13 English Filler Words to Help You Sound Natural

13 English Filler Words to Help You Sound Natural

FastInfo logoBy FastInfo Class Published On 23 May 2024 Category Spoken English

Most people refuse to use filler words as they decrease the quality of English. However, the filler words may save you in some moments when you cannot speak fluently or cannot remember the words or phrases that you require at that moment. Native speakers use some filler words when they speak casually and not formally. So, if you want to learn how to speak English fluently even without knowing spoken English, you can join the best English learning organization.

What are filler words?

Filler words are some words in English that do not add any significant meaning to the sentence you are speaking to but give you some time to remember the next words for the spoken sentence. Usually, people pause in some places of a spoken sentence. The filler words help fill the pause and speak the next part of the speech, which gives a smooth flow of speech.

Filler words are valuable for filling your inconvenience of speaking and give some natural flow of speaking. You can learn these words while pursuing an online English speaking course from a reputed organization.

When native speakers use filler words?

Native speakers usually use a lot of filler words, and they are not conscious of the words at the time of their use in speech. They do not use the words unnecessarily. Hence, when they use them, the speech seems to be more realistic, natural, and smooth. So, you have to learn the trick to use them at the time of speaking English with others. It is one of the important parts of Spoken English Skills. You can learn them from the organizations, reputed for teaching spoken English. 

Compatibility of filler words in written English  

Filler words are highly avoided while writing formal English. However, it is not abandoned when any friend sends you a text message. Then, those words sound more realistic, friendly, and authentic. When you play virtual communication or speak to your bosom friends or known ones, filler words are excellent for sounding natural. Still, non-native speakers need to learn it to use them in the right places. You can pursue English-spoken classes online and get to learn how to make it more natural. 

How to speak English fluently with filler words?

Most people become fearful to speak English considering that it is a foreign language. When a person learns any critical language of their native country, they do not suffer from this fear-psychosis. Yes, people truly suffer from fear psychosis when they listen to the word, “English”. Research has proved that English is easier than any of the Indian languages. Still, people fear it. You can easily learn spoken and written English by taking admission to English spoken class online, and enjoy the comfort of your home. 

You may not know but believe me, English is JUST fun to learn. 

If you omit the word, “just” from the previous sentence, you will not get any significant change in its meaning. You can remove all the unnecessary words like, “just” totally, “you know”, and similar other words.

The words that fill the gaps in your spoken speech are called filler words. You can easily get the intrinsic meaning if you remove them from the sentence. Rather, the sentence after removing the filler word will become smarter than ever. Still, you can use them while speaking with others to hide your spoken English weakness. Others will not understand your weakness, but your purpose is met. 

The filler words that you can use during the conversation are mentioned here. 

Most common spoken English filler words:

1. Um, Uh

Um, I cannot remember your name!  

It is one of the most commonly but perfectly used filler words in the sentence. Yes, “UM” is a filler word there but you cannot avoid the word’s use. The filler word indicates that the speaker is dubious about the fact that happened just now. So, he is guessing something.

“Uh” is an interjection and is used to indicate doubt, hesitation, or a pause while speaking to anybody. “Uh, I got two guys here that need a ride….” You can also get another interjection, "huh,” in this group.  

2. Well 

You can use it as the continuation of the previous sentence, and to show that you are thinking something about the matter. Here are the examples:

Well, I guess Rs 10,000 is a fair price for a pair of jeans from this brand. 

You can use “well” when you want to unwillingly accept the proposal, or you have offered the proposal unwillingly.

Well, you can take my bike to bring the groceries from the shop!

3. Hmm

“Hmm” is used when you are uncertain and want to take a pause in the sentence. 

Someone may ask a question “Are you coming tomorrow?”, and the other person replies, “Hmm, I am not sure.”

Another example of thinking and making a decision with the word Hmm. 

“Hmm, I like black suits but I want to buy a purple one instead!” 

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4. Like

"Like" is also a common filler word, such as “Uh”, “huh” or “Um”. The purpose of using “like” as a filler word is to take a pause, get some time to think of the next word to speak, and so on. 

“The taste of the cake was, like, delicious!”

The spoken English class was like boring.

The place was like really uncanny.

The football match was like exhilarating!

Like this practice should end.

His answer was like childish.

I hope you have received quite many examples that help you understand the way you can use “like” as a filler word. 

5. You Know 

Let’s observe a sentence where the filler word is used. 

“It’s just, you know, hard to explain.” 

Here you have received two filler words, “just” and “you know”. However, the latter one is the combination of two words. You may call it a filler phrase. This filler phrase, “you know” allows the speaker to collect the thoughts of the person spoken to.

6. Actually

“I cannot guess the meaning; actually, I don’t know the meaning of the word.”

“Actually, I liked the feature film very much for its events and player casting.”

The filler word, “Actually” expresses the emphasis of expression that the speaker is saying. 

7. So

“So, how are you enjoying this weekend?” 

“So, you are coming tomorrow?”

“So, I will not be able to meet you today.”

This filler word is often used to introduce a new point connected to the last point. Again, this word is used to express a soft start of a new sentence after an expression. 

“It was raining. So, you could not reach the office last Monday.”

8. Basically/usually

“Basically, they do not follow the official etiquette.” 

“It was, basically, a trick to earn more money in a shorter time.” 

“Basically, we do not want to speak to Mr. Haque.”


“Usually” is almost a similar filler word to "basically.” So, you can use the word "basically" wherever you can use “usually”. 

“Usually, we do not follow this rule. They think of it but cannot win over it.”

"Usually, I do not want to speak with anybody during a meal."

9. Seriously

“I seriously cannot rely on the fact.”

“I was seriously astonished about his untimely death!”

