What are Phrase Transitions?
Phrase transitions are used to link the ideas of a writing piece: an essay, report, article, research paper, or editorial. In other words, they indicate how one sentence connects to the sentence before and after it. One of the many purposes of transition phrases is to provide cues to the reader that the arguments, perspective, or voice presented in the writing are about to change or have more details. They also ensure that these changes are interpreted by readers logically. Moreover, they support paragraph and sentence structure, not only relating them to one another but also creating variations in sentence construction to make the piece of writing interesting and engaging to read. Professional or seasoned writers use transition phrases accurately and methodically to articulate their thoughts and for the readers to comprehend their topic. For example:
- They don’t support intolerance in the school. As a matter of fact, they have an anti-bullying brigade comprised of students who look after their peers.
- Visitors are allowed to have picnics at the beachfront so long as they clean up after themselves.
- Many complainants choose not to file official reports for fear that the police officers involved might retaliate.
Phrase Transitions Rules
When applied properly, phrase transitions can make the structure of your writing sophisticated and smooth. Here are some of the main rules to develop proficiency in using them.
|Understand how your ideas connect||It’s common practice for many writers to brainstorm and map out their ideas before they write. The main reason is that understanding the relationships between the points you want to convey will reinforce the proper usage of phrase transitions.|
Mapping out ideas is especially useful because you can see your thesis statement and supporting details in simplified clusters. You can easily identify the purpose of each sentence and analyze the relationship it has to the rest of the article. Then you can decide how to write your points in a way that delivers the impact you aim for. The greater your understanding of the ideas you want to present, the better you’ll be at knowing which transition phrase is the best one to use.
|Study the nuances of phrase transitions||Keep in mind that many transition phrases can be used in different contexts, which is why they may belong to more than one type of transition. In addition, transition phrases have many synonyms but it doesn’t always mean that they’re switchable. There are also transitions that are more appropriate in formal writing (“however” as opposed to “but,” for example). You should also consider that each phrase has its own nuances and connotations, so it’s important to study and distinguish them from each other correctly.|
|Strategize properly||Isolate your transition phrases to see if the ones you’ve chosen match the ideas you’re highlighting. Also try to paraphrase whenever possible, which means using a transition only once in a piece of writing. Whenever you need to express a similar idea, find an alternative. Bear in mind that repetition in any form of writing sounds tiresome. Read your essay aloud to examine if your sentences are verbose or awkwardly constructed, and make the necessary changes.|
|Avoid overuse||Too many transitions can be distracting and confusing to readers. They could lose interest and stop reading. Likewise, an inadequate number of transitions can make your writing sound robot or long-winding as there should be a word or phrase to move through the different segments of an article or essay. It’s important, then, to find an acceptable volume. For the most part, failure to create a good balance will diminish the quality of your writing. Make it a habit to read what you’ve written out loud and remove or add transitions accordingly.|
Examples of Phrase Transitions
1. Phrase Transitions of Addition
- Coupled with his sub-par equipment, the story weather made him decide to make the journey another time.
- Not only will you cause a disruption at the party, but you will also hurt your friendship with Tao.
- It’s difficult to have money to burn right off the holidays. Not to mention, I can’t probably go on leave after such a long vacation.
- I don’t understand why she’s the one acting up. In the first place, no one invited her here.
- We’re hosting a charity dinner. Of course, all proceeds beyond cost will go to the institutions on our list.
2. Phrase Transitions of Cause & Effect
- We will organize activities that are significant to the attendees. With this in mind, we’ve agreed not to accept outsiders at the event.
- You can tell her their store can set up a kiosk provided that they give a 10% discount.
- In order to get an audience from the renowned but reclusive painter, they had to solve a puzzle he had hidden in his paintings.
- Due to unforeseen circumstances, the fair will be postponed for a couple of days.
- In the event that an accident occurs, the resort has no liability whatsoever.
3. Phrase Transitions of Conclusion
- All things considered, they were still lucky to have gotten the chance to compete.
- In conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty!
- On the whole, Ursula has been a saint to those poor, unfortunate souls.
- By and large, this is the biggest concert I have ever attended.
- In short, go big or go home.
4. Phrase Transitions of Contrast
- Different from the hell I’m living in, the city is full of vibrant colors and possibilities.
- Be that as it may, I still implore you to consider giving aid to our community.
- Then again, the Northern villages weren’t always as welcoming as the settlements in the South.
