How to use the transitional words and phrases in 12 ways
The word ‘transition’ is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as a passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another – or simply a change.
What are transitional devices then?
In its context, transitional devices serve as means to change the direction of ideas in a sentence or in a paragraph. A transitional device can be a word or phrase that is added at the beginning, middle, or end of a clause. They help to make the flow of thoughts smooth and coherent.
We use transitional devices every day, even in a casual conversation. In fact, the most common transitional words we use are the coordinating conjunctions, also known as the acronym FANBOYS, meaning for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
- He bought his sister waffles for she won the declamation.
- I asked him to close the door, and she happily obliged.
- Neither washing the shirt well nor buying a new one won’t make her friend stop crying.
- You invited him, but he didn’t go.
- Kim didn’t review, yet he still passed the exam.
- The dog lost his ball, so he went quiet the whole day.
However, these were not enough to show all the relationships of sentences, especially in constructing a larger composition. Below is a list of transitional words and phrases to bridge that gap.
This helps to build up an idea by putting further details.
- in addition
My best friend is a singer and dancer. Also, she is a tattoo artist.
This is to give a more concrete idea of the subject.
- for example
- for instance
- such as
You should live a healthier lifestyle, such as avoiding junk food and doing exercises.
This is to show the similarity of two or more ideas being talked about.
- just as
I am so delighted to see her again. Likewise, she is so grateful for our unexpected reunion.
This is to show the difference between two or more ideas being talked about.
- on the other hand
- in contrast
- on the contrary
- at the same time
- even though
- in spite of
The new employee felt she didn’t manage to discuss her report well. On the contrary, the manager was impressed.
This means the admission of a claim that is pointed out or submitting to something.
- even though
- of course
Even though the world had been cruel to me, I decided to keep a good heart.
This is to add intensity or importance to the subject matter.
- more importantly
- most importantly
- in fact
- no doubt
Indeed, he was a genius.
Repetition or paraphrasing of what has been said.
- in other words
- in effect
- that is
- in short
She is pluviophile. In other words, she loves watching the rain.
This creates cause-and-effect relationships between/among clauses.
- as a result
- resulting in
My father broke my mother’s favorite cup, so he bought a new one that looked like it.
Usually, this is used in giving instructions or step-by-step procedure.
First, put the cereals in a bowl. Next, add some milk. Then, lightly stir. Finally, serve it for yourself!
This is to indicate the time.
- at last
When you arrived, the ceremony had already begun.
This describes something about the location or place.
- to the right
- to the left
- in the background
- in the foreground
- in the distance
A thick cluster of trees stood side by side, but in the distance, I caught a glimpse of the beach.
It indicates the conclusion or resolution of something.
- in the end
I had to fall to lose it all. In the end, it doesn’t even my matter.