Friday, July 11, 2014

Transitional Phrases in the IELTS Test

“My speaking coach tells me that my responses are very dry and she gets lost with my ideas. It is also the same with my essays. I really do not know how to make my responses better and much more interesting.” – Mellisa, 25, Nurse



When your speaking responses and essays have a good content but lacks good flow, then your score will surely be compromised. In the International English Language Testing System examination (IELTS), content of responses are important but candidates have to consider if they are presenting these responses effectively. Some are just too boring and even to the point of confusion as shifts of ideas are made without proper transitions. Hence, it is important for any candidate of English proficiency examinations such as the IELTS to use transition words or others call it transitional phrases.

Transitional phrases are groups of words that are used in essay writing to guide the reader on the change or shifts of ideas in the writing. These transitional phrases can signal agreement or addition of idea, contrast, or even result when used in a paragraph. Here are some transitional phrases one should be familiar with for the IELTS test.

To show agreement or additional detail

1. In addition

- The meeting was cancelled due to the heavy rain. In addition, the CEO was not around for the presentation.

- In addition to what Mike said, the company needs new interns to help with the launch of the new brand.

2. For instance

- There are a lot of reasons why people quit their jobs. For instance, they could be tired of doing the same thing.

- We should tell them to change the rules, for instance, the one about wearing heels at work.

3. Generally speaking

- Generally speaking, they should reconsider the request.

- The board was not listening to me. Generally speaking, they were all being rude during my presentation.

To show contrast

4. In contrast

- In contrast with what he said, the product will be released only in East Asia.

- In contrast with the previous note, parents should be allowed to visit their children in school.

5. On the other hand

- He was such a good violinist. On the other hand, his brother was a superb soccer player.

- There was a drastic decrease on the number of people eating menthol candy. On the other hand, a sudden increase was seen for those who are enjoying chocolate bars.

6. Sadly

- Sadly, not all of us understood the essence of having a day care in the office,

- Sadly, the students were not given a chance to defend themselves during the meeting.

To show result

7. As a result

- As a result of her negligence, the child was taken from her.

- The bottle of red wine was spilled on the floor. As a result, the carpet got some stains.

8. As a consequence

- The product launch was a disaster. As a consequence, everybody was reprimanded by the marketing manager.

- I failed my test. As a consequence, I lost my scholarship.

9. Hence

- He speaks English well; hence, he became a teacher.

- The library was closed. Hence, students were seen crowding in the hallway.

10. Over all

- It was a failure. Over all, not a single experiment was a success.

- Over all, results showed that this month’s sale increased by 80%.

Transitional phrases can be used interchangeably in sentences. However, it is still best to use the appropriate ones to effectively deliver your ideas to the reader. Make writing more interesting with transitional phrases.

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