English Grammar Guide

Transitions and Conjunctions

Conjunctions and Transitions are used to connect ideas, paragraphs and sentences.

Conjunctions and Transitions are used to connect ideas, paragraphs and sentences. Without these forms, fluent writing and speech would be much more difficult. Although most native speakers are aware of the grammatical differences, transitions and conjunctions are used in different ways, even if the same word can be used as either a transition or a conjunction.


Transitional Phrases

Transitional phrases follow a full stop and form a new sentence. Transitional phrases are also separated from the following sentence by a comma.


Showing consequences or effects Adding Information Exemplifying Generalizing Emphasizing Summarizing Comparison Contrast
As a result In addition For instance Generally Above all In the end Similarly However
Consequently Furthermore In particular On the whole Especially Overall Likewise On the other hand
Therefore Likewise Specifically Generally speaking In fact All things considered Despite that On the contrary
For this reason Finally As an illustration As a rule Of course All in all In the same way Regardless

Examples:

  • Susan told her boss she was pregnant. As a result, he dismissed her two weeks later. (Consequence)

  • The handsome millionaire Paul Ryder is looking for a new wife after his divorce. However, he is very unfriendly. (Contrast)

  • Generally, Politicians are honest. However, the job also attracts many dishonest people. (Generalisation and Contrast)

  • It was snowing outside. Despite that, we decided to take the dog for a walk. (Comparison)

Coordinating Conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction is used in a sentence and follows a comma. It is used to join two clauses.

Common conjunctions:

  • And : Used to add information

  • But : Used to show a contrast

  • So : Used to show a consequence or effect

  • Or : Used to show a choice or alternative


Examples:

  • We all know smoking is bad for our health, but many people smoke anyway.

  • He studied very hard this year, so he passed the exam easily.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions are used to create complex sentences. A subordinating conjunction does not need to be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. They can be used at the start of a sentence, or in the middle. When a subordinating conjunction is used at the start of a sentence its meaning (or strength) is emphasized. When the conjunction is used in the middle of a sentence its meaning is weaker.


Examples:

  • Although we all know smoking is bad for our health, many people still smoke.

  • Many people still smoke despite knowing smoking is bad for their health.

  • They went out for a walk despite the cold wind.

  • Despite the cold wind, they went out for a walk.

  • The students passed their exams because they had studied hard.

  • Because the students had studied hard, they passed their exams easily.


There are too many conjunctions and transitions to list them all here. However, the table below contains some of the more common forms.


Function Conjunctions and Transitions
Addition Also, Again, And, And then, As well as, Besides, Coupled with, Equally important, First, Finally, Furthermore, In addition, In the first place, Last, Likewise, Moreover, Next, Plus, Second, Still, Too
Concession Accordingly, Granted, Naturally, Of course
Consequence Accordingly, As a result, Consequently, For this reason, For this purpose, Hence, Otherwise, So then, Subsequently, Therefore, Thus, Thereupon, Wherefore
Contrast and Comparison Although, Also, And yet, (But) at the same time, Despite, Despite that, Even so, Even though, For all that, However, In contrast, In spite of, In the same way, Instead, Likewise, Nevertheless, Notwithstanding, On the contrary, On the other hand, Otherwise, Regardless, Similarly, Still, Though, Yet
Direction Above, Beyond, Here, In the distance, Nearly, Opposite, Over there, There, To the left, To the right, Under
Diversion By the way, Incidentally
Emphasis Above all, Chiefly, Certainly, Especially, Indeed, In fact, Of course, Particularly
Example - Illustration After all, As an illustration, Even, For example, For instance, In conclusion, Indeed, In fact, In other words, In short, It is true, Of course, Namely, Specifically, That is, To illustrate, Thus
Exception Aside from, Barring, Besides, Except, Excepting, Excluding, Exclusive of, Other than, Outside of, Save
Generalizing As a rule, As usual, For the most part, Generally, Generally speaking, Ordinarily, Usually
Reiteration In essence, In other words, Namely, That is, That is to say, In short, In brief, To put it differently
Summary All in all, Altogether, As has been said, Finally, In brief, In conclusion, In other words, In particular, In short, In simple terms, In summary, On the whole, That is, Therefore, To put it differently, To summarize
Sequence After a while, Afterwards, Again, Also, And then, As long as, At last, At length, At that time, Before, Besides, Earlier, Eventually, Finally, Formerly, Further, Furthermore, In addition, In the first place, In the past, Last, Lately, Meanwhile, Moreover, next, Now, Presently, Previously, Prior to, Second, Shortly, Simultaneously, Since, So far, Soon, Still, Subsequently, Then, Thereafter, Too, Until, Until now, When

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