As a «part of speech» transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.
This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument.
The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.
There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.
Agreement / Addition / Similarity
The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material.
Study Guides and Strategies
Vocabulary and spelling series
Transitional Words & Phrases
Using transitional words and phrases
helps papers read more smoothly, and at the same time allows the reader to flow more smoothly from one point to the next.
Transitions enhance logical organization and understandability
and improve the connections between thoughts. They indicate relations,
whether within a sentence, paragraph, or paper.
This list illustrates categories of «relationships» between ideas,
followed by words and phrases that can make the connections:
also, again, as well as, besides, coupled with, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly
When there is a trusting relationship coupled with positive reinforcement, the partners will be able to overcome difficult situations.
accordingly, as a result, consequently, for this reason, for this purpose,
hence, otherwise, so then, subsequently, therefore, thus, thereupon, wherefore
Highway traffic came to a stop as a result of an accident that morning.
Contrast and Comparison:
contrast, by the same token, conversely, instead, likewise,
on one hand, on the other hand, on the contrary, rather,
similarly, yet, but, however, still, nevertheless, in contrast
The children were very happy. On the other hand, and perhaps more importantly, their parents were very proactive in providing good care.
here, there, over there, beyond, nearly, opposite, under, above,
to the left, to the right, in the distance
She scanned the horizon for any sign though in the distance she could not see the surprise coming her way.
by the way, incidentally
He stumbled upon the nesting pair incidentally found only on this hill.
above all, chiefly, with attention to, especially, particularly, singularly
The Quakers gathered each month with attention to deciding the business of their Meeting.
aside from, barring, beside, except, excepting, excluding, exclusive of, other than, outside of, save
Consensus was arrived at by all of the members exclusive of those who could not vote.
chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, markedly, namely,
particularly, including, specifically, such as
Some friends and I drove up the beautiful coast chiefly to avoid the heat island of the city.
as a rule, as usual, for the most part, generally, generally speaking, ordinarily, usually
There were a few very talented artists in the class, but for the most part the students only wanted to avoid the alternative course.
for example, for instance, for one thing, as an illustration,
illustrated with, as an example, in this case
The chapter provided complex sequences and examples illustrated with a very simple schematic diagram.
comparatively, coupled with, correspondingly, identically, likewise, similar, moreover, together with
The research was presented in a very dry style though was coupled with examples that made the audience tear up.
in essence, in other words, namely, that is, that is to say, in short, in brief, to put it differently
In their advertising business, saying things directly was not the rule. That is to say, they tried to convey the message subtly though with creativity.
at first, first of all, to begin with, in the first place, at the same time,
for now, for the time being, the next step, in time, in turn, later on,
meanwhile, next, then, soon, the meantime, later, while, earlier,
simultaneously, afterward, in conclusion, with this in mind,
The music had a very retro sound but at the same time incorporated a complex modern rhythm.
after all, all in all, all things considered, briefly, by and large, in any case, in any event,
in brief, in conclusion, on the whole, in short, in summary, in the final analysis,
in the long run, on balance, to sum up, to summarize, finally
She didn’t seem willing to sell the car this week, but in any case I don’t get paid until the end of the month.
Also called Connecting words — Overview
Linking & Connecting Words
It is essential to understand how Linking Words, as a part of speech, can be used to combine ideas in writing — and thus ensure that ideas within sentences and paragraphs are elegantly connected — for the benefit of the reader. This will help to improve your writing (e. g. essay, comment, summary (scientific) review, (research) paper, letter, abstract, report, thesis, etc.).
It is also fundamental to be aware of the sometimes subtle meaning of these «small» words within the English language.
«Linking Words» is used as a term to denote a class of English words which are employed to link or connect parts of speech or even whole sentences. They are also called connecting words. There are 2 categories of Linking Words (or Connecting Words):
Relations Between Words
A concept is an idea — and what is an idea? A thought which is in or on our mind. And what is that? Arguably, even more difficult to describe — if not impossible. So, to make it easier, how do we express ideas? With words — and more often than not — with attitude, gesture, movement, and any other kind of physiological behavior.
So, a concept can be expressed as something between a single word, and an elaborate and in extenso described philosophy.
A concept by itself does not necessarily communicate a clear, unambiguous, understandable meaning. Therefore, especially in written communication, it is more than helpful, to use words, which can join ideas (expressed in different words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs). For this, we need linking words or linking phrases. These are a set of words used to join concepts and to express the relationships between concepts. Depending on the linking words selected, the connection between the concepts becomes more apparent, clear, vivid, self-explanatory, definite or on the contrary, more nebulous, vague, inexplicit, ambiguous or obscure.
Complete List of Linking & Connecting Words
Please feel free to download this concise and comprehensive guide as a 2 page cheat sheet Linking Words & Connecting Words — the PDF contains all the Conjunctions & Transitional devices listed on these 2 pages.
Writing Tip: Finding the right word for a text, letter, review or essay not only involves your brain’s intuition and memory, but in these days frequently the use of search engines (although Synonym Lists can be a big help either). Read this concise article, peppered with examples, of How to Choose the Right Words for Best Search Results and your results will vastly improve.