Transition Words ESL Worksheets, Games and Activities

Cause and Effect

ESL Transition Words Worksheet- Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Identifying, Categorising, Binary Choice, Gap-fill, Unscrambling, Rewriting Sentences - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this transition words worksheet, students practice transition words to show cause and effect. First, students identify cause and effect transition words in sentences and categorise them. Students then circle the correct transition words in sentences. After that, students complete sentences with transition words that show cause and effect. Next, students unscramble words to create sentences. Finally, students rewrite and connect sentences with cause and effect words in brackets.
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Link Up

ESL Transition Words Game - Vocabulary and Grammar: Matching, Sentence Completion - Group and Pair work - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this transition words game, students connect sentences together with transition words and phrases for giving additional information. Read the first sentence to the class. 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 say the sentence with the word too. If a student has a sentence about the same person as the previous sentence, they 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 student that uses the most transition words wins the game.
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Common Discourse Markers

ESL Discourse Markers Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Gap-fill, Matching, Sentence Completion, Rewriting Sentences - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this discourse markers worksheet, students practice six discourse markers commonly used in everyday conversation. Students start 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.
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Condition Words and Phrases

ESL Condition Words Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Matching, Gap-fill, Error Correction, Sentence Completion - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This condition words worksheet helps students practice words and phrases that express conditions. First, students match condition sentences or sentence halves together. Next, students complete sentences using condition words and phrases from a box. Students then correct mistakes in sentences that use condition words. Lastly, students complete condition sentences with their own ideas.
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Comparing and Contrasting

ESL Comparing and Contrasting Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Categorising, Binary Choice, Unscrambling, Writing Sentences from Prompts - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This comparing and contrasting worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that are used to compare and contrast information. To begin, students discuss the meaning of comparing and contrasting and choose the correct definition for each. 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 sentences of their own to compare and contrast three different living locations.
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Contrast, Cause and Effect

ESL Contrast, Cause and Effect Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Categorising, Rewriting Sentences, Gap-fill, Binary Choice - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this transition words worksheet, students learn and practice transition words that show contrast, cause and effect. To start, students categorize 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. Finally, students underline the correct transition words in a set of sentences.
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Despite

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

This contrasting ideas worksheet helps students learn how to use the transition word despite in sentences to link contrasting ideas. 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 and rewrite them. Next, students name things that they think fit descriptions with the word despite. 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.
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Generalization Race

ESL Transition Words Game - Vocabulary: Matching - Group work - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this free generalization words game, students race to match specific statements with general ones. Students take it in turns to pick up a specific sentence card and read it to the group. The other group members listen and then race to find and read out the general sentence card that would come before the specific sentence. The first player to read out the correct general sentence wins the round and keeps the specific sentence card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Illustration Words and Phrases

ESL Illustration Words Worksheet - Vocabulary and Grammar Exercises: Matching, Categorising, Error Correction, Rewriting Sentences - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This illustration words worksheet helps students practice words and phrases that illustrate a point with examples. Students start by matching sentences or sentence halves together that contain transition words for illustrating examples. 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 and rewrite travel advice sentences using a different transition word or phrase in each sentence.
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Sequence Words

ESL Sequence Words Worksheet - Vocabulary, Grammar, Reading and Writing Exercises: Ordering, Categorising, Unscrambling, Sentence Completion, Writing a Procedure - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This free sequence words worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that show order. Students begin by putting instructions for making ice cream in the correct order and underlining 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.
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Summarising

ESL Summarising Worksheet - Vocabulary, Reading and Writing Exercises: Matching, Writing Sentences from Prompts - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

This summarising worksheet helps students learn and practice transition words that are used to summarise. First, students read paragraphs and match a summary sentence from a 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.
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Compare and Contrast Race

ESL Transition Words Game - Vocabulary: Sentence Completion - Group work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this transition words game, students race to complete sentences with transition words for comparing and contrasting. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and read the two transition words or phrases on the card to the other students. The student then reads the sentence on the card using the word 'blank' where the transition word should go. The other students listen to the sentence and then race to say the correct transition word to complete the sentence. The first student to say the correct transition word wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Concession Words and Phrases

ESL Concession Words Worksheet - Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises: Binary Choice, Identifying, Rewriting Sentences, Sentence Completion - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

This concession words worksheet helps students practice transition words and phrases that concede a point. To begin, students read example sentences and circle 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.
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Connected

ESL Linking Words Game - Speaking and Vocabulary: Guided Discussions - Group work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

In this linking words game, students discuss various topics using specific linking words and phrases. Each student takes a linking word card and the first topic card is turned over for everyone to see, e.g. ambitions. Students then have a conversation about the topic on the card for two minutes. As the students talk, they try to naturally work a sentence into the conversation that uses the linking word or phrase on their card. When a student does this, they score a point and take another linking word card from the pile and continue, trying to use the next linking word or phrase. After a couple of minutes, the conversation ends and the students place all the linking word cards back in the pile and reshuffle them. The process is then repeated with the next topic card and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Emphasis Words and Phrases

ESL Emphasis Words Worksheet - Grammar and Vocabulary Exercises: Gap-fill, Matching, Modifying Sentences - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

This emphasis words worksheet helps students practice words and phrases that emphasize a point. Students start by completing sentences with emphasis transition words and phrases from boxes. Next, students match each emphasis word or phrase with its correct usage. In the last exercise, students read a text about a film and add appropriate emphasis words or phrases.
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Reason and Result Race

ESL Transition Words Game - Grammar and Vocabulary: Sentence Completion - Pair work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this fun transition words game, students race to complete sentences that use transition words for giving reasons and results. One student from each pair comes to your desk and picks 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, they move on to 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.
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