Describe Events in Order

How to Describe Events in Sequential Order in English 

It is important that you learn sequencing words or transition words to tell someone what you did in the correct order. Sometimes, when you are learning a new language you get in the bad habit of only using one transition word. If you are constantly saying…. ‘Then I did this... Then I went there…. Then he called….’ your friends, teachers and people you meet and speak English with might get bored when listening and speaking English with you.

When you are describing an order of events in English, it is important to use different words that describe the sequence of events correctly (not just one). The more words you know to express yourself in English, the easier it will be to speak.

Words to Help You Describe a Sequence of Events:
First... second... third…
In the first place…
Next…
Then…
After that…
After ______….
Afterwards…
As soon as…
At first…
At last…
Before…
Before long…
In the meantime…
Later…
Meanwhile…
Soon…
Lastly,…
Finally, …

Example 1:
First, I went to visit my grandma. After that, I went to the grocery store. I bought some pasta, juice and yogurt at the grocery store. Then, I went to the school and picked my son. http://www.english-tonight.com/SW%20Ex1.mp3

Example 2:
I got home from work at 5pm. Once I got home, I ate chicken and potatoes for dinner. Then I took a long hot shower. After taking a shower, I decided to watch TV before going to bed.  http://www.english-tonight.com/SW%20Ex2.mp3

Example 3:
At first, I thought he only liked me for my money. Later, I found out he really loved me and had more money than I did in the first place.  http://www.english-tonight.com/SW%20Ex3.mp3

Example 4:
As soon as I got to work, I made photocopies. Then, I went to a meeting. Before heading to lunch, I made a phone call to the marketing department about the new contract. http://www.english-tonight.com/SW%20Ex4.mp3

Example 5:
After work, I dropped my mom off at the airport. She is going on vacation to Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. After going to the airport, I stopped and bought a new pair of shoes. Then I met friends at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The food was delicious. After eating, we went out for drinks at a new bar that just opened downtown. I finally got home at about midnight. I had a really fun night. http://www.english-tonight.com/SW%20Ex5.mp3

Next time you are telling someone what you did, try to use at least three transition words in English to describe the sequence of events.

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