Transition Words

Image of noodles on a fork on the left, and a spoon on the right and in the middle they are connected, to illustrate what transition words do in writing.

The way for writers to allow readers recognize connections between the ideas in their stories, is the use of transition words.

Transition words help you to present the information in your story in an effective manner, like signaling connection between a main idea and supporting ideas. Besides this, transition word also works to show contrasts and comparisons, or to identify concepts that are related.

Transition words can be used within and between paragraphs, but always be careful not to use too many of them, as it can make your story harder to read.

Some sentences in a story can stand alone without any transitions, but other sentences might need transitions to make it clear to your reader how the sentences relate or connect. Paragraph transitions also help to connect ideas in your story, and also to maintain the logical flow.

Simply said, transition words help to fill the gap between your ideas.

(Please note that many of the words in the tables below are more suitable for factual, technical and business writing, than for fictional writing, but it gives you an idea of the different words you can use.)

Kinds of transition words are:

  • To compare and/or contrast;
  • To show addition;
  • To show time and sequence;
  • To conclude or summarize;
  • To elaborate;
  • To show cause and effect,

To compare and/or contrast

after allhoweverotherwise
althoughin contrastsimultaneously
although this is truein spite ofstill
at the same timein the meantimeto the contrary
butmeanwhilewhen in fact
even sononethelesswhile
even thoughnotwithstandingwhile this is true
for all thaton the other handyet

To show addition

additionallyequally importantlet alone
andin additionnot to mention
and thenin all honestytoo
as a matter of factindeedto say nothing of
as well asin factwhat’s more

To show time and sequence

after a few hoursformerlypresently
afterwardsin the meantimepreviously
and thenin the pastsince
at lastlatersoon
at lengthnextthen
first, second, third, etc.of latewhile

To conclude or summarize

all in allgiven these pointsin summation
as noted abovein briefin the end
eventuallyin conclusionon the whole
finallyin shortto conclude

To elaborate

additionallyin additionlikewise
as an illustrationincidentallynamely
as well asincludingnotably
being thatindeedspecifically
equally importantin factsuch as
for examplein other wordsto demonstrate
for instancein particularto illustrate

To show cause and effect

accordinglyforin that case
as a resultforthwiththerefore
consequentlyin effectthus

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

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