Elementary School Transition Words and Phrases

Transition words for kids help sew their writing together with an easy flow. Teaching this tactic to young students sets them up for a lifetime of clear and cohesive writing. If you're looking for some practice with elementary school transition words and phrases, you're in the right place. Review what transition words are and how they're used, then explore several lists of transition words and phrases. Finally, download a printable practice worksheet.

students showing transition words and phrases students showing transition words and phrases
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Transition Words and Phrases Defined

Transition words and phrases link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly and highlight how ideas relate to each other. When explaining transition words to elementary students, it's important to state that they help make writing more interesting and move it along.

Transition Words Example

Here's an example to highlight the difference between a sentence with no transition words and one with transition words.

I saw the dog. Then, I petted the dog. Then, he ran away. Then, I went home.

It would be much smoother to say:

I saw a dog and then began to pet him, but soon he ran away. So, then I went home.

This bit of text was improved by putting short sentences together and using transition words.

How Transition Words Are Used

Transition words are used in different situations to tell different things.

  • They tell when, where, and how something occurred.
  • They describe things.
  • They compare things.

Transition Word Lists for Elementary Students

For a quick list of transition words, download and save or print the list below. Just click the image and it will open as a PDF. You can also explore several other lists of elementary school transition words and phrases grouped by function.

list of transition words

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List of Cause/Effect Transition Words and Phrases

Use the words and phrases below to transition between a cause and its effect.

Words

Phrases

because

as a result

consequently

in the event that

if

for this purpose

of

for this reason

since

that being the case

so

to that end

then

to this end

therefore

with this in mind

List of Compare and Contrast Transitions

Use these transition words and phrases when you're comparing or contrasting information.

Words

Phrases

again

as a matter of fact

also

coupled with

although

equally important

but

even though

despite

in addition

however

in the same way

instead

on the contrary

like

on the other hand

otherwise

once more

unlike

to say nothing of

Location Transitions List

Use the words or phrases below when you need a transition that indicates where something is located.

Words

Phrases

above

adjacent to

among

closer to

below

further on

beneath

here and there

beside

in front of

beyond

in the background

elsewhere

in the center of

far

in the distance

further

in the middle of

here

next to

near

on this side

nearby

opposite to

opposite

to the left

there

to the right

List of Examples Transitions

When highlighting examples in your writing, use these transition words or phrases.

Words

Phrases

chiefly

after all

even

for example

including

for instance

markedly

in fact

notably

such as

truly

to illustrate

Time and Sequence Transitions List

When a transition needs to indicate time or sequence, use one of the following transitional terms or phrases.

Words

Phrases

afterward

after awhile

again

after this

before

and then

earlier

as a final point

finally

as long as

first

as previously stated

immediately

as soon as

last

at last

later

at that time

meanwhile

first of all

next

getting to the point

now

in short

once

in summary

second

in the first place

soon

in the last place

still

in the meantime

suddenly

in the past

then

last but not least

tomorrow

to begin

yesterday

to conclude

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List of Conclusion Transitions

When you need to use a transition word to conclude an idea or essay, use these terms or phrases.

Words

Phrases

definitely

as a result

eventually

as I have said

evidently

as mentioned earlier

finally

as we have seen

hence

in any event

lastly

in conclusion

obviously

in other words

therefore

in summary

ultimately

on the whole

Printable Transition Words and Phrases Worksheet

Ready to practice using transition words and phrases? Try out a few practice questions or an entire worksheet full of them.

Practice Questions From the Worksheet

A selection of practice questions from the worksheet is included below. The answers are provided after the worksheet.

Section 1: Word Choice

Remember that transition words and phrases link sentences together smoothly. Choose the correct word for each item.

  1. (Because, Before) it was raining, I didn't walk my dog this evening.
  2. I love chocolate, (although, so) I eat chocolate candy whenever I can.
  3. The test was really hard. (Therefore, Then), only five students passed it.
  4. First, you have to answer the questions. (Next, So), you hand in your paper.
  5. Ben needs to go to bed early. (Although, Otherwise), he will be late for school.

Section 2: Fill-in-The-Blank

Complete each item with the transitional word or phrase from the following list that fits best: after all, finally, despite, in front of, in any event.

  1. We need a meeting place. __________ the fountain is a good spot.
  2. We have been waiting in line for 45 minutes. __________, we can buy our tickets.
  3. __________ the high cost of the ticket, I am going to the concert.
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Transition Words Worksheet

This worksheet includes word choice and fill-in-the-blank sections along with an answer key.

transition words worksheet

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Answers to Practice Questions

Check your work against the answers below.

Section 1 Answers

  1. Because it was raining, I didn't walk my dog this evening.
  2. I love chocolate, so I eat chocolate candy whenever I can.
  3. The test was really hard. Therefore, only five students passed it.
  4. First, you have to answer the questions. Next, you hand in your paper.
  5. Ben needs to go to bed early. Otherwise, he will be late for school

Section 2 Answers

Verify that you chose appropriate words for each item.

  1. We need a meeting place. In front of the fountain is a good spot.
  2. We have been waiting in line for 45 minutes. Finally, we can buy our tickets.
  3. Despite the high cost of the ticket, I am going to the concert.
Elementary School Transition Words and Phrases
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More Tools for Teaching Transitions

It's so important for students to begin mastering how to use transitional words and phrases when they're young. Use these examples of transitional words and phrases to further explain how to use correctly use transitions in language. If you're working with early elementary classes or students in higher grades who need a basic review, use these transition words and activities to reinforce and review skills. For more advanced learners, focus on how to use transitional words in an essay.