Adding Information and Examples
for example / for instance
Use these words to give one example of the idea you are talking about. Both of these expressions can go at the beginning or the end of a sentence.
- There are a number of problems in this school. For example, many of the classrooms don’t have audiovisual equipment.
- She has a lot of good ideas for our business – opening an online store, for instance.
Written English: i.e. and e.g
In written English, we can use i.e. to give further explanation or clarification; it means “that is” or “in other words.”
- Our last marketing campaign failed (i.e. we spent $50,000 and didn’t make many sales).
We can use e.g. to give examples; it means “for example”
- I enjoy radical sports (e.g. rock climbing, hang gliding, and windsurfing).
In formal writing, these expressions always appear inside parentheses.
namely / such as
There is a difference between namely and such as.
Namely is followed by ALLof the examples you referred to, but such as gives only one or some of the examples, not all of them.
- A few of the students – namely Brian, Thomas, and Jack – failed the course.
- A few of the students, such as Brian, failed the course.
also / too
Also can go in the middle of a sentence, whereas too is typically used at the end.
- We did a lot of sightseeing on our vacation. We also bought a number of souvenirs.
- We did a lot of sightseeing on our vacation. We bought a number of souvenirs, too.
as well / as well as
As well goes at the end of the sentence (similarly to too).
As well as must be followed by another word.
- She’s not only extremely successful, she’s beautiful as well.
- She’s beautiful as well as being extremely successful.
in addition / moreover / furthermore
These linking words are usually used at the beginning of a sentence to add another idea or further develop the previous point.
- People who exercise regularly have more energy during the day and sleep better at night. In addition, they tend to live longer.
- Construction on the new subway has been delayed for months due to budget shortfalls. Moreover, the workers are threatening to go on strike.
- Our sales are expected to rise 30% in the next year. Furthermore, purchase of new equipment will help cut manufacturing costs and increase profits.
Note: These expressions are more formal English. In informal spoken English, we usually use these expressions instead:
- what’s more
Organizing and Ordering Information
Firstly / Secondly
When you are going to make a series of points, you can use firstly and secondly for the first and second points. After that, you can use “The third point,” “The fourth point,” etc. or “in addition.”
Lastly / Finally
For your final point, you can begin the sentence with lastly or finally. These words show your audience that you are almost finished.
the former / the latter
You can use these words to refer back to two examples previously mentioned:
- Our company has two factories: one in Detroit and one in Atlanta. The former is operating at 95% capacity and the latter at 65%.
In this case, “the former” = the factory in Detroit, and “the latter” = the factory in Atlanta.
Here are some English phrases you can use to give a summary of the information you have already said or written. In general, these phrases go at the beginning of the sentence and are followed by a comma.
- In short
- In summary
- To summarize
- In conclusion
- In a nutshell
Anyone who has ever received criticism about a written assignment has quite possibly been told to use more transition words, which is where this list of transition words come in handy.
List of Transition Words
While you do not want your paper or other written piece to sound like a long string of transition words, consider adding some of these suggestions when appropriate in order to spice up your work and to make the sections flow more smoothly from one to another.
What follows is a list of transition words which you might want to use in your writing from time to time. Note that some of them are phrases and not singular words.
- In addition to
- As a result
- So then
- For the most part
- As a rule
- In particular
- For instance
- Such as
- For example
- As an example
- In this case
- Above all
- Coupled with
- Compared to
- In comparison to
- Together with
- In brief
- In short
- In conclusion
- In the meantime
- In the meanwhile
- In summary
- To summarize
- By the way
- As a result of
- Over there
- In the distance
- To the left
- To the right
Purpose of Transition Words
Transition words help a written piece to flow more smoothly. Without these types of words, your writing will become choppy. However, sometimes, when a writer is advised to use a new type of device in his or her writing, that person will tend to start sprinkling it in everywhere. Transition words should really fall very naturally throughout a composition.
Let's take a look at examples of sentences without a transition words, and then add a transition word in. You will be able to see how they work with the written word. The first example in each set is lacking a transition word, and the second example in each set has one added.
- Carla spent a long day working at school and then cooked dinner for her family. She needed a large cup of coffee.
Carla spent a long day working at school and then cooked dinner for her family. Therefore, she needed a large cup of coffee.
- Jeffrey will be ready to leave for the trip in 20 minutes. Fill up the car with gas please.
Jeffrey will be ready to leave for the trip in 20 minutes. In the meanwhile, fill up the car with gas please.
- The trip through the desert was extremely tiring for the crew. Then they saw civilization.
The trip through the desert was extremely tiring for the crew. Then, in the distance, they saw civilization.
- Paul did not run for the ice cream truck with the other children. He doesn't like ice cream.
Paul did not run for the ice cream truck with the other children, because he doesn't like ice cream.
After you read these senetences over a few times, you will see how adding in a transition makes the written word flow better.