Transition Words & Phrases | List & Examples

Transition words and phrases are used to connect ideas in your writing and help readers understand your arguments. Also called connecting words, linking words, or transitional words, these words describe the relationship between phrases, sentences, or paragraphs.

Transition words example
Many researchers (e.g., Bates, 2019; Chan, 2022) have argued that the two variables are correlated. Others, however, disagree (Jones and Hernandez, 2023). Thus, the question is not yet settled.

Understanding and using transition words effectively is necessary to produce clear and cohesive writing. Using a paraphrasing tool like QuillBot’s can help you integrate transition words into your writing.

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Handling Homophones and Other Sound-Alikes

What are homophones? They’re words that sound alike and might have the same spelling but have different meanings.

English can be a bit mind-boggling at times, and one of those times is when we’re dealing with homophones or other commonly confused words. We can understand various types of words by understanding the names we assign to them. It helps to be familiar with the roots that make up these terms:

homo = same
hetero = different
phon = sound
graph = written
onym = name

So, for example, homophones have the same sounds, while heterographs have different spellings.

Let’s look at a list of homophones and other words that overlap in sound, meaning, or spelling so you can see how to tell them apart.

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Prepositional Phrase | Examples, Definition & Uses

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition (e.g., “in,” “with,” “of”), an object, and any modifiers. It usually provides more information about a thing or an action. For example, prepositional phrases can tell us when, how, or where something is done, or they can clarify which person or thing is being talked about.

Prepositional phrase examples
I’ll go shopping in the morning.

I saw a mouse and jumped on the table.

The dress with the gold stars is my favorite.

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Dependent Clauses | Examples, Definition & Types

A dependent clause is a type of clause—a group of words that contains a subject and a verb—that cannot stand on its own as a sentence. Dependent clauses are also known as subordinate clauses.

A dependent clause must always be connected to an independent clause (also known as a main clause) to form a complete sentence.

Dependent clause examples
Jonas went to the bakery because he wanted a pastry.

If it rains, we will move inside.

I want the scarf that Yuki made.

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What Is a Direct Object? | Definition & Examples

A direct object is a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a verb. The direct object often answers the question “what?” or “whom?”

For example, in the sentence “Cass writes novels,” the direct object is “novels.” It answers the question “What does Cass write?”

Direct object examples
I walked the dog this morning.

Bring the newspaper to me.

Where did you put it?

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Independent Clause | Definition, Examples & Use

An independent clause (also known as a main clause) is a group of words with a main subject and verb. Independent clauses are complete thoughts and full sentences that can stand by themselves.

Independent clauses can occur on their own or be combined with a variety of dependent clauses to express more complex ideas.

Independent clause examples
She loves chocolate cake.

The party lasted all night.

It will rain tomorrow.

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What Are Base Words? | Examples & Definition

A base word is the smallest part of a word that has meaning and can be used on its own. Base words can be expanded by adding affixes (i.e., prefixes and suffixes) to the beginning and/or end of the word, but they are also complete words that can stand alone.

For example, “misguided” can be broken down into three parts:

prefix base word suffix
mis guide ed

“Guide” is the base word. It can be used on its own in a sentence and still make sense, and it cannot be broken down further into smaller parts. “Mis,” meaning “wrong,” modifies the base word “guide.” Finally, the “ed” ending is an inflection that indicates that the word is being used in the past tense or as an adjective.

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What Is an Indirect Object? | Definition & Examples

An indirect object is a noun or pronoun that receives the direct object. The indirect object often answers the question “for whom?” or “to whom?”

An indirect object is always accompanied by a direct object, which receives the action of a verb and answers the question “what?” or “whom?”

Indirect object examples
Bring her a cup of coffee.

Did you loan Janae your car?

I fed the dog his supper already.

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Root Words | Definition, List & Examples

A root word is the most basic part of a word and does not have any affixes (i.e., prefixes or suffixes) attached. A root word is the fundamental unit of a word and forms the basis for a word family, or all the words that can be created using the root word.

A root word can be built on using prefixes (e.g., “pre-”, “de-,” “anti-”) and suffixes (e.g., “-able”/“-ible,” “-tion,” “-ly”). Adding prefixes or suffixes to root words creates new words.

For example, the word “proportionate” is made up of these components:

pro portion ate
prefix root word suffix

A root word like “portion” is the basis of a word family that includes many other words, such as “improportion,” “disproportional,” and “proportionality.” Word families contain words that share similar spelling as well as meaning.

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Prepositions | List, Examples & Definition

Prepositions are words that demonstrate a relationship between two parts of a phrase or sentence. They are often used to give information about:

  • Location (e.g., “on the table”)
  • Time (e.g., “at midnight”)
  • Direction (e.g., “through the intersection”)

They can also be used to express more abstract relationships (e.g., “We talked about the new project”).

Preposition examples
Come sit beside me.

According to Lena, the show won’t be finished until midnight.

Let’s put that item on the agenda for next week.

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