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Conversation Fillers –  English Phrases to avoid Awkward Silence.

At times we get stuck and there’s an awkward silence while speaking English or answering Job interview questions or even while having a small talk in English. You are not able to think in English and search for the right words to keep the conversation going. Learn some handy conversation filler phrases that would help you to fill in the awkward silence in communication. Practice these English phrases and use in your conversation when you are not able to think in English faster that affects your English fluency.  You are watching this English Lesson on Let’s Talk – You place for free English class and English speaking course to learn English easily. 

Complete Lesson Transcript:-

Someone asks you a question and you get stuck. Well, what are the things that you can say to fill in that silence or to fill in that gap? Do you keep mum? Or do you end up using gap fillers? Well, in today's lesson we are gonna look at some phrases that would help you to delay your answers.

Hi everyone. I am Niharika here and welcome back to a new lesson. Well, in today's lesson, we are gonna look at some phrases that would help you to delay your answers. Now there are times when people ask you a question or people ask for your opinion and you need these few seconds to think. Now people tend to keep mum or they tend to say, Ahh, Hmm, so rather than using these sounds like, Ahh, Hmmm or that awkward silence that the listener has to face. Well there are some phrases that you can use to fill in those few seconds and delay your answers. So we are gonna look at these seven phrases here and let's get started.

The very first phrase that I have for you is, well you see. Now here probably someone comes up to you and asks you a question and you are not very well prepared to answer this, you need few seconds to think about it and form your sentences correctly and then put it forward to the listener, so when you thinking this, you need to use the phrase like, Well you see and then answer the question. Like for example, someone comes up to you and say's that, Hey are you planning to take up that job? You are not prepared for this question, so you need those few seconds to answer that, now rather than keeping mum, you will use, Well you see and try to use high intonation when you use this phrase. So here you’re buying time to answer the question. Now remember when you use this phrase, you can only take a pause of two or three seconds and that's about it. Like, well you see. And then just take a pause of two, three seconds and then immediately start with your answer. You just can't keep waiting forever. Another phrase that you can use is, Hang on a moment. Now here you are directly asking the listener to wait, now the wait cannot be like an half an hour wait, It has to be just couple of seconds, wherein you’re buying time to answer the question. So you can use this phrase to delay your answer, so someone would come up and ask you, What have you thought about this new project? So you want to give that answer. You have something in your mind, but you wanna put it right, you wanna use the right words to put it forward. So you are buying time and you’re delaying your answer by directly asking the listener that, Hang on a moment. So take a pause for few seconds and then get started.

Another phrase that you can use is, How shall I put it? Now there are certain things that you tend to say that might offend people. Now this happens, when you don't think before you speak. So it's important for you, when someone asks you maybe a personal question or maybe a question that you do not like to be asked and you tend to offend people or you tend to sound very unpleasant. Now if you don't wanna sound unpleasant or you don't want to offend someone. You buy time by saying, How shall I put it? So here you’re actually buying time to use the right words that would not offend someone, so use this phrase when you do not want to offend someone.

Let's have a look at another phrase here, which is, What’s the word for it? You know there are times, when you are looking for a particular word and it's just not coming. Ohh! What is it? So what's the word for it? So here again you’re trying to think of that particular word and when you can't think about it, when it's just not coming into your head the you can use the phrase, What's the word for it? Rather than just keeping mum say, What’s the word for it? Now many people, when they are trying to think of that particular word and it's not coming in their mind. They tend to explain the meaning to the listener hoping that the listener would come up with that word. You know that happens, Right. When you’re talking with your friends and someone say's, What do you think about that? And yes you have a particular word that you can use for this situation, but you can't just think of it right now. So you’re buying time, now to buy that time you can use the phrase, What's the word for it And then after few seconds try to explain the meaning of that word. Even if you’re not getting that word try to explain the meaning of it and then probably the listener would come up with that word.

So let's move on to another phrase that you can use to delay your answer, which is pretty similar to the one above, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Does that happen to you? Like the other day, my friend asked me, Hey Niharika what's that actors name, who has done the movie Conjuring? And I know his name; it is on the tip of my tongue. But it's just not coming out of my mouth. When you know, you can't really think of that name, it’s right on your tongue but it's just not coming out. Well use the phrase, so here again you’re buying time to think, so rather than keeping mum, you are saying, it’s on the tip of my tongue, what is it? what is it? Continue your conversation. So that kind of sounds really nice and you come out as a very confident person as well. So you can use this phrase, when you just can't think of that word at that moment, but it's there in your mind. 

Now let's have a look at another phrase, Now let me think. When do you use this phrase? You know at times, people come up to you and ask you for your opinion about something, What do you think about this actor or what do you think about this project? What do you think about this company? Well, there are so many questions that are bombarded on you and you’re not very well prepared to answer them. And of course you do not wanna make a mistake or you don't wanna sound as a very smart person. But yes you wanna show that you have certain things in mind that you would like to talk about, so again you are using this phrase to buy sometime to delay your answer. So someone say's, So what do you think about this project. Do you think it's great? Do you think we should go for it? And here you wanna buy time to answer this correctly. So you’re gonna say, No let me think again you are directly asking for some time, so that you think over this and then you answer it correctly. So even this phrase is quite similar to the one here, which is Hang on a moment. Hang on a moment and Now let me think are the two phrases that you can use to buy time directly from the listener. But remember it's just couple of seconds and you can't ask the listener to wait forever.

And then the last one that I have for you is; Now that's an interesting question. When do we use that? Now if someone ends up asking you a very personal or a very embarrassing question and you really don't wanna answer that and you wanna change the topic . Then you can use this phrase. Now that's an interesting question and then you change the topic, so when do you use this phrase? Of course to delay your answer and to just buy time to just change the topic. Like the politicians, the media people tend to ask questions, which are kind of embarrassing and kind of a little personal, which politicians are not very well prepared to answer, so they say, Haa... Now that's an interesting question, so here basically they are buying time not just to delay their answer, but to just change the topic.

So if you face an unpleasant question then use this phrase. So this brings me to the end of this lesson. These are the seven phrases that you can use to delay your answers. So the next time someone asks you something or asks for your opinion you would not just go mum, but you will use these phrases. And I'll be back with a new lesson soon. Till then you take care.

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