List of TOEFL Signal and Transitional Words

Helpful on all sections of the TOEFL, these words provide clues as to the direction of a lecture, the tone of a conversation, the structure of a passage, and help you do the same in your own writing.

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Establish Chronology

  • Again
  • Also
  • And
  • and then
  • finally
  • first
  • second
  • third
  • next
  • still
  • too
  • and so forth,
  • afterward
  • subsequently
  • finally
  • consequently
  • previously
  • before this
  • simultaneously
  • concurrently

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Add Additional Points

  • besides
  • equally important
  • finally
  • further
  • furthermore
  • nor
  • lastly
  • what's more
  • moreover
  • in addition

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Support Previous Information

  • because
  • for
  • since
  • for the same reason
  • obviously 
  • evidently
  • furthermore
  • moreover
  • besides
  • indeed
  • in fact
  • in addition
  • in any case
  • that is

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Define Time

  • Immediately
  • Thereafter
  • Soon
  • after a few hours
  • finally
  • then
  • later
  • previously
  • formerly
  • first (second, etc.)
  • next 
  • and then
  • as long as
  • as soon as

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Express Action and Reaction

  • as a result
  • because
  • consequently
  • for this purpose
  • so
  • then
  • therefore
  • to this
  • end

TOEFL Transitions and Phrases that Stress a Point

  • Definitely
  • Extremely
  • Obviously
  • in fact
  • indeed
  • in any case
  • absolutely
  • positively
  • naturally
  • surprisingly
  • always
  • forever
  • perennially
  • eternally
  • never
  • emphatically
  • unquestionably
  • without a doubt
  • certainly
  • undeniably
  • without reservation

Transitions and Phrases that Express Similarity or Difference

  • whereas
  • but
  • yet
  • on the other hand
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • on the other hand,
  • on the contrary
  • by comparison
  • where
  • compared to
  • up against
  • balanced
  • against
  • vis a vis
  • but
  • although
  • conversely
  • meanwhile
  • after all
  • in contrast
  • although this may be true
  • still
  • though
  • yet
  • despite
  • as opposed to

TOEFL Words: Tone-Changing Transitions and Phrases

  • yet
  • still
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • in spite of
  • despite
  • of course
  • once in a while
  • sometimes

Supporting Transitions

  • for example
  • for instance
  • in this case
  • in another case
  • on this occasion
  • in this situation
  • take the case of
  • to demonstrate
  • to illustrate
  • as an illustration
  • to illustrate
  • such as

TOEFL Words: Concluding Transitions and Phrases

  • in brief
  • on the whole
  • summing up
  • to conclude
  • in conclusion
  • as I have shown,
  • hence
  • therefore
  • accordingly
  • thus
  • as a result
  • consequently
  • as has been noted
  • as we have seen

The following is a list that is also not exhaustive, but includes phrases that are commonly incorporated into TOEFL tasks or are helpful to incorporate into your responses.

  • “There are three reasons why ...”
  • “First ... Second ... Third ...”
  • “What I want to talk about is ...”
  • “And most important, ...”
  • “A major development ...”
  • “Why it was so important ...”
  • “On the other hand ...”
  • “Last time ...”
  • “On the contrary ...”
  • “For example, ...”
  • “Just like ...”
  • “Similarly, ...”
  • “In contrast, ...”
  • “Also, ...”
  • “So ...”
  • “And in fact, ...”
  • “Further, ...”
  • “A term for ...”
  • “Furthermore, ...”
  • “As an example, ...”
  • “For instance, ...”
  • “But ...”
  • “Therefore, ...”
  • “In conclusion, ...”
  • “In other words, ...”
  • “As a result, ...”
  • “Finally, ...”
  • “In summary, ...”
  • “From this we see that ...”
  • “Now this is important ...”
  • “The thing about ...”
  • “Remember that ...”
  • “The important idea is that ...”