- Even so, the team decided to risk it and go for the chance of bigger returns.
- In spite of himself, Jarec approached the woman behind the counter and ordered two dozen doughnuts.
5. Phrase Transitions of Example and Emphasis
- By all means, move at a glacial pace; you know how much that thrills me.
- Their small association is always active in our advocacy events; Medical missions, in particular.
- For one thing, the coverage doesn’t include pre-existing medical conditions.
- To clarify, I accepted the responsibility of making the designs, but not the printing.
- In general, the students in her class were attentive and polite.
6. Phrase Transitions of Time
- At the present time, Hilda’s talent agency hasn’t released any statement regarding the rumors.
- The government’s blatant regret of the abandoned nuclear plant’s crumbling conditions will affect residents sooner or later.
- Repairs will take two months at most. In the meantime, the classes affected will move to Rodson Hall.
- Prior to his stint with the intelligence agency, Janus was one of the biggest players in the Mining Industry.
- In a moment, you will witness the launch of the biggest space shuttle in history.
Phrase Transitions Exercises with Answers
Exercise on Phrase Transitions
Complete the sentences by choosing the correct phrase transition below:
on the other hand, in addition to, sum up, owing to, in the event that
as a matter of fact, prior to, all things considered, together with, in order to
1. The Diamond Group will gather in Room 6C for the rehearsal. ____________________, Emerald Group will gather here, 6G.
2. We should anticipate injuries and hire paramedics. ____________________ someone does get injured, we’ll have it covered.
3. They were asking Dionne if she has evidence of the assault. ____________________, she acquired CCTV footage from the store next door.
4. Regular interactions will improve your language fluency better than books. ____________________, you’ll develop social and cultural skills with the foreigners you meet.
5. ____________________ the volunteers from Montola and Florenceville, began searching for the missing girl.
6. Everyone at the meeting liked our pitch! ____________________, we received great support from all 12 alumni representatives.
7. ____________________ his long and successful career in film, Jimmy was a museum curator in his early 20s.
8. This is Clayon, Inc.’s 50th anniversary so we would like to give back and be generous to our patrons. ____________________ be eligible for year-long discounts, you need to have been a membership card holder before this announcement.
9. ____________________ the training he received, he developed mastery in 5 different martial arts including karate and arnis.
10. We may not have gotten the numbers we expected, but the festival went on smoothly. ____________________, it was a learning experience.
1. The Diamond Group will gather in Room 6C for the rehearsal. On the other hand, Emerald Group will gather here, 6G.
2. We should anticipate injuries and hire paramedics. In the event that someone does get injured, we’ll have it covered.
3. They were asking Dionne if she has evidence of the assault. As a matter of fact, she acquired CCTV footage from the store next door.
4. Regular interactions will improve your language fluency better than books. In addition, you’ll develop social and cultural skills with the foreigners you meet.
5. Together with the volunteers from Montola and Florenceville, they began searching for the missing girl.
6. Everyone at the meeting liked our pitch! To sum up, we received great support from all 12 alumni representatives.
7. Prior to his long and successful career in film, Jimmy was a museum curator in his early 20s.
8. This is Clayon, Inc.’s 50th anniversary so we would like to give back and be generous to our patrons. In order to be eligible for year-long discounts, you need to have been a membership card holder before this announcement.
9. Owing to the training he received, he developed mastery in 5 different martial arts including karate and arnis.
10. We may not have gotten the numbers we expected, but the festival went on smoothly. All things considered, it was a learning experience.
Phrase Transitions List
Below is a list of single-word transitions according to type. Note that many of them can overlap and may be used in different functions.
