.
  • On the whole, I thought the film was pretty good.
  • Ordinarily, we send a reminder about a month before payment is required.
  • Overall, the tone of the book is satirical/the book is satirical in tone.
  • We do not own the building. Thus, it would be impossible for us to make any major changes to it.
  • To conclude, Safrotin made in China is high efficiency and low toxicity acaricide.
  • To sum up, damp walls are not disastrous structurally, but the cause must be ascertained and the condition rectified.
  • To summarize, the organic compounds found in cells are built up and broken down by enzymes.
  • Ultimately, you’ll have to make the decision yourself.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Addition Transition Words

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • A new contract is in place. Additionally, staff will be offered a bonus scheme.
  • The company provides cheap Internet access. In addition, it makes shareware freely available.
  • The tragedy of the world is that those who are imaginative have but slight experience. And, those who are experienced have feeble imaginations.
  • We heard them coming and coming on the jump, too.
  • He is old and unpopular. Furthermore, he has at best only two years of political life ahead of him.
  • In addition to the photos, nothing is taken away; In addition to the footprints, nothing left.
  • Not only are mothers not paid but also most of their boring or difficult work is unnoticed.
  • No man can be brave who considers pain the greatest evil of life; or temperate, who regards pleasure as the highest good.
  • Can someone remind me what I should do next?
  • I am not how free and easy, nor is it how sad, I’m just used to silence.
  • There are always new projects which seem to put the reunion back further.
  • It’s easy to fall into a trap, but hard to get out again.
  • There’s something else I’d like to talk about as well.
  • Since you left crushing the dream with, then I choose in perishing in addition.
  • The whole report is badly written. Moreover, it’s inaccurate.
  • I need the money. And besides, when I agree to do something, I do it.
  • Specifically, she develops two areas, feminist theory and liberation theology, as potential candidates to regenerate the social group work movement.
  • To illustrate, consider discount security with 246 days to maturity with a discount rate of 9.43 per cent.
  •  Car prices can vary a lot. For example, in Belgium, the VW Golf costs $1000 less than in Britain.
  • The emergency building is transported in individual modules, such as bedrooms and a kitchen, which are put together on site.
  • You cannot rely on her; for instance, she arrived an hour late for an important meeting yesterday.
  • By the same token, they say that the devil is actively at work as a supernatural force.
  • The UK, uniquely, has not had to face the problem of mass unemployment.
  • Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; he who would search for pearls must dive below.
  • The clams were delicious. Likewise, the eggplant was excellent.
  • Along with the time flies we grew up gradually, become increasingly miss myself benighted.
  • The decorations were absolutely beautiful and what’s more, the children had made them themselves.
  •  Except for what he spent on haircuts, books and daily necessities he never wasted a penny.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Emphasis Transition Words

  • Even
  • Indeed
  • In fact
  • Of course
  • Truly
  • Notably
  • Including
  • To be sure
  • Namely
  • Chiefly
  • Truly
  • Indeed
  • Certainly
  • Surely
  • Markedly
  • Especially
  • Explicitly
  • Specifically
  • Expressly
  • Surprisingly
  • Frequently
  • Significantly
  • Particularly

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • Even in a highly-skilled workforce, some people will be more capable and thus better paid than others.
  • Indeed, it could be the worst environmental disaster in Western Europe this century.
  • He’s not at all exciting, in fact, he’s really rather commonplace.
  • Of course, I don’t mind taking you home – I’m going that way anyway.
  • Truly, I could not have done this without you.
  • I care about you all, including the man you love.
  • He is intelligent, to be sure, but he’s also very lazy.
  • The railroad connects two cities, namely, New York and Chicago.
  • Chiefly, I ask you to remember to write to your elderly mother.
  • Truly, I could not have done this without you.
  • Indeed, it could be the worst environmental disaster in Western Europe this century.
  • Certainly, the early learning years are crucial to a child’s educational development.
  • Surely, you don’t expect me to take your potty suggestions seriously?
  • The car is quite small, especially if you have children.
  • In a recent speech he also explicitly linked the heatwave to climate change.
  • Specifically, the department wanted answers to the following questions.
  • Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
  • Surprisingly, he made this important policy speech without prior clearance from his superiors.
  • Frequently, men who check answer have not actually had the experience of being repeatedly rejected by women.
  • Significantly, the company recently opened a huge store in Atlanta.
  • He was an artist, not particularly tidy, too dreamy to match her ways.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Order Transition Words

