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Pause Fillers for Speaking

What Are Pause Fillers?

Pause fillers are expressions designed to give the speaker a bit of thinking time in normal conversation, presentations, or speaking exams. They are a useful way to buy your brain a little thinking time and are present in most languages. Memorising a few of these could really help you boost your speaking exam grades by avoiding long silences or hesitations.

PAUSE FILLERS FOR IELTS SPEAKING

 

Key Tips

• Say fillers slowly to maximise thinking time.
• Use multiple fillers together for really difficult questions

Here we are going to look at three main types of poor filler:

Short Pause Fillers

These are best used for short gaps between sentences or points.
Well…
So…
Actually…
Let me see…

You should also check out this video by John Ing

Transition Language

These are for changing topic or linking parts of arguments together.
The other thing I should say is…
In other words…
This means that…
Another point I should mention is…
Anyway…
Let me give you an example…
Firstly…
Secondly…
Lastly…

Longer Pause Fillers

Let me think about that for a minute…
I can’t remember much about that, but…
I think I’ve covered everything…
That’s an interesting/tricky/good question…
Hmm, that’s a tough one.
I’ve never really thought about that before, but I would say…
The first thing I should say is…
That’s about all I can say about that…
I’m going to talk about…
Where shall I start?
Let me start by saying…
That’s a difficult question but I’ll try to answer it as best I can…

Two or Three Fillers Used Together

Let me think about that for a minute. + The first thing I should say is that… Let me see… + That’s a difficult question but I’ll try to answer it as best I can…
Hmm, that’s a tough one. Where shall I start? The first thing I should say is…

Now make sure you learn them to maximise your score and avoid those long awkward hesitations!

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