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Using Transition Words—Do It!

Name ______________________________________________ Block________________________

On each blank line, write a transition word that makes the order of ideas in the sentences clear. Use the list of transition words below to help you. You will not need all of them; moreover, you may want to use one of them more than once.

therefore however as a matter of fact for example later

finally as soon as moreover despite lastly

in fact for instance occasionally consequently first

furthermore as a result when afterwards now

1._________________________________________ Many people fear barracudas; _______, few instances

of attacks by barracudas have been reported.

2._________________________________________ ______ the difficulties you have caused, you are still

invited to attend the concert with us.

3._________________________________________ Johnny passed all sections of the graduation exam;

_____, he will be able to participate in the graduation ceremonies.

4._________________________________________ My mother bakes the best cakes; _____, she won first

place for her chocolate surprise.

5._________________________________________ She was very depressed about Gary breaking up with

her; _____, she started crying the second I mentioned

his name.

6._________________________________________ I played soccer all afternoon; _____, I forgot to complete my homework assignments.

7._________________________________________ You need to get out of bed; ______ you need to take a shower and get ready for school.

8._________________________________________ Mark failed Geometry B; _____, he will have to retake

it during summer school.

9._________________________________________ ___________ the rainy, cold weather, we practiced

soccer after school.

10.________________________________________ This television program is over; ______ Mother

wants you to take out the garbage and mow the lawn.

Name ______________________________________________ Date __________________________

Sentence Structure: Transitions

Transitions function to connect one idea to another either between sentences or between paragraphs. They are signals that help readers follow the direction of the writer's thoughts. The list below categorizes transitional words and phrases according what they signify. Note that certain transitions appear on more than one list.

When using transitions, keep in mind that there are subtle differences between transitional words and phrases on the same list. If you are unsure about the precise meaning of a particular word or phrase, consult a dictionary. Also, while transitions do help to connect ideas in an essay, too many transitions can make writing seen overly formal or stilted. Certain transitions such as hence, moreover, thus, and subsequently may make your writing sound too formal or artificial, which can be distracting to a reader. Formal transitions should be avoided in personal writing and used judiciously even in formal writing.


Underline any transitional words or phrases in the following passages.

A Homeless Man

One day, I saw a homeless man in the subway. He was a little bit different from other homeless people. When he came into our car, he started making a speech about how hard he had tried to find a job, how difficult it was to do so, how hungry he was, and so on. Then, he sang a song with a sad low voice. It sounded pitifully throughout the car. Moreover, his speech was so persuasive that people could not help feeling sympathy. As a result, most people there gave him some change, or even a dollar. His paper cup was filled with money in a minute.

The Educational System in Burma

During my father's generation, the education system was very different. Back in those days, more schools were provided by the government. In those days, people had a better education than nowadays because teachers had different ways of teaching. Most of the students were taught by British teachers. Therefore, they spoke better English and had high standards in English. Also, they began learning English in primary school. Furthermore, all of the subjects were taught in English. The schools' rules were strictly followed, and the administrators had punishments for every little thing. Now, the educational system is far different from my father's. For example, all the subjects are taught in Burmese, except for English. I, myself, and other students started to learn English in the fifth grade. In the fourth and eighth grades, our final exams were given by the state board of education, and in the tenth grade, our exam was a nation-wide exam. In each grade, we have to pass every subject. Otherwise, we have to repeat that particular grade. Therefore, it can be really difficult to graduate from high school. After tenth grade, we can enter college. In the old days, there was no limit in choosing any major or professional field that students wanted. However, things are not as easy in my generation. The students have fewer opportunities to learn and fewer careers from which to choose.

(Turn over!)


Read the following story and fill in the blanks with transitional words or phrases. Use the

list that is provided for you in your syllabus.

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears Goldilocks” as retold by Professor Pen

Once upon a time, there were three bears: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and wee Baby Bear. They lived in a quaint little cottage in the middle of the forest. One beautiful spring morning, the bears sat down to eat their porridge.

"It's too hot!" squealed Baby Bear.

"Ouch! This porridge needs to cool off a bit," agreed Papa Bear.

___________________________the three bears decided to go for a stroll in the woods while their porridge cooled.

________________________________, a curious little girl named Goldilocks was out walking in the woods. She saw the bears' cute little house and could not resist meeting its occupants. She went straight to the door and knocked. There was no answer. Therefore, Goldilocks went right in! Goldilocks saw the three bowls of porridge and decided to have a taste. _________________________, she took a taste from the great big bowl.

"Too hot!" she cried.

Next, she tried the middle-sized bowl.

"Too cold!" she said.

___________________________ she had a taste from the wee little bowl.

"Yum! Just right!" she said and ate every last bit of Baby Bear's porridge.

After she had eaten, Goldilocks saw three chairs. She sat down in the great big Papa Bear chair.

"Too hard!" she thought.

______________________________, she tried the middle-sized chair.

"Too soft!" she said, sinking into the chair.

______________________________, Goldilocks sat down on wee Baby Bear's chair.

"Just right!"

______________________________ she sat down so hard that the chair collapsed into pieces.

______________________________, Goldilocks was starting to get very sleepy. She climbed up the stairs and found three beds. First, she tried the great big Papa Bear bed.

"Too hard!" she squealed.

Next, she tried the middle-sized bed: "Too soft!"

Then, she tried the wee little Baby Bear bed: "Just right!"

____________________________________, she fell fast asleep.

When the three bears came back from their little walk in the woods, they were in for a big surprise.

Papa Bear said in his great big voice, "Someone's been eating my porridge!"

Mama Bear said in her middle-sized voice, "Someone's been eating my porridge!"

__________________, Baby Bear said in his wee little voice, "Someone's been eating my porridge, and it's all gone!"

Papa Bear went into the living room. He said in his great big voice, "Someone's been sitting in my chair!"

"Someone's been sitting in my chair!" said Mama Bear in her middle-sized voice.

Baby Bear said in his wee little voice, "Someone's been sitting in my chair, and broke it to pieces!"

_________________________________, they went upstairs.

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed!" said Papa Bear in his great big voice.

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed!" said Mama Bear in her medium-sized voice.

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed, and there she is!" cried Baby Bear in his wee little voice.

_____________________________________, Goldilocks woke up. She ran out of the cute little house as fast as she could, never to return.

The End


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