  • First
  • Second
  • Third
  • Next
  • Then
  • Finally
  • Lastly
  • Moreover
  • In addition

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • First, I’ll explain the rules of the game.
  • Second, wish you will love English and make progress every day!
  • Third, they accused the West of dumping out-of-date medicines on Third World countries.
  • Next, We have overspent. We’ll have to let up our expenditures.
  • Since you left crushing the dream with, then I choose in perishing in addition.
  • Finally, he returned to the official line from which he had swerved.
  • Lastly, I would like to thank my parents for all their support.
  • They knew the painting was a forgery. Moreover, they knew who had painted it.
  • In addition, there are six other applicants.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Contrast Transition Words

  • Although
  • Instead
  • Whereas
  • Despite
  • Conversely
  • Otherwise
  • However
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Regardless of
  • Notwithstanding
  • In contrast
  • Different from
  • Of course …
  • But
  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • At the same time
  • In spite of
  • Even so / though
  • Be that as it may
  • Then again
  • Above all
  • In reality
  • After all
  • Unlike
  • While
  • Albeit
  • Besides
  • As much as
  • Even though
  • Yet
  • On the one hand
  • In comparison
  • Nor
  • Though
  • By contrast
  • Alternatively
  • Despite this
  • Because of
  • In contrast to
  • Even so
  • Moreover
  • As well as
  • Together with
  • Of course
  • Likewise
  • Correspondingly
  • Similarly
  • Furthermore
  • Additionally

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • Although I poured it carefully, I still managed to spill some.
  • Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.
  • He must be about sixty, whereas his wife looks about thirty.
  • Despite a bright start, Liverpool lost the match.
  • Conversely, if a person expects that meeting deadlines will not earn praise, he or she may not be as motivated.
  • Turn off the gas when the milk boils. Otherwise, it will be spilt.
  • This is a cheap and simple process. However, there are dangers.
  • She was very tired, nevertheless, she kept on working.
  • There was still a long way to go. Nonetheless, some progress had been made.
  • The health centre serves all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Notwithstanding some members’ objections, I think we must go ahead with the plan.
  • In contrast, the lives of girls in well-to-do families were often very sheltered.
  • Of course, I don’t mind taking you home – I’m going that way anyway.
  • One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a man.
  • On the other hand, no new direction was immediately apparent.
  • You think you are clever; on the contrary, I assure that you are very foolish.
  • In spite of my efforts, the boy remained passive.
  • Above all, fishing requires great patience.
  • Though she looked calm, in reality, she was churned up inside.
  • Every man should marry. After all, happiness is not the only thing in life.
  • Unlike other trees, it doesn’t taper very much. It stays fat all the way up.
  • Other men live to eat, while I eat to live.
  • I don’t want to come out now, and besides, I must work.
  • She never took a taxi, even though she could afford to.
  • On the one hand, a message of change was needed in order to win new voters.
  • He was a loud friendly man. In comparison, his brother was rather shy.
  • Though she’s almost 40, she still plans to compete.
  • By contrast, the comparable figure for the Netherlands is 16 per cent.
  • Alternatively, manufacturers have recently produced a colour changer.
  • Because of the fire, hundreds of houses went up in smoke.
  • The skin lesions, in contrast to those of secondary syphilis, are asymmetrical.
  • There are a lot of spelling mistakes; even so, it’s quite a good essay.
  • The whole report is badly written. Moreover, it’s inaccurate.
  • Of course, I don’t mind taking you home – I’m going that way anyway.
  • The clams were delicious. Likewise, the eggplant was excellent.
  • Correspondingly, the police have become gradually more independent of local capitalist interests.
  • Similarly, an event like the landing of astronauts on the moon either has taken place or it hasn’t.
  • He is old and unpopular. Furthermore, he has at best only two years of political life ahead of him.
  • A new contract is in place. Additionally, staff will be offered a bonus scheme.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Cause & Effect Transition Words

  • In the event that
  • Granted (that)
  • As / so long as
  • On (the) condition (that)
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • In the hope that
  • To the end that
  • For fear that
  • In order to
  • Seeing/being that
  • In view of
  • If… then
  • Unless
  • When
  • Whenever
  • While
  • Because of
  • As
  • Since
  • While
  • In case
  • Provided that
  • Given that
  • Only / even if
  • So that
  • So as to
  • Owing to
  • Inasmuch as
  • Due to

