Vocabulario de transición

Transitional vocabulary

You use transition words regularly in your everyday speech and writing, whether you recognize it or not! 

In every language, transition words are beautiful tools that help us to connect our ideas and give a natural flow to the rhythm of our speech—and they’re vital to learn to improve your Spanish fluency. 

Keep reading to learn all there is to know about transition words in Spanish, what types of transition words exist, and how to use them.  

What Are Transition Words?

Transition words are all those words and phrases that you use to connect ideas between sentences. These words allow you to “transition” from one sentence to other in a smooth way. They provide affluence to the language, since without them, our ideas would instead be separated by harsh breaks and a robotic-kind of speech and writing.

Every language has its own share of transition words, and Spanish is no exception. Learning these words and phrases will help you to sound more natural in your speaking and in your writing.

Types of Transition Words in Spanish

In Spanish, you can use transition words for different purposes. Depending on your purpose you get a different type of transition word: 

  • For time
  • For place
  • To emphasize
  • To explain an idea
  • To add an idea
  • To show a result
  • To contrast and compare
  • To summarize

Let’s see each one of them in turn, to learn how you can easily introduce them into your Spanish speaking and improve your writing too.

Transition Words in Spanish

If your goal is to be fluent in Spanish, transition words are a crucial area of study. For that reason, it might be a good idea to keep the following list at hand, as you will always need a good transition word to make your speech and writing sound more natural. 

For Time 

These words let you connect ideas regarding the moment in time when they occurred. 

primero, segundo – first, secondly

Used often in recipes, processes or algorithms, these words are a good way to keep the chronological order in mind.

Primero, unta la mayonesa en el pan. Segundo, agrega el jamón. 
First, spread the mayonnaise onto the bread. Secondly, add ham. 

en primer lugar, en segundo lugar – In the first place, secondly

Similar to the previous one, but more common in formal speeches or everyday conversations. 

En primer lugar, eso no es cierto. En segundo lugar, yo ni siquiera estaba aquí. 
In the first place, that’s not true. Secondly, I wasn’t even here. 

después (de) – after, afterward

Carlos hizo la tarea después del partido de fútbol. 
Carlos did his homework after the football game. 

ya – already

Ya is useful to express that something has already happened. 

Terminé el trabajo y ya lo mandé por correo electrónico.
I finished my work and I already sent it by email. 

todavía – still

To express that something is still happening at the moment, you use todavía

Cuando se despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba ahí.
When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there. 

todavía no – not yet

However, to say that something has not happened yet, you have to use todavía no

¿Ya empezó el partido? Todavía no
Has the game started already? Not yet. 

Other useful transition words for time:  

Mientras
While

Por fin
at last

Al final 
At the end

Finalmente  
Lastly

Al mismo tiempo 
At the same time

Para continuar
Next, further

Por último
Lastly

En conclusión
In conclusion

For Place

These transition words allow you to connect ideas regarding their position in space.

aquí, acá – here

Ven a casa, aquí te espero. 
Come home, I’ll wait for you here. 

ahí, allí – there

Ya casi llegamos, ahí está mi casa.
We’re almost there, that’s my house.

al lado de – next to

Mi casa está al lado del parque
My house is next to the park.

afuera – outside

Estoy afuera de la escuela. 
My house is next to the park.

Other Useful Transition Words for Place:  

Allá 
Over there

Más allá
Beyond, further

De
Of, from

Desde
From, since

To Add an Idea

Use the following transition words when you want to add a new idea to what you were just saying.

además – moreover, additionally

Estudiar español es muy interesante y, además, te abre muchas puertas. 
Learning Spanish is very interesting and, additionally, it opens a lot of doors. 

aparte – besides, apart from

Eso no es cierto, aparte de que ni siquiera es lo que yo dije.
That’s not true, besides that’s not even what I said.

asimismo – also, likewise

Asimismo is a perfect way to start a new paragraph building up on what you just said on the previous one. You can also use de igual manera or de la misma manera, to express the same idea.

Asimismo, las ideas de la Ilustración condujeron a la Revolución Industrial. 
Likewise, the ideas of the Enlightenment sparked the Industrial Revolution. 

también – also, too

Me gusta el fútbol y también el básquetbol. 
I like football and basketball too. 

más aún – moreover

No debiste mentirme, más aún cuando quieres que te ayude. 
You shouldn’t have lied to me, moreover when you want my help.

Other Useful Transition Words to Add an Idea:

De todas formas (maneras, modos) 
In any case, anyhow

De cualquier manera
In any case, anyhow

Sobre todo
Above all, especially

Y
And

To Explain an Idea

Sometimes you don’t want to add a new idea, but explain better the one you were just talking about. These transition words will help you with that:

es decir – that is, I mean

La comida mexicana es muy interesante. Es decir, me encanta como mezcla diferentes sabores.
Mexican food is very interesting. I mean, I love how it mixes different flavors.  

por ejemplo – for example, for instance

Me gusta mucho tu estilo, por ejemplo esos zapatos están increíbles. 
I like your style a lot, for example those shoes are amazing!

en otras palabras – in other words

En otras palabras, hiciste un gran trabajo. 
In other words, you did a great job. 

así – thus, thereby

Trabajé de mesero y así pude pagar mi universidad. 
I worked as a waiter and thus I could pay my tuition fees. 

To Contrast and Compare

When you want to contrast or compare to different ideas, you can use one of these transition words in Spanish: 

aunque – although, even though

Me gusta mucho el básquetbol, aunque el fútbol es mi deporte favorito. 
I like basketball a lot, although football is my favorite sport. 

pero – but

Sí quiero ir al cine, pero tengo mucha tarea
I do want to go to the movies, but I have a lot of homework. 

sin embargo – however, nevertheless

Me gustaría aprender francés, sin embargo prefiero el español.
I’d like to learn French, however I prefer Spanish. 

a pesar de – despite, in spite of

Ganamos el partido, a pesar de que éramos menos jugadores.
We won the game, in spite of having less players. 

Other Useful Transition Words to Contrast and Compare:  

Al contrario
On the contrary

Aun así
Even so

Sino 
But

En cambio
On the other hand, instead

To Summarize

These transition words are useful to conclude your idea. 

En resumen – to sum up

En resumen, se trata de uno de tus mejores trabajos
To sum up, this is one of your best works. 

Para terminar – lastly, finally

Para terminar, debo aceptar que fue una gran experiencia. 
Finally, I have to accept that it was a great experience. 

En conclusión – in conclusion, in a nutshell

En conclusión, es la mejor decisión que he tomado. 
In a nutshell, it’s the best decision that I’ve ever taken. 

Other Useful Transition Words to Summarize:

En síntesis
In short

En otras palabras
In other words

Al fin y al cabo
All in all

Después de todo
After all  

Now that you know how useful transition words in Spanish can be, start using them in real life conversations and see how much your speaking in Spanish improves.

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