Transitional Words/Phrases

The first sentence of a paragraph usually functions as the topic sentence through which the writer puts forward his/her specific, clear and precise attitude towards the particular subject or topic. Then he/she develops, explains, defines, exemplifies, and/or describes the idea put in the topic sentence. That is, he/she uses developers so as to elaborate on and support the topic sentence. To do so, he/she has to show the transitions or ties between the developers or supporting sentences in the paragraph. And this is done by using a number of words and phrases called transitional words/phrases. Let us now see which transitional words/ phrases are used for what purposes:

To add or connect similar ideas, factors, issues, etc, we use some words or phrases, such as — and, and then, also, to further, furthermore, besides, moreover, again, another, in addition, in addition to…, plus, once again, firstly, secondly, thirdly, …, first, second, third, …, next, etc,

To show comparisons between ideas, points, factors, etc, we use such words or phrases as likewise, similarly, just like, in the same way, in a similar manner, just as, identically, etc.

To show differences or contrasts between ideas, issues, concepts, etc, we use the words or phrases such as — yet, still, but, however, despite, instead, notwithstanding, nevertheless, nonetheless, on the other hand, contrariwise, on the contrary, even though, etc.

To indicate causes of some effects or results, we use the words such as — because, as, since, etc.

To state the effects of some causes or reasons, we use the words or phrases such as— therefore, hence, then, consequently, as a consequence, as a result, accordingly, thus, as an outcome, this is why, that is why, etc.

To put emphasis on some ideas and issues, we use such words or phrases as really, truly, surely certainly, absolutely, indeed, in fact, of course, undoubtedly, without any doubt, necessarily, unavoidably, essentially, again, to repeat, in any case, in any event, etc.

To give instances or examples of some subject, we use such words or phrases as for instance, for example, as an illustration, as proof, to be specific, specifically, more specifically, viz, etc.

To maintain spatial order, we use the words or phrases such as — inside, outside, alongside, above, under, below, rear, near to, far, far from, behind, beside, in front of, in the rear of, beyond, around, surrounding, to the right, to the left, on the top, at the bottom, etc.

To exhibit chronological order, we use the words or phrases such as — now, then, shortly, lately, after, before, earlier, later, soon, immediately, next, suddenly, abruptly, gradually, bit by bit, meanwhile, in the mean time, previously, in a few days, after that,. afterwards, finally, last of all, etc.

To draw a conclusion, inference, or to sum up, summarise, we use these words or phrases — in sum, to sum up, in conclusion, to conclude, concluding, to summarise, in summary, briefly, in brief, thus, so, therefore, that is, in other words, as stated above, etc.


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