The Use of Transitions

What is a Transition?

A transition is a word or phrases that are usually used to link one idea to the next. They are typically used by an author to help the person reading their work be able to follow through their thoughts. Apart from that, transitions play a significant role in depicting relationships both witching a sentence or paragraph as it shows the main idea and the supporting information provided for the same.

Examples of transitions

There are various types of transitions which work differently.

Transitions that show agreement/similarity/addition

These transition words show introduction, addition, agreement or similarity to the already mentioned ideas. Their purpose is to reinforce an idea, provide additional information, or express agreement with the already mentioned ideas.

They include:

  • Also
  • again
  • to
  • and
  • also
  • then
  • equally
  • identically
  • uniquely
  • like
  • as
  • too
  • In addition
  • Likewise
  • as a matter of fact
  • coupled with
  • in the first place
  • not only … but also
  • in like manner
  • in addition
  • in the same fashion / way
  • first, second, third
  • in the light of
  • not to mention
  • to say nothing of
  • equally important
  • by the same token
  • moreover
  • as well as
  • together with
  • of course
  • comparatively
  • correspondingly
  • similarly
  • furthermore
  • additionally

Transitions showing Limitation/Contradiction/Opposition

Transition phrases such as rather, or, but are used to show that there is available evidence showing a different idea or to bring in other alternatives. They, therefore, bring in a sort of contrast that is a different way of thinking.

Opposition / Limitation / Contradiction

Transition phrases like but, rather and or; express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives, and thus introduce a change in the line of reasoning (contrast).


  • but
  • unlike
  • or
  • while
  • albeit
  • besides
  • as much as
  • even though
  • although
  • instead
  • whereas
  • despite
  • conversely
  • otherwise
  • however
  • rather
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • regardless
  • notwithstanding
  • although this may be true
  • in contrast
  • different from
  • of course, …, but
  • on the other hand
  • on the contrary
  • at the same time
  • in spite of
  • even so / though
  • be that as it may
  • then again
  • above all
  • in reality
  • after all

  Transitions for Cause / Condition / Purpose

These transition words are purposely for bringing in specific intentions or conditions.

The following are examples:

  • in case
  • provided that
  • given that
  • only / even if
  • so that
  • so as to
  • owing to
  • inasmuch as
  • due to
  • If
  • … then
  • Unless
  • when
  • whenever
  • while
  • because of
  • as
  • since
  • while
  • lest
  • in the event that
  • granted (that)
  • as / so long as
  • on (the) condition (that)
  • for the purpose of
  • with this intention
  • with this in mind
  • in the hope that
  • to the end that
  • for fear that
  • in order to
  • seeing / being that
  • in view of

 Transitions that show emphasis/examples/support

The most common example is especially. They are usually used to bring in examples with an aim of indicating how something is essential or to provide an illustration in order to make something more apparent to the reader.

The following are some of the examples:

  • notably
  • including
  • like
  • to be sure
  • namely
  • chiefly
  • truly
  • indeed
  • certainly
  • surely
  • markedly
  • such as
  • especially
  • explicitly
  • specifically
  • expressly
  • surprisingly
  • frequently
  • significantly
  • particularly
  • in fact
  • in general
  • in particular
  • in detail
  • for example
  • for instance
  • to demonstrate
  • to emphasize
  • to repeat
  • to clarify
  • to explain
  • in other words
  • to put it differently
  • for one thing
  • as an illustration
  • in this case
  • for this reason
  • to put it another way
  • that is to say
  • with attention to
  • by all means

 Transitions for result/effect/consequence

These are transition words that are used to show that a certain effect results from an activity after a particular time.

The examples are:

  • as a result
  • under those circumstances
  • in that case
  • for this reason
  • in effect
  • for
  • thus
  • because the
  • then
  • hence
  • consequently
  • therefore
  • thereupon
  • forthwith
  • accordingly
  • henceforth

It should be noted that because and for comes before the reason or cause then the transition words are placed before stating the effects/consequence.

Transitions for Conclusion / Summary / Restatement

These transition words provide a summary, conclusion or once again state an idea. They can also be used to give a closing general statement.

The examples are:

  • after all
  • in fact
  • in summary
  • in conclusion
  • in short
  • in brief
  • in essence
  • to summarize
  • on balance
  • altogether
  • overall
  • ordinarily
  • usually
  • as can be seen
  • generally speaking
  • in the final analysis
  • all things considered
  • as shown above
  • in the long run
  • given these points
  • as has been noted
  • in a word
  • for the most part
  • by and large
  • to sum up
  • on the whole
  • in any event
  • in either case
  • all in all
  • Obviously
  • Ultimately
  • Definitely

Transitions that show Time / Chronology / Sequence

These transitions phrases are mainly used to define, limit or restrict time. They can be used in two ways. They can stand alone as part of adverbial phrases

The following are the examples:  

  • after
  • later
  • last
  • until
  • till
  • since
  • then
  • before
  • hence
  • since
  • when
  • once
  • about
  • next
  • now
  • formerly
  • suddenly
  • shortly
  • henceforth
  • whenever
  • eventually
  • meanwhile
  • further
  • during
  • in time
  • prior to
  • forthwith
  • straightaway
  • by the time
  • whenever
  • until now
  • now that
  • instantly
  • presently
  • occasionally
  • at the present time
  • from time to time

Most transition words in this category can be applied in other groups.

They include: consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever.

Numbers and further are usually used in adding meaning to time by bringing in qualifications, conditions or reasons.

Numbers can also be used to list examples or provide additional information. Further can also be used to show that there is added time or space.

Transitions that show place/location/space

Usually used with adverbial phrases, their function is to qualify, limit or restrict space. These transitions phrases are rarely found among the one in the time category and are usually used to give a description of spatial reference or order.

These are some of the examples:

  • here
  • there
  • next
  • where
  • from
  • over
  • near
  • above
  • below
  • down
  • up
  • under
  • further
  • beyond
  • nearby
  • wherever
  • around
  • between
  • before
  • alongside
  • amid
  • among
  • beneath
  • beside
  • behind
  • across
  • in the middle
  • to the left/right
  • in front of
  • on this side
  • here and there
  • in the foreground
  • in the background
  • in the center of
  • adjacent to
  • opposite to

How to Apply Transitions

Transitions words are vital components of any form of writing. This is because of the role they play in connections and transitions between ideas from sentences to paragraphs. This, therefore, makes the text have a logical structure.

Transitions words usually follow a strict punctuation rule which required a period or semicolon to be used immediately after the first sentence then the transition word is separated from the second sentence by a comma. Semicolons can also be used to link the sentences in case both sentences are complete. This guide has given all the examples of transitions that you may come across it is upon you to master them and apply it in your grammar and you will be perfect.

Learn more here regarding the use of Transitional Devices and Words.