Transition (linguistics)

A transition or linking word is a word or phrase that shows the relationship between paragraphs or sections of a text or speech.[1] Transitions provide greater cohesion by making it more explicit or signaling how ideas relate to one another.[1] Transitions are "bridges" that "carry a reader from section to section."[1] Transitions guide a reader through steps of logic, increments of time, or through physical space. Transitions "...connect words and ideas so that your readers don't have to do the mental work for you."[2]

In simple terms, a transition word demonstrates the relationship between two portions of the text or spoken language. By using the imagery of a bridge, we can see how these words take us from one statement to another. By using these words we can better build a sentence and convey what we are trying to say in a more concise manner.[3] There is more than one type of transition word. This section will introduce the most commonly used.

Elements in a coordinate relationship are equal in rank, quality, or significance.[4] To show a link between equal elements, use a coordinating transition.[5]

The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, add information, reinforce ideas, and express agreement with preceding material.[10]