Transition words and phrases work to connect ideas meaningfully. Because ideas can be related to one another in a variety of ways, writers should intentionally and carefully select the words and phrases that best fit the particular situation or purpose of their writing. The following are some of the most commonly used transition words with brief descriptions and sentences using them in context.
Common Transition Words
“Although” is used to contrast one idea with another in the same sentence. Generally, it is used in the first clause of the sentence to indicate “in spite of this,” and then the second clause of the sentence negates the first.
Example: Although Grumpy Cat looks mean, she actually has a very sweet demeanor.
“However” is also used to contrast ideas, but is not restricted to contrasting ideas in a single sentence. It often substitutes for “but.”
Example: My favorite Internet Cat is Oskar the blind cat. However, my friends prefer Lil’ Bub.
“Then” indicates either timing or cause/effect. It can be used by itself, or with “if.”
Timing: We can watch Nyan Cat, but then we have to work on our homework.
Cause/Effect: If the cat can finally has the cheezburger, then the internet will end.
“While” can describe two events occurring at the same time, or it can indicate contrasting ideas.
Simultaneous Events: While Colonel Meow was commanding his army, Peace Cat was staging a sit-in.
Contrasting Ideas: While Colonel Meow has a frightening appearance, he is enjoyable to watch.
“Also” is a word known to mean “in addition to”.
Example: Kevin watches cat videos every day before school. Also, he watches them when he gets home from soccer practice.
“Therefore” is used to summarize. It also signifies the importance or effect of an action or event.
Cause/Effect: After watching so many Grumpy Cat videos, I decided I wanted my own cat for Christmas. Therefore, I wrote it down on my list.
“Because” indicates the reasoning for an action or event.
Example: I like Grumpy Cat better than Snoopy the Cat because I think our shared surliness makes us kindred spirits.
“In fact” is a phrase that clarifies the truthfulness of a statement.
Example: According to several internet polls, Cooper is one of the most famous internet felines. In fact, I think the lightweight digital camera he wears makes him more popular.
“After all” is used to settle a contradiction of earlier trouble or complication.
Example: I can’t imagine anyone disliking Nala. After all, who can detest a cat named after a character from The Lion King?
“For example” is used to introduce a piece of information that supports an idea.
Example: There are several reasons I think Lil Bub looks cuddlier than all the other internet cats. For example, her big eyes and angelic face make her the cutest feline.
As well (as)
In addition (to)
In the same way
In contrast (to)
In spite of
On the contrary
On the other hand
All this time
As soon as
Not long after
At the same time
First, Second, etc.
In the first place
In the future
In the distance
In the foreground
Near at hand
On the other side
To the right/left
In a word
In other words
On the whole
To sum up
As an example
As a consequence
As a result (of)
It is true
In addition (to)
For the most part
To be sure
In most cases