Have you ever considered how we use filler words in our everyday conversations? They don’t contribute any meaning to our language, but they keep the discourse continuing. However, when it comes to writing, we must be more mindful of them.
Regardless of your profession or position, effective communication skills are required. Companies can save time and money by delivering information in a simple and understandable manner. Part of effective communication includes feeling at ease and confidence when speaking, as well as avoiding distracting habits like utilizing filler words.
What are filler words?
Filler words are those words and phrases used to fill the silence while speaking. They’re meaningless words that don’t add anything to the phrase. They simply keep you going until you have the rest of your statement figured out.
The technical term for them is “discourse markers,” although they’re more generally referred to as “filler words.”
You may be using filler words without even recognizing it. You might use “umm” when you can’t think of the correct word to employ in a phrase. This allows you to take a break while you think without having to endure an awkward, silent pause.
You don’t need to think about utilizing filler words because they don’t add any meaning to the phrase. However, it does have its benefits, especially when they are used in conversational contexts.
You’ve probably heard a number of filler words in discussions, as well as in movies and television shows. These may not appear to be very useful, yet they are a crucial aspect of the English language, particularly in American English.
If used correctly and in moderation, filler words can be an English learner’s best friend. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of English filler words to help you seem like a natural English speaker.
What are the most common filler words?
1. Um / Uh / Er
“Um,” “er,” and “uh” are commonly used to express hesitancy, such as when you don’t know or don’t want to respond.
“Um…I thought the project was due tomorrow, not today,” she says.
You can use any of the terms at any moment; they don’t have to be used in any particular order.
“Um… I prefer the red dress!”
The word “like” is sometimes used to describe anything that is not really like something, nor exact.
“My next-door neighbor has like ten cats.”
The neighbor in the above case is unlikely to have exactly ten cats. Rather, the next-door neighbor has a large number of cats
.The word is usually used when you need a moment to think of the next word to use.
“My friend was like totally prepared to throw me out of the car if I didn’t stop using the word ‘like.’”
Keep in mind that using the word “like” as a filler is frowned upon. Young people frequently utilize the word, which can make you sound as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
“Well” can be used in a variety of contexts. It might be used to demonstrate what you’re thinking.
“Well, I suppose $20 is a reasonable price for a pair of jeans.”
You can also use it to make a sentence pause.
“Apples and cinnamon complement each other like, well, apples and cinnamon.”
To stall, you can even use the word.
“All right, well, I’ll let you borrow my automobile.”
4. Basically / Actually / Seriously
Adverbs are words that characterize activities, such as “actually,” “basically,” and “seriously.” Many (though not all) adverbs include a “-ly” at the end of the word, making them simpler to distinguish. All of these words can be used as fillers to make a statement stronger or weaker.
For example, the term “really” is used to emphasize something you believe to be true, even if others disagree:
5. You know
Do you know how to put “you know” to good use? It has the ability to begin, end, or insert a statement. While we organize our thoughts, native speakers may begin with you know. We also say it to see whether everyone agrees.
It’s worth noting that this is used by native English speakers when we believe the other person has the same knowledge or viewpoint as us.
Just is an excellent word to utilize to emphasize a point or, somewhat counterintuitively, to hedge an argument. Simply exhibit a reluctance and communicate your point in a more indirect manner (which, in certain cases, may be more polite!).
Because it’s frequently used as an intensifying adverb (“That’s so cool!”), English learners are likely to be aware of it. So, on the other hand, can be used as coordinating conjunction at the start of a sentence. It’s a filler word that’s used to convey importance or to bring a notion to a close.
All right is spelled alright, which is an informal (and sometimes wrong!) spelling of all right. Fluent speakers use it to agree and move between concepts, much like they do with right. It can also determine whether or not someone is safe or trustworthy. It’s a little more formal than acceptable in spoken English, but this spelling should never be used in formal writing.
Yeah is normally used to express agreement, but it can also be used to confirm or verify comprehension.
10. I mean
When we want to explain a point, English speakers may begin sentences with I mean. It also serves as a pause for thought while deciding what to say next.
When should I use filler words?
Filler words have a bad reputation, but they aren’t entirely taboo. These small words play a significant function in communicating. While most of us think of them in a negative light, as something that should be avoided, this isn’t always the case.
We hope that this article helped you learn more about filler words, and the different meanings they take on. When used sparingly and in the right context, filler words can be helpful when it comes to effective and casual conversations.
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