Filler phrases are utilized in each language, equivalent to “um,” “nicely” or “like” in English.
Utilizing the French variations may also help you sound extra like a local speaker and make your speech stream extra naturally.
With these 20 indispensable French filler phrases, you’ll have the ability to take pauses whereas talking with out leaving awkward silences.
Some can even enable you to emphasize what you’re saying, contradict or affirm, summarize your ideas or transition to a different matter.
You’ve certainly heard them, and by studying this publish you’ll have the ability to use them, too!
Important French Filler Phrases
For those who take pleasure in video classes, take a look at this video to be taught 12 phrases that may enable you to sound extra pure when talking French:
And listed below are much more French filler phrases and phrases which are generally utilized by native audio system:
Alors might be the most typical filler phrase and interprets to “so” or “nicely” in English. It’s typically not considered an “casual” filler phrase. This phrase may be heard in lecture rooms (by each college students and academics), speeches, enterprise displays and even in political proceedings. In actual fact, you may even use it in formal writing!
It’s typically used as a transition phrase in the beginning of a sentence to attract consideration to a subject or a change of matter, like on this instance:
Alors, remark ça va ?
(So, how’s it going?)
Ça va bien, merci. Et toi ?
(It’s going nicely, thanks. And also you?)
Alors can be used rather than the English expression “So what?” On this sense, it asks for clarification of a earlier assertion, typically in a impolite or sarcastic approach.
J’ai déjà lu ce livre.
(I already learn that guide.)
Et alors ?
Euh is one other extraordinarily frequent filler phrase. It’s the French equal of the English phrase “uh” or “um,” and it’s used just about the identical approach. Like in English, euh is mostly used as a pause or a second to suppose. In contrast to alors, it’s very casual.
Est-ce que je peux avoir, euh… un stylo ?
(Can I’ve, uh… a pen?)
Quoi is probably essentially the most complicated filler phrase for newbie French learners. Technically, it interprets to “what” in English, and it’s used to ask questions.
Tu as fait quoi ?
(You probably did what?)
As a filler phrase, quoi higher interprets as “you understand?” or the British “innit?” It’s used to offer weight or spotlight what you’re saying.
C’est une belle tour, quoi ?
(It’s a fantastic tower, you understand?)
Associated to quoi, hein is one other fashionable French filler phrase. Hein interprets to the English phrase “huh,” and it may be utilized in some ways. Firstly, it may be used to point that you simply don’t perceive one thing that has been mentioned. Nonetheless, bear in mind that this isn’t very well mannered.
Dépêche-toi ! Tu vas rater le prepare !
(Hurry up! You’re going to overlook the prepare!)
J’ai dit que tu vas rater le prepare !
(I mentioned that you simply’re going to overlook the prepare!)
Secondly, you should use hein to imply “proper?” or rather than the French n’est-ce pas ?
(Isn’t that proper?).
C’est un bon livre, hein ?
(It’s a great guide, proper?)
Bref interprets to “transient” in English, and its perform as a filler phrase is fairly self-explanatory. It’s the English equal of “principally” or “lengthy story quick,” and it’s typically used to sum up a protracted rationalization and provides the “low-down” on a selected matter.
Bref, j’ai raté l’interro de chimie.
(Mainly, I failed the chemistry take a look at.)
Pronunciation tip: Whilst you is perhaps tempted to not pronounce the “f” on the finish of the phrase bref, it truly is pronounced. In idea, the French phrase bref ought to rhyme with the English title “Steph.”
Ben oui and ben non are a bit complicated and there’s some debate as to their precise that means and performance. We all know the phrase oui means “sure,”and non means “no,” however the phrase ben may be seen as an off-the-cuff model of the French phrase bien (nicely).
Collectively, these two expressions translate to “nicely, sure” or “nicely, no.” Mainly, they’re used as an affirmation or negation of a earlier assertion or query.
Est-ce que tu veux un boisson ?
(Would you like a drink?)
Et un croissant ?
(And a croissant?)
7. En fait
En fait actually interprets to the English “in actual fact,” but it surely ought to solely be used to contradict one thing. If you wish to use the French phrase for “in actual fact” to be able to verify one thing, then it’s best to say en impact
as a substitute.
Using en fait in numerous social contexts is sort of versatile. It may be utilized in formal French speech in addition to in formal French writing. Within the casual approach, it means “truly.” It may be used when altering your thoughts, contradicting one thing that’s been mentioned or clarifying what you’re making an attempt to say.
J’ai conduit pendant cinq heures. En fait, c’était six !
(I drove for 5 hours. Truly, it was six!)
Pronunciation tip: Like bref, the “t” on the finish of the expression en fait is pronounced to rhyme with the opposite French phrase fête (occasion).
Style is probably the filler phrase that’s most frequently confused by newbies. It technically means “kind” or “gender,” however in casual French, it interprets extra to the English filler phrase “like” and is utilized in the identical approach as “uh” or “like.”
Je voudrais, style, un autre crayon.
(I need, like, one other pencil.)
Pronunciation tip: Take into account that this filler phrase is commonly pronounced in a short time in casual conditions, so it could sound like jor as a substitute of what we’d anticipate: jen-ruh.
