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Top Ten Spanish Filler Words

 

Fact: Speaking a foreign language means using a lot of filler words (muletillas in Spanish)! Learning Spanish or any other foreign language means you spend a lot of time thinking while you’re talking. Sometimes you start a sentence and halfway you’re stuck and need a second to think about how to finish your sentence.  To get more smoothness while talking you use (consciously or unconsciously) some filler words which help you to not interrupt your sentences or speech. Well since you can’t really use the typical English filler words like um.. ahh.. you know.. it’s like.. that thing..ok..right.. well..basically…supposedly..actually.. I have listed the top ten Spanish filler words, their meaning and an example of what context you can use them in:

 1.  BUENO/PUES = well and it is used the same way

Example: “Bueno, no te preocupes, yo lo haré.” = “Well, don’t worry, I can do that.”

 2.  MIRA = look/look here

Example: “Mira, si tu quieres hacerlo está bien, sólo digo que a mí no me parece una buena idea.” = “Look, if you want to do that it’s ok, I’m just saying that I don’t think that it is a good idea.”

 3.  ESTE = um/ah,  there is no “real” translation of it, but you can use it anytime and with a large “e” like esteee

Example: “No sé, este, a mí no me convence lo que dice ella.” – “I don’t know, um, I’m not convinced by what she’s saying.”

 4. VISTE (just in Argentinean Spanish!)= you see/wasn’t it

Example: “Creo que no me fue bien en el examen. – Sí, era muy difícil, ¿viste?” = “I don’t think I did well the exam.  – Yes, it was really difficult, wasn’t it?”

5. O SEA = I mean, this one is the most useful fillers in American Spanish and everyone uses it at least once whilst speaking.

Example: “”Estoy muy ocupada, o sea, no me llames porque no te voy a atender” = “I’m very busy, I mean, don’t call me because I wouldn’t pick up.”

6. DE HECHO = actually

Example: “De hecho, nunca vi esta película pero dicen que es digna ser vista.” = “Actually, I’ve never seen that movie, but they say it is worth it.”

7. TIPO/COMO = like

Example: “¿Y qué estilo es esa música? – No sé exactamente, es tipo/como música electrónica mezclada con tango…” = “What kind of music is that? – I’m not sure, it’s like electronic music mixed with tango…”

8. A VER = let’s see

Example: “A ver, intento explicártelo de otra manera.”= “Let’s see, I’m gonna try to explain it to you in a different way.”

9. ESTÁ BIEN/DALE (just in Argentinean Spanish!) = okay, a synonym of Spanish in Spain is “vale”

Example: “Mañana te llamo, ¿dale? – ¡Dale!/Está bien.” = “I give you a call tomorrow, okay?  – Okay!”

10. CHE  (just in Argentinean Spanish!) = Hey!

Example: “¿Che, de que estás hablando? No entiendo nada.” – “Hey, what the hell are you talking about? I don’t understand a word.”

Che, mirá… esas son más o menos las palabras que necesitas saber, o sea, las que podés usar al hablar español. Este… espero que te ayuden un poco. Bueno, es muy útil cuando no te salen las palabras ¿viste?

Obviously there are a lot more of these filler words. Just listen to some native speakers and you will realize that they use at least one in each sentence!