Saturday, 10 September 2016

Conversation Fillers

In conversation, we need to think of what we are speaking. Actually it commonly exists situations that we cannot have any idea in time. How to remain our conversation without any interruption? Fortunate, there are phrases, called conversation fillers or gap fillers, could help you having more time to think and overcome such situations. They make you sound much more fluent.

What is filler?

According to wikipedia
Filler (linguistics) In linguistics, a filler is a sound or word that is spoken in conversation by one participant to signal to others a pause to think without giving the impression of having finished speaking.
Image courtesy of http://www.abcschool.co.uk/blog/filling-the-gaps/

Er… let me think…

  • What do you think are the most common causes of road accidents?
  • Er… let me think… I would say there are two main causes…

Hmm… that’s a good question…

  • Is listening to the radio more beneficial for children than watching TV?
  • Hmm… that’s a good question. I guess it is, because…

Actually… I’ve never really thought about it…

  • Why do teenagers love texting their friends?
  • Actually… I’ve never really thought about it… It might be, because they…

Umm… (repeat the question)

  • Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
  • Umm… Where do I see myself in ten years’ time?… Maybe, I will…

Well, you know…

  • Would you give up your car and cycle to work?
  • Well, you know… I work quite far from home…

It’s also important to ask for CLARIFICATION when you don’t understand what the examiner has said.

Excuse me, can you repeat the question, please? / I beg your pardon?
Sorry, what do you mean by…?
Could you say that again, please?
I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by….
I’m not sure I can follow you. Could you be more specific, please?
Sorry, I didn’t get your point. Could you put it differently, please?

And to GIVE CLARIFICATION when asked.

What I mean is… (paraphrase what you’ve said)
I just want to say that… (paraphrase what you’ve said)
Sorry, let me explain.
Sorry, let me put it differently.


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