9. Quand même
The expression quand même has two meanings in French. It has a proper that means of “despite the fact that” or “nonetheless,” however as a filler phrase, it could translate as “Wow!” or “No approach!” On this sense, it’s used to point out shock or pleasure a few given matter or revelation.
J’ai eu l’examen !
(I handed the examination!)
Quand même !
Voilà is used to conclude an announcement or to current one thing. It provides a way of finality and signifies that the speaker has completed their thought or completed offering the mandatory info. It’s just like saying “That’s it” or “There it’s.”
Com’è il tuo nuovo appartamento ?
(How’s your new house?)
Il est spacieux, lumineux et il a une belle vue sur la ville. Voilà, c’est ça.
(It’s spacious, vibrant and it has a fantastic view of the town. Properly, that’s it.)
Bon is an adjective which means “good” or “scrumptious,” but it surely’s additionally used as a flexible filler phrase just like “nicely” or “OK” in English. It may be used to hurry up a narrative, to start or finish a thought and even to precise frustration or annoyance.
Bon, je vais y réfléchir.
(Properly, I’ll give it some thought).
When used to wrap up a thought or dialog, bon is commonly used along with ben. For instance:
Bon, ben, je vais te laisser travailler alors.
(Alright, nicely, I’ll allow you to work then.)
Enfin is used to precise reduction, satisfaction or the conclusion of a thought or state of affairs. It can be used to introduce a ultimate level or to transition to a brand new matter. It provides emphasis and gives a way of closure.
You may also say enfin bref
(“anyway” or “briefly”) which is analogous to only saying bref and is used to transition to a brand new matter or summarize a dialog.
J’ai finalement terminé mon travail, enfin !
(I lastly completed my work, finally!)
Bah is a flexible filler phrase generally utilized in French conversations. It could possibly convey a spread of meanings relying on the context and intonation, but it surely usually interprets to “nicely” in English.
It may be used to precise hesitation, disappointment or indifference. It can be used as a approach to fill a pause in dialog or specific doubt or uncertainty. It’s typically employed to precise an informal or nonchalant perspective.
Bah, je pense que je vais rester à la maison ce soir.
(Properly, I feel I’ll keep house tonight.)
D’accord, bah amuse-toi bien !
(Alright, nicely, have a great time!)
Donc is used to precise a logical consequence or inference. It may be translated as “so,” “subsequently” or “thus” in English and equally provides coherence and readability to the dialog by linking associated ideas or actions.
J’ai oublié mes clés, donc je ne peux pas entrer.
(I forgot my keys, so I can’t get in.)
15. Tu vois
Tu vois interprets to “you see” in English. It’s generally utilized in conversations to hunt affirmation or emphasize some extent. It serves as a rhetorical query to have interaction the listener and guarantee their understanding.
J’ai étudié toute la nuit, tu vois ?
(I studied all night time, you see?)
Franchement interprets to “frankly” or “truthfully” in English. It’s used to precise sincerity or convey a private opinion. It provides emphasis and signifies that the speaker is talking candidly or from their real perspective.
Franchement, je pense que c’est une mauvaise idée.
(Truthfully, I feel it’s a foul concept.)
17. Bah oui
The phrase bah oui is an expression of settlement or affirmation. It’s used to substantiate or acknowledge one thing that’s apparent or identified. It conveys a way of certainty and settlement in an informal or colloquial method.
Tu viens à la fête ce soir ?
(Are you coming to the occasion tonight?)
Bah oui, bien sûr !
(Sure, in fact!)
Tiens is a flexible expression used to precise shock, draw consideration or point out a discovery. It may be translated as “look,” “hey” or “right here.” It’s generally utilized in conditions the place one thing surprising or fascinating is being identified or shared. It could possibly add a way of immediacy and intrigue to the dialog.
Tiens, regarde ce que j’ai trouvé !
(Hey, look what I discovered!)
19. Eh bien
The phrase eh bien is used to precise hesitation or uncertainty, or to assemble one’s ideas earlier than talking. It may be translated as “nicely,” “um” or “so.” It’s typically used in the beginning of a sentence or as a pause in dialog. It helps so as to add a reflective or contemplative tone to the speech.
Eh bien, je ne suis pas sûr de ce que je vais faire.
(Properly, I’m unsure what I’m going to do.)
20. Nan, mais…
Nan, mais… is an off-the-cuff expression used to convey disagreement or to counter an announcement. Nan is an informal type of non that means “no,” and mais means “however,” so it’s just like saying “no, however…” in English.
J’ai entendu dire que ce movie était génial.
(I heard that this film was superb.)
Nan, mais… je l’ai trouvé plutôt ennuyeux, en fait.
(No, however… I truly discovered it relatively boring.)
Why Use French Filler Phrases?
Whereas the subject of filler phrases might not look like an enormous deal in comparison with French grammar and different vocabulary, these phrases play a much bigger position than you may think. In spoken and even in formal written French, filler phrases make up a stunning quantity of the language by way of frequency.
Filler phrases are utilized by French individuals each day, so they’re an enormous a part of talking like a local. For extra methods to sound like a local French speaker, watch the video beneath.
It’s good to know that you simply don’t want to talk with perfection, it doesn’t matter what language you’re utilizing.
Pausing or hesitating is pure when talking, and now you have got some genuine methods to fill the house in your French sentences!