Vocabulary Charts: Transitional Words and Phrases

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This vocabulary chart presents commonly used transitional words and phrases that express relationships within and between sentences
Transitional words and phrases connect and relate ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. They assist in the
logical flow of ideas as they signal the relationship between sentences and paragraphs. In prose, the material
is supported and conditioned not only by the ordering of the material (its position) but by connectives which
signal order, relationship and movement.
Some of the more commonly used connectives are listed below. Note especially how these connections
function to develop, relate, connect and move ideas,

1. To signal addition of ideas

and, also, besides, further, furthermore, too, moreover, in addition,
then, of equal importance, equally important, another

2. To signal time
next, afterward, finally, later, last, lastly, at last, now, subsequently,
then, when, soon, thereafter, after a short time, the next week (month,
day, etc.), a minute later, in the meantime, meanwhile, on the
following day, at length, ultimately, presently

3. To signal order or sequence
first, second, (etc.), finally, hence, next, then, from here on, to begin
with, last of all, after, before, as soon as, in the end, gradually

4, To signify space and place
‘above, behind, below, beyond, here, there, to the right (left), nearby,
opposite, on the other side, in the background, directly ahead, along
the wall, as you tum right, at the tip, across the hall, at this point,
adjacent to

5. To signal an example
for example, to illustrate, for instance, to be specific, such as,
moreover, furthermore, just as important, similarly, in the same way

6. To show resull

as a result, hence, so, accordingly, as a consequence, consequently,
thus, since, therefore, for this reason, because of this

7. To signal purpose
to this end, for this purpose, with this in mind, for this reason, for these

8. To signal comparisons
like, in the same (like) manner or way, similarly

9. To indicate contrast
but, in contrast, conversely, however, still, nevertheless, nonetheless,
yet, and yet, on the other hand, of course, on the contrary, or, in spite
of this, actually, a year ago, now, notwithstanding, for all that,
strangely enough, ironically

10. To signal alterna
exceptions, and objections
although, though, while, despite, to be sure, it is true, true, I grant,
granted, I admit, admittedly, doubtless, I concede, regardless

11. To dispute

12. To intensify
it isn’t true that, people are wrong who say that, deny that, be that as it
may, by the same token, no doubt, we often hear it said, many people
claim, many people suppose, it used to be thought, in any case
above all, first and foremost, importantly, again, to be sure, indeed, in
fact, as a matter of fact, as I have said, as has been noted

13. To summarize or repeat

in summary, to sum up, to repeat, briefly, in short, finally, on the
whole, therefore, as I have said, in conclusion, as you can see

Additionally, pronouns act as connectives when they are used to refer to a noun in the preceding sentences
Repetition of key words and phrases and the use of synonyms which echo important words both serve to
establish connections with previous sentences
READING — Transitional Words and Phrases: Showing Relationships Within and Between Sentences
rev. July 2005

EXERCISE I. Circle the letter that correctly identifies the nature of the unde:
transition in each of the following sentences.

1, A water main downtown broke this morning, so several businesses had no water for
cause and effect
2. Even though most Americans are primarily concerned about AIDS as it exists in the
US., it should be remembered that it is now nearly a worldwide disease.
3. Larry will probably be a late bloomer socially, just like his older brothers.
cause and effect

4. There are ways you can make boring tasks more pleasant. For instance, bring a
portable radio and listen to music on the earphones while you work.
a. contrast
b. comparison
c. illustration/example
d. cause and effect
5. The lazy checkout clerk forced the six-pack of cola into the bottom of the bag,
tearing it. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I guess you’ll have to carry
the bag from the bottom.”
READING — Transitional Words and Phrases: Showing Relationships Within and Between Sentences
rev. July 2005
6. Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke correctly predicted that satellites would be
used for communication. Moreover, in 1947 he correctly predicted that 1959 would
be the year the first rocket to the moon was launched.
cause and effect
7. Some people in New Jersey built their houses very close to the shoreline.
Consequently, they have had to spend a lot of money trying to protect their property
from the sea.
cause and effect
8. Running can make people more aware of their physical surroundings, such as the
scent of honeysuckle or the changing moods of the trees.
cause and effect
9, Residents complain bitterly about potholes in the streets and sloppy trash pick-up, yet
these same people resist paying higher taxes for the improvement of these services.
10.Telephone interviewing allows for a large number of responses in a short time and at
relatively low cost. Moreover, the method permits interviewers to reach respondents
at specific times of the day; this is an important consideration in the study of radio
and TV listening habits.
READING — Transitional Words and Phrases: Showing Relationships Within and Between Sentences
rev. July 2005
EXERCISE Il. _ Circle the letter of the word that correctly identifies the
appropriate transition word or phrase. Then underline the kind of
transition you have used.
1 the invention of television, people probably spent more of their leisure
time reading.
a. Nevertheless
b. Because
c. Before
The transition word indicates: addition cause and effect time
2. Ifyou’re having company for dinner, try to get as much done in advance as possible.
, set the table the day before.
a. For instance
b. Incontrast
c. Similarly
The transition word indicates: illustration/example comparison contrast
3. I'm very allergic to flowers, my boyfriend bought a bouquet of roses.
a. Until
b. Because
c. Even though
The transition word indicates: time contrast addition
4, My grandfather loves to say, “You’re as nervous a long-tailed cat ina
roomful of rocking chairs.”
a. after
b. as
c. asa result
The transition word indicates: cause and effect time comparison
5. Manny’s car stereo was on full blast, I could see his lips moving, but I
had no idea what he was saying.
a. Moreover
b. Because
c. Just as
The transition word indicates: comparison addition cause and effect
READING ~ Transitional Words and Phrases: Showing Relationships Within and Between Sentences
rev. July 2005