Common mistakes with however, therefore, moreover and similar words

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The words however, moreover, furthermore, therefore, thus and consequently are transitional adverbs, not conjunctions.

As you know conjunctions are words used to connect two clauses. Transitional adverbs, on the other hand, cannot connect two clauses. They merely ensure the flow of ideas between sentences and paragraphs. Many students do not understand this difference between transitional adverbs and conjunctions.

Read the sentence given below.

The problem with this sentence is that it uses the word however to connect the two clauses. However is not a conjunction; therefore, we will only get a run-on sentence if we use it to connect clauses. It is easy to correct these types of mistakes. You just need to separate the two clauses with a full-stop or semicolon and begin the second clause with the transitional adverb. Or you can connect them using a conjunction.

The example sentence given above can be correctly rewritten as:

You may also express the same idea using a conjunction.

Here the coordinating conjunction but connects the two clauses.

More examples are given below.

People do not normally use transitional adverbs when they speak. However, they are very common in writing. These expressions usually go at the beginning of a sentence. In this case, we put a comma after them. They can also go in other parts of the sentence and then we usually use two commas (one before and one after) to separate them.

Sections in this article

Indirect questions New!
Absolute adjectives New!
Shall and Will: What to use? New!
Parallel construction New!
Two-word verbs
Negative questions
Double Negatives
Correct use of the present perfect tense
Correct use of the present perfect continuous tense