Some Common Transition Words and Phrases

Some Common Transition Words and Phrases
Establishing Sequence
First, I think that baseball is good exercise.
Second, I believe it builds teamwork.
Finally, I know we would enjoy playing it.
in conclusion
In conclusion, I feel we should form a baseball team.
in summary
In summary, we should form a baseball team because baseball is good
exercise, fun, and great for building teamwork.
as I have noted
As I have noted, baseball is indeed a wonderful sport.
as we have seen
As we have seen, baseball is a wonderful game to play.
Therefore, there are many reasons for us to form a baseball team.
Earlier, Angie and I went to the library.
Before we ate lunch, we went to the grocery store.
On Saturday afternoon, I took a nap. Meanwhile, my sister read a book.
Sam turned 18 years old. Immediately, he registered to vote.
Karen walked on the icy sidewalk. Suddenly, she slipped and fell.
after awhile
Matt and I went to the park. After awhile, Matt went home.
soon after
Courtney bought a dog. Soon after, she bought a cat.
Megan went to her piano lesson. Later, she went to ballet class.
Giving Examples
for example
I have been to many countries. For example, I have been to Russia,
Canada, Mexico, and Spain.
for instance
He often eats strange foods. For instance, he once ate cow brains.
I like to travel. Specifically, I enjoy places with beaches.
in particular
I love fruit. In particular, I like bananas, pineapple, and berries.
to illustrate
I am crazy about piano. To illustrate, I practice four hours a day.
The first (second, another,
etc.) example/reason is . . .
My friend hates skiing for several reasons. The first reason is that she
dislikes being cold. Another reason is that she often falls.
Showing a Result
Today is Janet’s birthday, so she is very happy.
as a result
Pam was late. As a result, we could not go to the concert.
James has a cold. Therefore, he will not be here today.
thus (more formal)
The class voted to have a party. Thus, we will begin planning it.
as a consequence
I forgot that the cake was in the oven. As a consequence, it burned.
consequently (more formal)
I forgot that the cake was in the oven. Consequently, it burned.
Adding Information
We have seen the movie twice, and now we want to see it again.
not only . . . but also
Not only did my brother break his leg, but he also bruised his rib.
My friend speaks Spanish and English. She also speaks Chinese.
moreover (more formal)
Cheating is dishonest. Moreover, it keeps students from learning.
furthermore (more formal)
Students should be on time. Furthermore, they should be prepared.
in addition (more formal)
You must write a five paragraph essay. In addition, you must write a
summary of the book you are reading.
Explaining or Emphasizing
in fact
That bakery sells cookies. In fact, they have the best cookies in town.
Sage is actually a shade of the color green.
in other words
Gary Paulsen is a wonderful, amazing, and talented writer. In other
words, he is my favorite author.
namely (more formal)
We only need three things for our party to be successful—namely,
friends, music and pizza.
Showing a Contrast
Bill has black hair, but Susan’s hair is red.
We wanted to leave at 8:00. However, Mike arrived too late.
on the other hand
He hates housecleaning. On the other hand, he doesn't mind cooking.
Sarah should study. Otherwise, she may fail the test.
I am not going out tonight. Instead, I will stay home and watch a video.
in contrast (more formal)
I love rainstorms. In contrast, my cousin hates them.
Showing a Similarity
likewise (more formal)
Reading is hard for me. Likewise, so is writing.
similarly (more formal)
Houseplants require much care and attention. Similarly, outdoor plants
must be cared for properly.
in the same way
Rock climbing takes much practice. In the same way, learning to write
well requires a great deal of practice.
Showing a Condition
I must take an umbrella or I will get rained on.
whether . . . or
Whether you are coming or not, I am still going to the concert.
if . . . (then)
If you want to get good grades, then you must do your homework.
Giving an Alternative
We can go to the beach, or we can go to the mountains.
either . . . or
You can either ride the bus or walk to my apartment.
neither . . . nor (more formal)
I like neither strawberries nor raspberries.
Punctuation Rules
1. Coordinating Conjunctions (and, but, or, yet, so):
Put a comma before these conjunctions. (Don't use them at the beginning of a sentence in more
formal writing.)
example: The movie has already started, but my friend has not arrived yet.
2. Correlative Conjunctions (These have two parts: either . . . or):
o Put a comma before the second part if it connects 2 clauses (complete sentences).
example: Eric is not only an outstanding teacher, but he is also a gourmet cook.
o You don't need a comma if it only connects words or phrases.
example: Eric is not only an outstanding teacher but also a gourmet cook.
3. Transitional Words and Phrases:
o Put a comma after these if they are at the beginning of a sentence.
example: I like to travel. Specifically, I enjoy places with old cathedrals.
o Use a semicolon to connect the two sentences.
example: I like to travel; specifically, I enjoy places with old cathedrals.
o Use a comma before and after the transitional word/phrase in the middle of a clause.
example: I like to travel, and, specifically, I enjoy places with old cathedrals.