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • In the event that, he has not been told, I will tell him.
  • Granted that the firm has not broken the law, is the law what it should be?
  • There is always a solution, so long as you are prepared to use your ingenuity.
  • You can go out on condition that you wear an overcoat.
  • For the purpose of all art is to mediate between the invisible spirit world and the visible body of nature.
  • With this intention firmly planted in her mind, she headed for the back stairs leading down into the kitchens.
  • With this in mind, what methods should, in fact, be familiar to you?
  • She stayed in the hope that he’d tire of his bit on the side.
  • To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.
  • We spoke in whispers for fear that we might wake the baby.
  • We should plant more and more trees in order to live better and more healthy in the future.
  • Seeing that he could not carry out his plan, he flung up his cards.
  • Voluntary work was particularly important in view of the fact that women were often forced to give up paid work on the marriage.
  • Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you give it to others.
  • I shook with terror whenever I was about to fly in an aeroplane.
  • He dies like a beast who has done no good while he lived.
  • He couldn’t take that job at the zoo because of his epilepsy.
  • A man is not a horse since he was born in a stable.
  • The tortoise wins the race while the hare is sleeping.
  • Dad brought a notebook along to the beach, in case he was seized by sudden inspiration.
  • He’s welcome to come along, provided that he behaves himself.
  • Given that they’re inexperienced, they’ve done a good job.
  • Even if you did see someone, you can’t be sure it was him.
  • We must sink a borehole so that people will have water.
  • Please address your letters properly so as to reduce delays.
  • The project was running late owing to unforeseen circumstances.
  • His duty is to assist the aggrieved person inasmuch as he is able.
  • The flight has been cancelled due to mechanical failure.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Illustration Transition Words

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • Some strong alcoholic drinks such as whisky are made by distilling.
  • What you are saying may be true, but in this case, it is completely beside the question.
  • For one thing, I’ve no money; and for another, I’m too busy.
  • There are a number of improvements; for instance, both mouse buttons can now be used.
  • Let us suppose, for example, that you are married with two children.
  • In the case of automobiles, you have a choice of valuation methods, and choosing the wrong one can be costly.
  • This type of analysis is best illustrated by the following specific example.
  • As an example of unconscious wealth, Ely cited an obedient, diligent, and faithful son.
  • To illustrate my point I have done a comparative analysis.
  • Thousands have braved icy rain to demonstrate their support.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Comparison Transition Words

  • As …as
  • As if
  • Equally
  • Similarly
  • Like
  • In the same way
  • In like manner

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • Be always as merry as ever you can, for no-one delights in a sorrowful man.
  • The house seemed muted, hushed as if it had been deserted.
  • Justice mandates that we should treat all candidates equally.
  • Similarly, lawyers parcel out work based on who does that best.
  • We like them in the same way that we like pretty curtain material.
  • Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Time Transition Words

  • Following
  • Previously
  • At this time
  • Subsequently
  • Before
  • Above all
  • Last but not least
  • After
  • Later
  • Last
  • Until
  • Till
  • Since
  • Then
  • Before
  • Hence
  • When
  • Once
  • About
  • Next
  • Now
  • Formerly
  • Suddenly
  • Shortly
  • Immediately
  • Quickly
  • Finally

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • He was sick in the evening, but the following day he was better.
  • The device had been used operationally some months previously.
  • At this time of sorrow, deep sympathy goes to you and yours.
  • Subsequently, new guidelines were issued to all employees.
  • Count not your chickens before they are hatched. 
  • Above all, remember that there is no such thing as a safe bet.
  • Last but not least, I would like to thank my wife for her support.
  • Pride goes before, and shame follows after.
  • Shush! Here he comes. I’ll talk to you later.
  • The last drop makes the cup run over. 
  • The education of a man never completed until he dies.
  • Don’t cast out the foul water till you bring in the clean.
  • It’s a long time since she ate out last time.
  • Since you left crushing the dream with, then I choose in perishing in addition.
  • Count not your chickens before they are hatched.
  • Peter’s leaving at the end of this week – hence his anxiety to get his work finished.
  • When I lent I had a friend; when I asked he was unkind.
  • He that is one born once must die.
  • I’m trying not to be sentimental about the past.
  • He was considering what to do next.
  • The worse luck now, the better another time.
  • Formerly, most of our household utensils were made of brass.
  • Suddenly, the man brought a gun out and threatened the driver with it.
  • The Senate is expected to pass the bill shortly.
  • He lay down and was asleep immediately.
  • That stretch of forest was stumped quickly.
  • She begged and pleaded with them until they finally agreed.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Place Transition Words

