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Organizing Ideas

Transitional Words and Phrases

Transitional words and phrases are just one way to connect your ideas. Use these expressions only when necessary, usually between two related independent clauses. In most cases, you should explain the relationship between ideas.


While some of these words and phrases may have the same meaning, they are not all used in the same way. For example, “but” is a coordinating conjunction, but “however” is a conjunctive adverb.


This difference matters for punctuation and sentence structure. To help you use these words correctly, sentence patterns and grammar notes have been provided in these pages.