Transitions are the glue of a good essay, they give coherence (when all the ideas are
linked) and logic (when all the ideas are arranged in an appropriate order). Furthermore,
they introduce the next idea (furthermore indicates that the next idea agrees with the
previous idea) and give an idea of how it fits in to the whole.
Common transition words:
Accordingly, although, also, as a result/consequence, besides, consequently, despite,
even though, finally, for this purpose, further(more), hence, however, instead, in
addition, in spite of, meanwhile, moreover, namely, nevertheless, next, nonetheless,
otherwise, similarly, still then, therefore, though, thus, undoubtedly, for example, for
instance, on the other hand, on the whole, that is, whereas, while...
(NB: bold words are subordinating conjunctions)
Transitions can be split into functional groups:
disagreeing Sequencing extra information
in addition
due to
furthermore on the other hand
owing to
in conclusion
for example
in summary
for instance
in brief
such as
in short
in fact
Sequencing usually follows a time order,
First, second, third, then, next, before (+gerund), after (+gerund), as, later, finally,
gradually, meanwhile
a “space order”,
at, at the end, behind, beside, between, in, in front of, in the centre, in the middle, next to,
on, on both sides, on the end, an the left, on the right, on top of, over, under...
a cause and effect structure
owing to, consequently, because, since, due to, owing to, thanks to, thus, therefore, as a
consequence/result of, hence
or a compare/contrast format
Whereas, in contrast, similarly, likewise, in (by) comparison (compared with, compared
to, differ from, (be)dissimilar)
Transitions take two simple sentences and join them with an indication of their
E.g. Maria applied for the job by e-mail.
Brad did not.
becomes; Maria applied for the job by e-mail, however, Brad didn’t.
(This gives the idea that, although you may have expected Brad to apply as well, he
Despite scoring ten goals, England still lost on penalties.
(Despite indicates that your expectation is probably wrong)
Peter Crouch is an excellent striker, moreover he’s a gentleman.
(I’m emphasizing the extra information as being something special)
Frank Lampard plays intelligently whereas Michael Ballack frequently makes the wrong
(Comparing two similar people or objects)
Firstly, boil some water, then place the instant noodles in a bowl....
(giving time order for instructions)
On both sides of the front door are climbing plants. To the left of the house is the
(describing something according to space, or how you would see it)
It was very cold so I wore my warmest coat.
(clearly the reason I wore my coat was that it was cold)
“All Thais are liars.” said Somchai from Thailand.
“But you are Thai, therefore you must be a liar!” replied his friend.
(this shows that one fact must follow another)
Instructions: fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal.
1. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find
_______________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe.
a) however
b) for example
c) therefore
2. ERA also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation
_______________ the governement shold take action to control wages.
a) however
b) for example
c) therefore
3. In physics, the weight of an object is the gravitational force with which the Earth
attracts it _________________ is a man weighs 150 pounds, this means that the
Earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds.
a) moreover
b) for example
c) therefore
4. The further away from the Earth a person is, the less the gravitational force of the
Earth ___________________ a aman weighs less when he is 50,000 miles from
the Earth than when he is only 5,000 miles away.
a) in conclusion
b) for example
c) therefore
5. Cable TV revolutionised communications; ____________the very existence of
that service is now threatened by satellites.
a) consequently b) moreover c) for example
d) nevertheless
6. Hospitals are competing for a shrinking market share; _______, they are
attempting to discover the most cost-effective and highest quality care.
a) therefore
b) besides
c) also
d) furthermore
7. These ads can bring in revenue; ________ , they can keep our costs down.
a) for example b) on the whole
c) moreover d) however
8. The firm intends to move its plant; __________ it will keep sales, marketing and
distribution here.
a) to this end
b) nevertheless
c) consequently
d) furthermore
9. The contract only runs for one year; _________, there are options to renew for
two more years.
a) meanwhile
b) besides
c) however
d) moreover
10. Our sales have increased recently; _________ we are optimistic about future
a) however
b) thus
c) nevertheless
d) also
Rewrite these sentences using a more formal connecting expression from the box
below to replace “because of”.
thanks to
as a result of
owing to
due to
as a consequence of
11. Because of the crash on the motorway, all traffic is being severely delayed.
12. We got there in time, because of your advice.
13. My computer crashed, because of which I lost all the data.
14. Because of one bad decision after another, he’s lost all his money.
15. The flight was cancelled because of bad weather.
Connect these half sentences with any transition that makes sense.
Paul thinks Leeds are better than Chelsea.
He is stupid.
Sony Ericsson are well-designed.
Siemens are badly-designed.
They got married.
They loved each other.
It was very expensive.
It was worth every penny!
Thailand is a beautiful country.
It is a great holiday
Som Dam is tasty.
It can be too spicy.
I would like to visit Wat Pra Keaw.
I haven’t had time.
England has great architecture.
England has beautiful towns.
It’s important to practice writing.
It’s important to practice
Sek played for too long.
Noi threw his shoe at him.
DSTi produce great products.
They employ talented staff.