  • In the middle
  • To the left/right
  • In front of
  • On this side
  • In the distance
  • Here and there
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • In the centre of
  • Adjacent to
  • Opposite to
  • Here
  • There
  • Next
  • Where
  • From
  • Over
  • Near
  • Above
  • Below
  • Down
  • Up
  • Under
  • Further
  • Nearby
  • Around
  • Between
  • Before
  • Alongside
  • Amid
  • Among
  • Beneath
  • Beside
  • Behind
  • Across

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • I feel lonelier in the middle of London than I do on my boat in the middle of nowhere.
  • To the left of the library is the bank.
  • She was lost in contemplation of the scene in front of her.
  • The book excited very little comment on this side of the Atlantic.
  • We could just see the train approaching in the distance.
  • A text is often changed here and there when it is copied.
  • In the foreground of the painting are a horse and cart.
  • In the background, in soft focus, we see his smiling wife.
  • There was a large table in the centre of the room.
  • There is a row of houses immediately adjacent to the factory.
  • Opposite to David’s desk stood a smaller one occupied by the articled clerk.
  • I’ll certainly carry on living here for the foreseeable future.
  • Home is the place where, when you have to go there, it has to take you in.
  • She could see inquisitive faces looking out from the windows next door.
  • Where the sun enters, the doctor does not.
  • She flew from New York to London.
  • Let us cross over the river and sit in the shade of the trees. 
  • The roads intersect near the bridge.
  •  They finished the year six places above their local rivals.
  • Water was dripping onto the floor below.
  • The world is a ladder for some to go up and others to go down.
  • The floor felt uneven under his feet.
  • Two miles further on we came to a small town.
  • The explosion shattered nearby windows and wrecked two cars.
  • Wherever we are going, as long as we are together.
  • He told the children to start moving clockwise around the room.
  • He spent that year commuting between New York and Chicago.
  • Don’t put the cart before the horse. 
  • New pedestrian pathways are being built alongside the road.
  • The house stood amid maple trees.
  • Peer pressure is strong among young people.
  • A cat was beneath the table.
  • Two lemons stand beside the entrance.
  • The plane disappeared behind a cloud.
  • She danced and twirled across the room.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Result Transition Words

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • He left the phone off the hook so that he wouldn’t be disturbed.
  • Parking restrictions were lifted, with the result that the road is permanently blocked by cars.
  • He sold his farm and thus he had enough money for his journey.
  • Consequently, this view is frequently referred to as mathematical Platonism.
  • The trade imbalance is likely to rise again in 1990. Hence a new set of policy actions will be required soon.
  • We have a different background, a different history. Accordingly, we have the right to different futures.
  • I am ashamed of it myself, and for this reason, I stoop to beg your pardon.
  • God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.
  • As the touchstone tries gold, so gold tries man. 
  • I succeeded because I willed it; I never hesitated.
  • He oughta be a gentleman since his name is William. 
  • The country economic problems are largely due to the weakness of the recovery.
  • As a result, services have been drastically reduced.
  • In other words, our enriched material is more than half dross.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Concession Transition Words

  • Admittedly
  • Although
  • At any rate
  • But even so
  • Despite (the fact that)
  • Despite this
  • Even so
  • Even though
  • Regardless of
  • While it may be true

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • Admittedly, it is rather expensive but you don’t need to use much.
  • Although my car is very old, it still runs very well.
  • They’ve had technical problems – at any rate that’s what they told me.
  • I had a terrible headache, but even so, I went to the concert.
  • She’s taking her children on holiday, despite the fact that school starts tomorrow.
  • Despite this, she was a bright child and did well at school.
  • The new method is not perfect; even so, it’s much better than the old one.
  • He had no plans to retire even though he is now very comfortably off.
  • The health centre serves all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Condition Transitional Words

  • If
  • In that case
  • In case
  • Unless

You might see these words being used in sentences such as the following:

  • If you don’t learn to think when you are young, you may never learn.
  • In that case, the golden yolks of our boiled eggs were truly golden and so are we now.
  • Don’t play by the river in case you fall in and drown!
  • You won’t get paid for time off unless you have a doctor’s note.

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences

Transition Words Infographic

Transition Words & Phrases in English: Different Types, Useful Lists with Example Sentences