Time Order Words

Time order words can be placed anywhere in a sentence. Their most popular placement is at the start of a paragraph. When they come at the start of a sentence of paragraph, they’re typically followed by a comma. For example, “In conclusion, the final product was spectacular,” or, “Consequently, it went on to become an international bestseller.”

Here are some time order words to consider for your next piece of writing:

Before First Next Sometimes Last
Earlier To begin After At times Finally
Previously Starting with Consequently From time to time In conclusion
Formerly Initially Following Occasionally To conclude
Previous to… Originally In turn Periodically In the end
In the past At the onset Second Rarely Ultimately
Prior to… At the beginning Soon after Seldomly To finish
Preceding that To begin with Then Some of the time At the end
Yesterday At the outset Henceforth Every so often Lastly
Last time Before all else Third On occasion At last
Until that time In the first place Subsequently Every now and then In the long run
In advance To start with Later Intermittently At long last

Sequence words have a related function to transition words. Time and transition words prevent our writing from sounding stilted or choppy. They sew our lines and paragraphs together, making our writing flow smoothly. For more on that, here are some examples of transitional words and phrases.

Sample Sentences

Ready to see these time order words in action? Examining them within the context of a sentence may show just how powerful they can be.

  • Earlier, I thought I saw you sitting in the courtyard.
  • Consequently, I ran down the stairs to find you.
  • In the end, it wasn’t meant to be.
  • She was writing a book but, preceding that, she was practicing law.
  • She was very happy, at the beginning, until she wasn’t.
  • I find that, every so often, we could be happy if we practiced gratitude.
  • Ultimately, life is what we make of it.
  • Now we are free, at last.
  • At the onset, my horse was trotting along happily.
  • Periodically, he’d stop to pick a berry off a tree.
  • At long last, we arrived at the castle.
  • Every now and then, I find myself dreaming about those soft, golden fields.

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