Spanish Essay Transitions

The difference between mastering Spanish vocabulary and grammar and being able to hold a fluid, casual conversation in Spanish is quite vast. That’s because – just like in English – a lot of the nuance and fluidity in a conversation is due just as much to little, seemingly meaningless words as it is to vocabulary and proper verb conjugation.

These little ‘meaningless’ words and phrases are also known as linking words or transition words. As a native English speaker, I had no idea just how important they were until I realized that I had no idea how to say them in my host country’s language. A fact which often left me frustrated and frequently caused me to either: 1) come to a dead stop mid-sentence, or 2) simply insert the English word in place of the Spanish word I didn’t know, leaving whoever was listening to me totally confused or amused.

To spare you and your listeners the same amusing confusion and frustration, I decided to compile a list of 30 essential Spanish words that helped me take my conversations from stilted to fluid.

30 Essential Spanish Transition Words and Phrases

  1. Aunque – even though, although
  2. Además – furthermore, in addition to
  3. Mientras – meanwhile
  4. Por lo menos – at least
  5. Entonces – then
  6. Pues – well
  7. Como – like, as
  8. Al principio; al final/por ultimo – to start, in the first place; to finish, in the end
  9. Desde luego – of course, certainly
  10. Ya / todavía – yet, already / still
  11. Asi que; por lo tanto – that’s why; for that reason
  12. Por si acaso – in case
  13. Lo/la que sea; donde sea; cuando sea; cualquier – whatever; wherever; whenever; whichever
  14. Por ejemplo – for example
  15. Sobre todos – above all, especially
  16. Por fin – finally
  17. Un rato, un ratito – A little while
  18. Luego – next, then
  19. De repente – suddenly
  20. Sino – rather, but, instead
  21. Apenas de – barely
  22. De todas formas, de todas maneras – in any case
  23. Por otro lado – on the other hand
  24. Sin embargo – nonetheless
  25. De hecho – in fact
  26. Pues nada, venga – anyway…
  27. Sabes – y’know
  28. Es que – honestly, I have no translation for this one, but it’s one of those non-meaning albeit ubiquitous conversational words like ‘like’ in English. As in, “Like, so are we gonna go to the movies, or maybe, like, get some food, cuz I’m, like, hungry as hell.”
  29. A ver – let’s see
  30. Qué va – no way! I dun beleevit. Yeah, right.

Of course, the list above isn’t a comprehensive collection of all  Spanish transition words – click here and here for more.


What are some Spanish transition words and phrases that you’ve found useful? Share them in the comments!


spain expatspanish words and phrases

Do you know how to use Spanish transition words and Spanish transition phrases? These are also known as Spanish Conjunctions. This lesson will begin with Spanish transition words and phrases related to Cause and Effect, it will continue with transition phrases related to Explanation and Clarification, then Similarity and Contrast, followed by Specific and General, and finish with transition phrases related to Introduction and Conclusion.

Cause and Effect Transition Words

a causa de (que) — because of
debido a (que) — due to
por — because of
porque — because
como — because, since
ya que — because, since
puesto que — because, since
dado que — given that así (que) — thus, since
en consecuencia — as a result
como resultado — as a result
por consiguiente — therefore
por lo tanto — therefore
por eso — therefore, for that reason

Explanation and Clarification Transition Phrases

además (de) — besides, furthermore
hay que añadir (que) — it is worth adding
es decir — that is to say
o sea — that is to say
en otras palabras -in other words
esto es — i.e.

Similarity and Contrast Transition Phrases

en cambio — on the other hand, instead
por otra parte — on the other hand
por otro lado — on the other hand
no obstante — nevertheless, however
sin embargo — nevertheless, however
a diferencia de — in contrast to
en contraste con — in contrast to
a pesar de (que) — in spite of, despite
por el contrario — on the contrary
al contrario — on the contrary
en vez de — instead of
con todo — nevertheless, still
pero / sino — but / but rather
aunque — although, even though
así como — similarly
de la misma manera — in the same way
de manera semejante — in a similar fashion
del mismo modo — in the same way
igual que — like + noun
igualmente — similarly
tal como — just as
tanto... como... — both... and...

Specific and General Transition Words

en general - generally, in general
por lo general - generally, usually
generalmente por ejemplo - generally
específicamente - specifically
en concreto - specifically

Introduction and Conclusion Transition Phrases

En primer lugar - First place
Para empezar - To start
En primer término - First thing
Ante todo En conclusión - In short
En suma - In conclusion, all things cosidered
Para concluir - In conclusion, in short
Finalmente - Finally

• You never say "porque de" (because of), it is simply expressed with preposition "por":
por las circunstancias
because of the circumstances
• You never start a sentence with "Porque" (unless you're answering the question "¿Por qué?").
Use "Ya que", "Puesto que", "Como", "Dado que" (Since), when you start a sentence.
• "the result" is said: el resultado. As a result : como resultado
• You never say "un otro", "una otra", simply use: "otro", "otra"
• Atention to conjunctions that start with a preposition: de esta manera, de tal modo, ¿De qué manera?, un modo de...
• The adjective "ambos/as" (both)can only be used to refer to two identical elements: "ambos libros", (both books) "ambas culturas" (both cultures). In order to establish similarity between two different elements you say (both... and...), you must use the invariable expression "tanto... como...":
"Tanto las novelas como los poemas"
Both novels and poems.

"Tanto el amo como el esclavo".
Both the master and the servant.


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