Transitions are words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs that promote a logical connection between conveyed ideas. They are used to either support, negate, introduce examples, or provide results or reasons to the idea expressed before them. This article shall focus on the importance, types, and examples of transitional expressions that can be helpful to your writing and vocabulary skills.
Importance Of Transitions
It is essential to have smooth transitions between the changes in life situations. If things are suddenly altered without warning, it creates shock and perplexity. Similarly, in writing, the presence of transitions also allows writers and readers to convey and understand the connection between ideas. This upholds coherence in the written material. Transitions glue different clauses or sentences to create a paragraph that has a clear flow of ideas. They are not employed as mere decorations to make your essay sound better. They are essential parts of speech that create a relationship between the relayed thoughts. The use of appropriate transitional words or phrases prevents sudden leaps between the information in a sentence or paragraph. Without transitions, you’re text or material will sound monotonous or confusing. This is more specifically vital in academic or professional writing, where you have to effectively convey the information or idea to the reader. There are many types of transitions, and each offers a distinct purpose that will be discussed in the next section.
Types Of Transitions
Transitions can be divided according to many categories. One of which is by its purpose or how it is used in the text. Here are the descriptions of the types of transitions according to their purpose.
- Additive: These transitions are often employed to introduce ideas that support a previous one. These show addition, illustration, reference, similarity or comparison, identification, and clarification. They can be used to provide examples, refer to a point, expand a previous statement, or mention similar concepts.
- Adversative: These types of transitions are used to signal contrasting statements. They can be applied to declare a point that disagrees with the previous idea. Adversative transitions are further branched into five types: contrast, emphasis, dismissal, replacement, and concession. Conflict transitions introduce a clause or sentence that contradicts the previous one. An emphasis transition, as its name suggests, is used to emphasize or highlight information. Dismissal, replacement, and concession are used to dismiss probable points, replace the preceding idea, and acknowledge an opposing view, respectively.
- Causal: Causal transition words and phrases indicate cause and effect relationships. They can also be applied to describe a purpose, consequence, or condition. These transitional devices are essential in expressing a resulting situation or a reason from a specific event.
- Sequential: These are used as beginning terms to enumerate ideas in chronological order or as to how you present them in a text. These words or phrases help in providing a smooth flow of information. These are used to introduce a conclusion, begin a summary, or express a continuation.
- Time And Space: This category of transitions describe the time and place of a specific event or idea.
Transitions can either be words, phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs. That being said, these speech devices can also be categorized according to where you place them in the text. Below are the types of transitions according to placement.
- Between Sections: In this context, the transitions are in the form of paragraphs that serve as mediating information between sections. This is usually found in longer works. These transitional paragraphs can either summarize the previous ones or provide an introductory discussion for the following idea.
- Between Paragraphs: This type of transition is typically expressed in phrases or sentences that connect the idea in between two paragraphs. They can be found at the end of the preceding paragraph or at the beginning of the next one.
- Transitions Inside The Sentence/Paragraph: A transitional expression within a single sentence or paragraph is most likely a word or short phrase that links the ideas smoothly.
Examples Of Transitional Expressions
- Addition: also, and, or, nor, then, too, further, moreover, furthermore, in addition, in addition to, additionally, either, neither, besides, not only (but also), alternatively, not to mention, as well as, again, both, in fact
- Illustration: such as, like, for example, for instance, especially, namely, particularly, including, to illustrate, as an illustration, notably
- Reference: according to, considering, regarding, with regards to, as for, for the fact that
- Comparison: similarly, likewise, in the same way, in the same manner, equally
- Identification: that is, specifically, thus
- Clarification: I mean, to clarify, in other words, to put it another way
- Contrast: but, yet, however, in contrast, on the contrary, notwithstanding, nevertheless, nonetheless, while, whereas, though, on the other hand
- Emphasis: above all, indeed, in fact, of course, more importantly, obviously, clearly, truly, certainly
- Concession: although, despite, regardless, granted that, even though, still, in spite of, while it may be true
- Dismissal: either way, in any case, in either event, whatever/whichever happens, all the same
- Replacement: instead, rather
- Cause: for the reason that, because of, due to, since
- Result: as a result, therefore, hence, consequently, so, accordingly, thus, for this reason
- Condition: if, only if, even if, granted that, unless, provided/given that, in case
- Purpose: in order that, so that, so as to, lest, for the purpose of
- Sequence: first, second, third (and so on), next, then, first of all, initially, to begin, at first, lastly, finally
- Continuation: afterward, and then, after this/that, subsequently, eventually
- Conclusion/Summary: in conclusion, finally, lastly, in the end, to conclude, in summary, to summarize, overall, to sum up, therefore, altogether, in short
Time And Space Transitions
- Time: after, before, recently, currently, earlier, during, meanwhile, now, at this point, at this moment, simultaneously
- Space/Position: above, below, beyond, in front, at the back, nearby
As you may have observed, most of the mentioned transitional expressions are conjunctions, prepositions, or adverbs. However, these parts of speech can be transformed as transitions if they connect ideas to create a smoother and more comprehensive flow. The choice of which term or phrase to be used is crucial to present the thought clearly. View the list above whenever you need to identify which transition suits your text the most.
Transitions | Infographic