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Elementary School Transition Words and Phrases

Transition words and phrases sew our writing together with an easy flow. Teaching this tactic to young students sets them up for a lifetime of clear and cohesive writing. So, if you're looking for some practice with elementary school transition words and phrases, you're in the right place.

Let's start off by examining a definition of transition words. Then, we'll explore some examples and word lists, and finish with a practice worksheet.

Transition Words and Phrases

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 make our writing more interesting and move it along. Here's an example to highlight the difference:

  • I saw the dog. Then, I pet 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. Soon, he ran away, so I went home.

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

Transition words are used in several different situations to tell different things:

  • They tell when, where, and how something occurred

  • They describe things

  • They compare things

Below, you'll find lists of elementary school transition words and phrases grouped by function:

Cause/Effect Transition

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

Compare and Contrast

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

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

Examples

Words

Phrases

Chiefly

After all

Even

For example

Including

For instance

Markedly

In fact

Notably

Such as

Truly

To illustrate

Time and Sequence

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

Conclusion

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

If you're working with second graders, in addition to the worksheet below, try the activity and worksheet in Transition Words for Second Grade with your students.

Worksheet for Transition Words and Phrases

Ready to practice using transition words and phrases? Remember, they link sentences together smoothly.

Read through the questions below or download and print the worksheet as a PDF.

worksheet for transition wordsworksheet for transition words


View & Download PDF

Let's begin with two quick examples before you test your skills (the transition words are in bold in these sentences):

  • First, I went to school. Then, I played at the park.

  • I went to the movie, even though everyone said it was scary.

Part A. Underline the correct transition word in the following sentences:

  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.

  6. You will see a big tree; (further on, however) you will see a fork in the road.

  7. He really loves reading. (Despite, In fact), he reads almost all the time.

  8. That would not be smart. (Despite, In other words), that would be idiotic.

  9. (Over, Among) the trees of the forest, the deer ran gracefully.

  10. You are always late. (On the other hand, Like), you can be trusted.

Part B. Fill in the blanks with the transitional word or phrase 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 45 minutes. __________ we can buy our tickets.

  3. __________ the high cost of the ticket, I am going to the concert.

  4. I am his biggest fan; __________, I have all of his albums.

  5. __________, I will thoroughly enjoy the show.


Answer Key:

Part A

  1. Because

  2. So

  3. Therefore

  4. Next

  5. Otherwise

  6. Further on

  7. In fact

  8. In other words

  9. Among

  10. On the other hand

Part B

  1. In front of

  2. Finally

  3. Despite

  4. After all

  5. In any event

    Elementary School Transition Words and PhrasesElementary School Transition Words and Phrases

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