|Type||Definition||List of Examples|
|Addition||These phrase transitions introduce further details and support the previous points specified in the writing. They are also used to convey agreement or similarities. ||as a matter of fact|
as well as
in light of
in like manner
in the first place
in the same fashion/way
not only … but also
not to mention
to say nothing of
|Cause and Effect||This type of phrase transition connects after-effects to what initiated them. It may also include phrases that show functions, reasons, or circumstances.||as/so long as|
for fear that
for the purpose of
in order to
in the event that
in the hope that
in view of
on (the) condition (that)
so as to
to the end that
with this intention
with this in mind
|These transition phrases summarize your writing. They normally introduce the final or closing point of the piece.||after all|
all in all
all things considered
as can be seen
as shown above
in the long run
given these points
as has been noted
by and large
for the most part
in a word
in any event
in either case
in the final analysis
on the whole
to sum up
|Contrast||This type of transitional phrase indicates the relationship between two opposing ideas.||and still|
as much as
at the same time
be that as it may
in spite of
of course …, but
on the other hand
on the contrary
|Example and Emphasis||This type of phrase transition signifies further details and supplementary explanation. They also give clarification and focus.||as an illustration|
by all means
for one thing
for this reason
in other words
in this case
to be sure
to put it another way
to put it differently
that is to say
with attention to
|Time||This type of phrase transition relates ideas to time.||at the present time|
from time to time
sooner or later
at the same time
up to the present time
to begin with
in due time
as soon as
as long as
in the meantime
in a moment
by the time
Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners
Phrase transitions are referred to as link builders. They function like bridges to connect actions and ideas in any piece of writing. They promote precision and conciseness and improve the structure of your sentences.
- Peyton likes Asian food, in particular, Indian and Thai cuisine because he likes different types of curry.
Now, let’s try removing the transitions. This is how the rewritten sentence would appear:
- Peyton likes Asian food. He likes Indian and Thai cuisine. He likes different types of curry.
There’s something that doesn’t seem correct with the second sentence, isn’t there? That’s because transition words provide a “flow.” However, overusing transitions isn’t a good thing as well. An efficient way to get a feel for the right amount is to read a lot. Identify the transitions that the writers used and take note of how they did so. Then, apply what you’ve noted to your own writing.
Common Errors Made by English Learners
|Incomplete sentences||Many students create incomplete sentences without meaning to when they use phrase transitions. They seem long enough so it is quite easy to mistake them for full sentences. For example:|
– They took part in the motorcade. Prior to attending the ceremony.
– Prior to attending the ceremony, they took part in the motorcade.
|Informal transition words||In technical writing, it’s important to recognize which transitions have a formal tone. Single-word transitions such as “and so”, “not only… but also”, “and still,” etc. are considered informal and shouldn’t be used to start sentences in technical writing. You should replace them with transition phrases that are appropriately formal.|
– And still, our organization aims to break through the Chinese market by June of next year.
– On the contrary, our organization aims to break through the Chinese market by June of next year.
|Mixing up meanings||It’s important to know the exact meaning of phrase transitions in order to use them the right way. Many students misuse transitions that are similar yet distinctive in the context they should be used in. In time, this turns into a habit and becomes difficult to change. Also, ensure that the sentences you’re linking together make logical sense. You can’t use a transition of addition if you’re already concluding something.|
Learning Strategies and Best Practices with Phrase Transitions
For English students who are getting into writing for the first time, using phrase transitions can be complicated. But there are a few things you can include in your writing process. Below are some of the best practices for using transition phrases.
1. Mapping out ideas
Brainstorming may be tiresome, but it’s a great exercise to prepare for any writing requirement. Making a map of your topic sentences and the ideas that support them gives an initial picture of the connections you need to emphasize or point out. Would giving examples create a greater impact? How about a contrasting point? You can easily identify which cluster of ideas would benefit more under a particular style. Remember that planning is part of writing, and brainstorming is as good a foundation as any.
2. Look for signs that your writing needs transition words.
Don’t forget that one of the main objectives of writing is to guide your readers through your train of thought. If there are segments in your article or research paper that seem patchy or hasty, they most likely need transition phrases. Consequently, remember to utilize transitions in the following instances: introducing an idea, deviating from an idea, and presenting a different idea or point.
3. Place transitions properly.
To be honest, transition phrases can do well anywhere in your writing. They could be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of your sentences. Ordinarily, they occupy the beginning of most paragraphs. But this flexibility doesn’t necessarily apply to all transition phrases. The challenge is to determine the best position for them. For example, transition phrases typically appear at the start of statements or paragraphs that serve to conclude. In statements of contrast or enumeration, transition phrases could appear at the beginning or in the middle. Finally, in statements meant for emphasis, they can make a greater impression when put at the end.
4. Give your writing time to breathe.
When you’re done with your draft, step away and give it room to breathe. Then, return to it and read it aloud. This is a common thing for many writers as this allows them to detect and analyze the flow of their article or report. It helps them to edit by removing transition words that sound awkward or if there are too many. It also aids them to choose replacements or to find portions in their writing that need transitions.
Phrase Transitions Frequently Asked Questions
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