Different Types of Transitional Phrases and Sentences

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Have you ever tried getting lost and confused while reading an article or story? You can’t seem to remember what you’re reading about or why something transpired in the first place. This causes you to stumble back to the beginning of the write-up to reread a sentence or paragraph and pick up a natural rhythm. You may also see the compound sentence.

Instances like this occur when a speaker or author fails to communicate with clarity. Reading materials with lengthy sentences and paragraphs often cause readers to lose track. To prevent this from happening, it’s important for a writer to create a logical and smooth flow of ideas through proper transitions. But keep in mind that transitional words and phrases are used in a variety of ways. It could be within a simple sentence, between two different sentences or it may even be used between paragraphs to connect common thoughts.

Developing Smooth Transitions

The placement of transitional words or phrases usually varies depending on its purpose. This could be to connect two parts of a single sentence or to combine two or three different sentences logically. In some cases, transitional words or phrases found at the beginning of a paragraph are used to refer to a previous thought while introducing a new one. This is done to create a smooth flow of ideas for a reader or listener to understand. You may also see the negative sentence.

Let’s take this for example:

As you may have noticed, adding the transitional word “but” creates a smoother reading experience. It helps the reader identify the relationship between the two ideas as well. The use of transitional words ensures that there are no sudden jumps or pauses between common statements. This link often comes in the form of conjunctions or other types of connectors. You may also see simile examples.


Types of Transitional Words and Phrases

The following are common examples of transitional words and phrases and their corresponding types:

1. Comparison/Contrast

These are transitional words used to show the relationship between two ideas. It can either be used to point out similarities or draw comparisons. Other examples include as, as if, unlike, rather than, although, and in spite of. You may also see sentence fragment.


2. Chronology

Words under this category show a time relationship. Other examples under this category include: after so much time, after that, beginning, and whenever, just to name a few. You may also see the interrogative sentence.


3. Cause/Effect

These are words which portray the cause and effect of a given action or event. This is often used to show the consequences of an action, allowing the speaker to convey why something happened that lead to the occurrence of another event. You may also see compound sentences.


4. Illustration

This type of transitional words is used by a speaker to paint a mental picture of the situation at hand. This helps the reader or listener better understand what has been said through various evidences or examples. You may also see exclamatory sentence examples.


5. Addition

These are transitional words used to add supporting information and reinforce ideas.


6. Clarification

This is typically used to show support for a given thought.


7. Qualification

These transitional words present intention or conditions of a given situation.


8. Summary/Conclusion

This is used to indicate a concluding sample statement where ideas are often restated to clarify an overall thought.


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Transitional words and phrases play an important role in writing. Not only does it create a logical flow of words, but it also makes it easier for the speaker to convey a clear message. It takes away the ambiguity of a statement or paragraph, paving the way for a more interesting and effortless reading experience. You may also see imperative sentence examples.

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