Transition Words Worksheets, ESL Activities and Games

Addition Words Chain Game

ESL Transition Words Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this transition words activity, students play a game where they connect sentences together using transition words and phrases for giving additional information. Divide the students into groups of four and give each student a corresponding worksheet. The teacher begins the game by reading the first sentence to the class. In their groups, the students then take it in turns to choose one sentence from their worksheet and add it to the conversation. If a student has a sentence that is the same as the previous sentence, apart from the person's name, they may say the sentence with the word 'too'. If a student has a sentence about the same person as the previous sentence, they can say the sentence using one of the other transition words on their worksheet, e.g. 'Additionally,...' If a student doesn't have a sentence they can link, they choose any remaining sentence and start a new chain with 'I heard...' In this case, they do not use a transition word. Each time a student uses a sentence or transition word, they cross it off their worksheet. The game continues until all the students have used all their sentences. The student that uses the most transition words wins the game.
Addition Words Chain Game Preview
 

Illustration Words and Phrases

ESL Illustration Words Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2-B1) - 30 minutes

This transition words worksheet helps students practice words and phrases that illustrate a point with examples. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching sentences or sentence halves together that contain transition words for illustrating examples. Next, read through the grammar explanation with the class. Students then sort the illustration words and phrases into the correct category, words used with a noun or list of nouns, or words used with nouns and in separate clauses. Students then rewrite sentences, correcting mistakes with the use of illustration words. In the last exercise, students imagine that a friend is visiting their country for the first time. The students rewrite sentences, adding examples giving travel advice. Students should use a different transition word or phrase in each sentence, e.g. 'You'll arrive at the international airport. Namely, Narita'. When the students have finished, have them read their sentences to the class and provide feedback.
Illustration Words and Phrases Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - This illustration words interactive worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words for illustrating examples.

 

Sequence Words

ESL Sequence Words Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This free sequence words worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that show order. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by putting instructions for making ice cream in the correct order 1 to 5. The students then underline the sequence words in each step. Next, students sort the sequencing words into categories. Students then rearrange words in brackets to form 'once' and 'when' clauses. Next, students complete instructions with sequencing words from the worksheet. In the last exercise, students write instructions for a procedure of their choice, using the sequencing words provided. When the students have finished, have them read their instructions to the class and provide feedback.
Sequence Words Worksheet Preview
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Interactive Version - In this free sequence words interactive worksheet, students work through a range of exercises to learn transition words that indicate order.

 

Common Discourse Markers

ESL Discourse Markers Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this discourse markers worksheet, students practice six discourse markers commonly used in everyday conversation. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by completing sentences with an appropriate discourse marker from multiple-choice answers. Next, students match each discourse marker to its function using the answers from the first exercise to help them. Students then use the discourse markers in Exercise B to complete a short text about coffee. Students then move on to use their own ideas to complete sentences containing discourse markers. In the last exercise, students rewrite sentences using discourse markers.
Common Discourse Markers Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - Here is a discourse markers interactive worksheet to help students practice common discourse markers used in everyday conversation.

 

Condition Words and Phrases

ESL Condition Words Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This transition words worksheet helps students practice words and phrases that express conditions. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching condition sentences or sentence halves together. Next, students complete sentences using condition words and phrases from a box. Students then rewrite sentences, correcting mistakes in sentences that use condition words. Lastly, students complete condition sentences with their own ideas. When the students have finished, have them read their sentences aloud or to a partner and then provide feedback.
Condition Words and Phrases Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - Here is a condition words interactive worksheet to help students practice transition words and phrases that express a condition.

 

Comparing and Contrasting

ESL Comparing and Contrasting Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This transition words worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that are used to compare and contrast information. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by discussing the meaning of comparing and contrasting in pairs or small groups. Then, the students choose the correct definition in Exercise A. Working alone, the students then sort transition words into their corresponding columns, according to whether they indicate similarities or differences. After that, students read sentences and choose the correct transition word in brackets to complete each sentence. Next, students unscramble words to form sentences comparing and contrasting two houses. Finally, students look at pictures and write some sentences of their own to compare and contrast three different living locations. When the students have finished, review their sentences together as a class.
Comparing and Contrasting Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this comparing and contrasting interactive worksheet, students complete exercises to help them learn how to compare and contrast information with transition words.

 

Contrast, Cause and Effect

ESL Contrast, Cause and Effect Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this transition words worksheet, students learn and practice transition words that show contrast, cause and effect. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by categorizing transition words that contrast ideas or show cause and effect. Students then join clauses together with appropriate transition words, rewriting each sentence as necessary. After that, students read a story and complete gaps with transition words from the category indicated in brackets, adding any necessary punctuation. Finally, students underline the correct transition words in a set of sentences.
Contrast, Cause and Effect Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - This transition words interactive worksheet contains a variety of exercises to help students learn transition words that demonstrate contrast, cause and effect.

 

Despite

ESL Despite Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This contrasting ideas worksheet helps students learn how to use the transition word 'despite' in sentences to link contrasting ideas. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by putting a tick next to sentences that use 'despite' correctly and a cross next to the ones that don't. Students then correct the mistakes in the sentences from the first exercise and rewrite them. Next, students name things that they think fit descriptions with the word 'despite'. Afterwards, check the students' answers as a class. Students then move on to join sentence halves together with 'despite' in the middle to connect the contrasting ideas. In the last exercise, students write sentences connecting contrasting ideas with 'despite'.
Despite Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this despite interactive worksheet, students do exercises to learn how to use the transition word 'despite' to show contrasting ideas.

 

Transition Words for Summarising

ESL Summarising Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

This summarising worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that are used to summarise. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading paragraphs and matching a summary sentence from the box with each one. Next, students match transition words for summarising from a box with the four summary words and phrases from the first exercise. In the last exercise, students write one summary sentence to complete each paragraph using the transition words from Exercise B to start their sentences. When the students have finished, review their sentences and provide feedback.
Transition Words for Summarising Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - Here is a summarising interactive worksheet to help students learn and practice transition words that summarise paragraphs.

 

Concession Words and Phrases

ESL Concession Words Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

This concession words worksheet helps students practice transition words and phrases that concede a point. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by reading example sentences and circling the words that best fit the meaning of the concession words in bold. Next, students underline possible places concession words can be inserted into sentences. Students then rewrite pairs of sentences, connecting the parts with an appropriate concession word. In the last exercise, students complete concession sentences with their own ideas. When the students have finished, have them read their sentences to the class and provide feedback.
Concession Words and Phrases Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - In this concession words interactive worksheet, students complete a range of exercises to practice transition words that concede a point.

 

Reason and Result Race

ESL Transition Words Activity - Reading and Writing - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this engaging transition words activity, students race to complete sentences that use transition words for giving reasons and results. Divide the students into pairs. Have one student from each pair come to your desk and pick up sentence card 1. The student then goes back to their partner with the card. The two students then race to complete the sentence in a meaningful way that demonstrates the use of the transition words in the sentence. When the students have completed the sentence, they come back to your desk and show it to you. If the sentence is appropriate and grammatically correct, give them the second card. If not, the students take the card back and try again. The first pair of students to complete all 20 sentences correctly wins.
Reason and Result Race Preview
 
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