Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Useful Transition Words for the IELTS Writing and Speaking

Fluency and cohesion – the secret formula in creating exceptional responses in both oral and written communication. When taking an English proficiency examination such as the International English Language Testing System examination (IELTS), a good command in the English language is highly needed. Coming up with responses that will best deliver your ideas effectively is a must.

In both speaking and writing, fluency and cohesion play a vital role in evaluating one’s response. Fluency is emphasized on the length and comprehensibility of the answer while coherence is focused on how well the answer is elaborated, its relevancy, and how well the ideas are connected. To make these two things possible in a response, it is best to use transition words.

Transition words are words or phrases that are used to smoothly connect one idea to another idea. This helps the reader or the listener understand the flow of the points in the essay or in an oral response, respectively. In addition, transition words in the paragraph are used to separate the main idea from the supporting details. There are different transition words in the English language. Here are the different types and commonly used transition words for your responses:

1. Additive Transition words
- These show addition, an introduction, or connectedness from one idea to another.


Some college students prefer to stay in the university’s dormitory because of its cheap accommodation. Additionally, college students enjoy socializing with fellow students during their break time.

I believe that modern technology has improved the quality of living nowadays. For example, the usage of Internet has decreased the effort of students needing to find books in the library for their research.

Greenhouse effect has incredibly destroyed the ozone layer. Considering this, many companied have started finding ways on how to lessen the amount of toxic wastes they release in the environment.

Other addition transition words are:

Such as, particularly, in a like manner, likewise, namely, specifically, in other words, that is to say

2. Adversative Transitions

- These are used to show conflict or contradiction in the ideas


The use of plastic for mankind has been very useful in the last century; however, the devastating environmental effects have slowly taken its toll today.

It was raining so hard that the road was obviously dangerous to take. In spite of this, he drove his car slowly wanting to get home and be with his family.

Others include:

nevertheless, more importantly, besides, even more, in either case, in any case, at any rate

3. Causal Transitions

- They signal cause and effect


The bridge collapsed because of the flash food. Because of that fact, residents are now starting to feel hunger because of the lack of food.

She failed to review for her finals. Consequently, she got the lowest score in the whole class.

Others are:

as a result, seeing that, in as much as, for this reason, with this in mind, lest, so

4. Sequential Transitions

- They are used to show logical order.

I would like to say that my country has the best tourist spots. To start with, we have a lot of white sand beaches.

After putting the salt, add the sugar.

Others include:

incidentally, by the way, first, subsequently, next, previously

These transition words will also help you, the candidate, to organize your thoughts. Weigh your answers on which should be introduced first. Learn to use these words appropriately and get better scores in IELTS speaking and writing.


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