Hi. Welcome back to EngVid.com. I’m Adam.
In today’s lesson, we’re going to look at writing skills. More specifically, we’re going
to look at transitions. Again, before I begin, let me tell you IELTS and TOEFL students out
there: transitions are very, very important for you, for the essay section of the test;
big points if you use them correctly, few points if you don’t use them, or use them incorrectly.
Anyway, let’s get into what transitions are, and look at a few specific ones. What is a transition? A transition means a
change from one idea to another idea. There are many transitions in English. We use transitions
to add information, we use transitions to show a contrast; “although”, “however”, etc.
We use transitions to show conditions; “if”, “unless”. We use transitions to get
to a conclusion; “therefore”, “thus”. Lots of transitions — very important, because
they can join ideas within a sentence. But even more so, they can join two paragraphs. So what they
do really, is they create flow. Flow is very important for writing. Flow makes it easier
for the reader to follow what you’re saying, and it makes it a little bit
more interesting, as well. To “transition” basically means to bridge.
You have two ideas you’re connecting. You’re creating a bridge from one idea to the next.
Today, we’re going to look specifically at “in addition”, “in addition to”, “furthermore”,
“moreover”, and “another ______”. These are very, very important transitions, because they help
you add ideas — one idea to another. Again, very, very important for TOEFL and IELTS,
because you’re always going to be adding ideas to one topic. I’ll get to that in a minute.
The most important thing to remember here, and where people I find make the most common mistakes.
Believe me; I have marked hundreds of essays for TOEFL and IELTS. Very, very common mistake.
What people forget, this basically means “plus”; you’re adding, you’re adding two things.
You’re always adding at least one idea to another idea, so you will always have
two ideas if you’re using these transitions. One of the most common mistakes I have seen on
these essays is that people use these words, but they only have one idea. I’m the reader, and I’m reading, reading,
reading, and I see, “Furthermore…”. Furthermore what? What are you adding to? What are you
adding, at all? Then I look around, and I only see one idea. If I am the IELTS grader,
and I’m reading your essay, you just lost at least one band because of that. Why? Because
you made me stop. You made me search for that second idea that is not there. Be very careful about that.
If you’re going to use these words, there must be two ideas. They must be linked,
they must have something similar between them, and they must be pretty
close to each other. “In addition to”, “furthermore”, and “moreover”;
these are all pretty much the same. This one is probably the most formal, this one is next
most, and this is the most common. If you’re going to write a short essay, usually two
of these will be enough. Why do you need to know how to use two? Because you don’t want to repeat.
You don’t want to say “in addition”, and give your idea, “in addition”, give another
idea, “in addition”, give another idea. You don’t want to do that. You want vocabulary
variety, so use at least two. For a longer essay, you can use all three, or four as the case may be.
What’s interesting about these, you can use all of these mid- sentence or
to join paragraphs. Very important that you use them correctly, though. Let’s look at some examples
on how to use these. First we’re going to
look at a sentence with the transition working inside it. “His
laziness caused the company to perform badly last quarter. Moreover, his attitude toward
the board has put his job in jeopardy.” First, let’s look at what’s going on here.
What are we talking about? We’re talking about the person’s laziness. What are we adding to this?
Remember, here I put “moreover”. I could put “furthermore”. I can also put
“in addition”, but all three would be okay. We’re talking about his laziness. What are we adding to it?
Look at the second sentence. What are the two things we are adding
together to get the two whole ideas? If you said attitude, you’re correct. Laziness
and attitude — these are both qualities of this person. His laziness and his attitude
caused the company to do badly, and put his job in jeopardy. I could rearrange these two
sentences into one, but I don’t want to. I want to have this idea, because this is adding to this.
I have one idea, I have another idea, but they’re very much connected. We used a word
like “moreover”, “furthermore”, “in addition”, okay? All of these are about the same topic. Now, when we talk about an essay, when we’re joining
paragraph to paragraph, you have to be very careful. The last idea has to join to the
first idea of the next paragraph using one of these transition words.
Let’s look at that now. Let’s look at an essay and you’re joining two
paragraphs, for example. My general topic here is the internet. What I want to say is
that the internet is a good thing, very, very generally. I’m going to use two reasons. I’m
going to talk about two reasons, and I’m going to use basically one example. The reason it’s good is because it helps connect
families and friends. This was my paragraph before, and this is the last sentence of my
paragraph, my body paragraph. “So,” conclusion, “the internet not only helps connect your
friends and family anywhere in the world, it also makes it cheap to do so.” That’s one
good thing about the internet: communication, networking, social media, etc. Facebook… all that.
I want to go to my next paragraph, and I want to add to this idea, the idea of
connection, the idea of communication, as why the internet is a good thing. “In addition to
friends and family…”, or “moreover/ furthermore…” “…the internet provides companies with a larger
network, or a larger pool of prospective employees.” I’m still talking about the same thing — connections,
networks — but I went from personal idea to business idea, but still within the topic of the
internet, still for the reason of communication and networking. I went with one idea, and the
other idea working together for the overall idea. I hope this makes sense to you,
because it’s a little bit complicated. Any topic you take, any essay you write, where
you’re using one example, or two reasons with one example, to work together, to support
an opinion about a general topic, you can use these: “In addition to”,
“moreover, “furthermore”. Let’s say you’re taking the IELTS, the TOEFL
tests, you’re writing your essay. You’re running out of time, you’re not thinking properly, you’re
a little bit frazzled, you need a transition word — always use “another”. For example,
“Another reason the internet is good, is because it provides companies…”. This is your go-to transition.
When you’re stuck, you have nothing else, you want to switch to the next idea,
always use “another reason”, but remember, this is not your first choice, this is your last choice.
These are your first choice when you want to add an idea. But, always good to have this
in your back pocket, in case you get stuck, you pull it out. Ace of spades, etc.
— you’re a winner, right? Lots of examples on www.engvid.com , on the
quiz — go check it out. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel on YouTube. I will
see you again soon for more lessons. Thanks. Learn English for free