“I am telling you seriously that you must not cross your limit”

I hope you have understood a lot of factors of using the word, "seriously.”. It is one of the most common filler words that everybody uses now and then. This filler word helps emphasize the utterance used by the speaker. So, you can use this word during casual conversation in regular life. Learning how to use the filler words is one of the Spoken English Skills that you can follow. 

10. Literally

“Literally, he is completely done.”

“Literally, there are many things that you do not know.” 

Hence, the filler word literally gives no special meaning to these sentences but it gives some special attraction to the sentence. It makes the sentences sweet to listen to and sober to express. 

11. I mean

“I mean, they could reach here early.”

“I mean, you are so loyal to your behavior.”

“I mean” does not carry much meaning in this statement. You can state the sentence without using the phrase. Adding this filler word, you will get extra time and pause in stating the next line. You can use it while speaking with others. 

12. Alright

“Alright, let’s start the game.”

“Alright, this is your last chance.

“Alright” is used to express positivity in the statement or agree with the previous statement of the person speaking to the speaker. Apart from a filler word feature, the word is very important in spoken English to express or signal positive. 

13. Anyway

“Anyway, you meet me tomorrow, not today.”

“Anyway, you can proceed on your duty.

All these sentences are examples of using anyway, which means “regardless or no matter”. If you do not use this filler word, you can express your thoughts easily. Still, people use it to take a pause and remember the next word that they are about to express.

These are the most common filler words that you can use while speaking English with others at the office or anywhere. The most interesting factor is that you can easily make up the situation with filler words and can hide your incapability of fluency in spoken English. But most professional teachers can ask you to avoid using filler words once you have learned how to speak English fluently.

The problem with filler words

Most people consider filler words to be very natural to express something to others. Then, how can it be so bad for spoken or formal English? The thing is that good communication whether it is written or spoken, demands consciousness. You cannot fill the gaps in your expressing sentence with frequent filler words. Hence, the less you use filler words while speaking English, the more you will be concentrated on others. People are not eager to listen to your filler words during your conversation.

If you suppose use multiple filler words during the conversation with a client whom you want to sell some products or services, will they buy anything from you? Can you grab the attention completely during your conversation and sales pitch? It is not. Hence, the use of filler words must be reduced by any means. It might be good while you are a learner of spoken English. But, as soon as you are developing your spoken English skills, you can curtail using the words that fill the gaps in speaking. Using filler words is nothing but the oddities that destroy the concentration of the listener. 

Essentially, you can grab the concentration of the listener by using fewer words. When you use unnecessary words, the listeners or readers diversify their minds and lose their attention to reading and their interest in proceeding.

What is the problem with the filler words? 

Probably you have understood something about the necessity of the filler words. They do not add any significant meaning to the sentence or cannot keep any message to the readers or the listeners. 

The most fundamental issue of these words is that they weigh down the sentence’s internal meaning and attention-grabbing power. Not only do they drop the significance meaning of the sentence but also they throw the concentration off to the entire paragraph. Most people do not have enough time to listen to your words that do not carry any meaning in them. People are fast and impatient in this modern time. Hence, delivering the right words with perfect meaning is essential for modern communication.

Filler Words in Writing

Filler words are not absent in writing English. Still, they are used in colloquial English, expressing the direct speech of a person, in drama and plays, and sometimes in some writings. However, regular writing does not allow so many filler words unless it is highly crucial for the sentence. These words come out accidentally when they need to express something. Then, some writers use them to meet the expected word count. They might not be necessary for the entire content or essays. 

Can you control it or remove it?

In writing English, it is easy to handle. You can just remove all the filler words manually and get the essay with no change of meaning. It is amazing, isn’t it? However, you can serve your purpose in writing as they can smoothen the abrupt change of topic. But, don’t make a mistake in using unnecessary filler words. It hampers the taste of reading. How will you feel when you see the paragraph is filled with always, nevertheless, oho, ahem, okay, seriously, basically, usually, etc.? 

You can improve your written English by following the best filler words and checking out the rules they have mentioned. You can also read the books written by A. S. Hornby, L. A. Hills, and similar other writers.

How can you remove the filler words while speaking?

Here are some tips that you can use to remove the filler words from your spoken English and improve spoken English skills. 

Tips to remove fillers from spoken English 

  • Speak Slowly

It is astounding but true that the person using unnecessarily filler words while speaking may suffer from anxiety or Glossophobia (fear of public speaking). If you want to reduce the use of filler words in your spoken English, you must speak slowly and confidently. Take extra time and make the conversation more relaxed, positive, and in a smiling face. Once you get in the regular rhythm of slowly speaking, you will never use the filler words.

It is not a one-day practice. You have to slow down the speech. It will allow you more time to speak perfectly with the right words. You must not speak in a low or high voice. Rather, you have to pronounce words in a medium tone. Carefully remove the filler words and use the words that have meaning only.

  • Get rid of habits 

Using filler words frequently for a long time may lead to a habit. Once you are habituated to using filler words, it would be critical to remove them from your spoken English. Then, you have to consciously remove the filler words from your spoken term. This can eradicate the habit of using filler words. 

  • Embrace the silence

Most people fear silence and pause between speeches. They consider that it is an awkward matter. However, most spoken English experts consider that pause or silence between words or sentences gives a powerful communicative experience when you are speaking logically with a moderate pitch. Communication becomes more interactive, productive, and fruitful. 

If you cannot determine what to say next, don’t say anything. Stay silent, and calm, and say something productive. A bit of silence is better than uttering unnecessary meaningless filler words.

If you pursue an English spoken class online from FastInfo Class, you can use filler words at the very beginning of learning. Gradually, they will teach you how to eliminate the filler words. So, what are you waiting for? Contact them now. 

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