Some Examples of English Transition Words

In today’s article we’re going to look at transitions. Now you may have seen some other articles on Internet about transitions, especially for writing. what we’re going to look at today are a few more specific transitions, but this time we’re not looking at transitions between paragraphs or even transition between sentences. We’re looking at transitions that we are generally using in a sentence to shift from one idea to another idea in a sentence. So they’re very similar to like adverb Clauses, for example, but they’re used in different ways. But again, they do have their specific purposes. Now you’ll also notice that all of them or most of them start with “there” plus a preposition, or where plus a preposition, and we have the one special one “hereby”. so “Thereby, Thereof, Thereafter, Therein, Therefore, Wherein, Whereby, Hereby”, these are the words we’re going to look at and how they’re used within sentences.

Now, before I explain these to you and show you samples of how they use, I want you to understand that these are generally very formal, very high-end, they’re not very commonly used. There are other ways you can say these things without being too serious, I guess you could say. But if you’re going to University, if you’re going to take a test, IELTS, TOEFL, SAT all these tests – you will see these and you should be able to use them as well, And if you can actually use them properly in your essays, and like, again, nicely, appropriately, good-timing, that’ll help your score, It should go up quite a bit, because these are not very easy to use.


Let’s start with “Thereby”, thereby basically means by which or through which,or like through this action something happened. it’s a little bit similar to “due to”. The only problem is you can’t use it in the same structure as “due to”.

The team lost the final game of the season, thereby missing the Playoffs.

So, basically by doing this, by losing the last game, the result of what happened? They missed the playoffs. But noticed that we are using an “ing” here: “…thereby missing the Playoffs”, right? This is basically a gerund expression, a gerund phrase, but we can’t use this with clause. We’re using it with an ing so that’s one thing you have to keep in mind. If I wanted to use “due to”, I would have to change the whole structure.

Due to their loss in the final game of the season, the team missed the playoffs.

But we don’t have to use the “ing”, we can use another way.

Lisa study for three straight weeks and was thereby able to pass her test.

So, she studied, studied, studied and through this action she was able to pass her test.

Notice that I’m not using this to start the clause, I’m using it within the clause, between the verbs to show through this action, this was the result that she was looking for.


“Therein” basically means in that, or into that situation, problem, position, state,etc.

The new contract does not allow for extended maternity leave; therein lies the problem for the union, 60% of whose membership is young women.

“…therein lies the problem”,And this is a very common follow-up to the transition “therein”.A very famous expression:”…therein lies the rub”from Shakespeare.

The tomb and all the contents therein, were photographed before analysis could begin.

You can also say:”The tomb and all its contents were photographed.” Why shuld I use “therein”?

To souond pretty, to sound sophisticated, to sound academic.


Both parties had their sights focused on the northern regions, especially the demographics thereof, and were preparing for and ad war.

“Thereof” means “of that”.

They had their sights focused on the northern regions, especially the demographics of the northern regions.

Fine wines, and a knowledge thereof, are a luxury few can afford.

(knowledge of fine wines)


Bacically means “because of that”

I think therefore I am.

I am well-prepared, there is no reason, therefore, that I should stumble.


This is very straightforward, it means “after that”.


He worked at the university until he retired; thereafter he took on sporadic work as a consultant.

Now, one thing I also want to mention: “therefore” and “thereafter”, and before we had “therein”, These can be commonly used to begin a sentence. All the rest of them are always within a sentence;they are not commonly used to begin a sentence, they’re always part of the structure.


“Wherein” basically also means “in that”, or “in what way”,or”in which way”.

The affidavit did not implicitly outline wherein Mr. Smith had broken any laws.

Recognize it, don’t try to use it. Because it’s a little bit old-fashioned, a little bit too formal, not very commonly used.


“Whereby” means by which or through which, or in accordance with which.

The company introduced a new incentive program whereby all employees were given an equal shot at the bonuses.


“Hereby” you will hear more than you will read.The most common place you will read it is when sb resigns or gives up a position. So:”With this letter I resign”,so by means of this declaration, by means of this statement, that’s what “hereby” means. It means with this letter, with this declaration, with this speech, this is what I am doing.

Given the present circumstances, I hereby resign my post as CEO.

I hereby declare the Olympic Games opoen.

All of these words are commonly used in academic and more formal writing. I urge you, those of you who are a bit more advanced levels, who are going to be taking a test, we’re going to be going to an English-speaking University where you will have to do some writing, academic writing, pick two, three of these transitions and try to use them,and try to implement them in your writing to give it a little bit more style, a little bit more flare, a little bit more formality.


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