Transition Words and Phrases

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Transition words and phrases can be used to let the reader know more information is coming and suggests what type of information it is going to be. Transitions help add structure to an essay or paper by connecting ideas and sentences together. Beginning a sentence with "to summarize" lets the reader know a conclusion or summary is coming next. Using the word "in addition" tells the reader more facts are on the way and also connects the new facts to the previously mentioned facts.

Transition Words


Transitions need to be used correctly or it can make your sentence awkward. You would not want to begin your paper with "In conclusion," and you would not want to introduce supporting information with a contrast transition word like "on the other hand" or "contrarily." Transition words set up your readers' expectations. You don't want to leave them disappointed by not following through or delivering something different than what your transition word promised was coming.



People come to understand the meanings of different transition words through reading. You can use a dictionary to find out the exact meanings of the words. Here are few common transition words and phrases. An easy way to find more transition words is to look up the synonyms for the transition word. Here are a few examples. There are resources that lists lots of transition words and group them into categories like contrasting, addition, time, comparison, emphasis, concluding, examples etc. to make them easier to discover and use. Here are some great resources where you can find additional transition words and phrases grouped into categories: