Sometimes you need a few seconds to think of the right word or plan your next sentence. Luckily, there are many English phrases for delaying. Here are seven of them. All of the English phrases in this English lesson mentioned below finish with high intonation to show that you are going to continue speaking with your answer in just a second. They are often used as conversation fillers or gap fillers.
Well, you see…
This phrase is a very common expression that English people use all the time. You should not pause for more than a second or two after saying them.
Hang on a moment …
This phrase is actually used for asking the listener to wait. We often shorten ‘moment’ to ‘mo’ and ‘second’ to ‘sec’ in informal speech.
How shall I put it?
This phrase suggests that the speaker knows what to say but wants to organise the words to make them less unpleasant or annoying to the listener.
What’s the word for it..
We say this phrase when we are trying to remember one particular word. If we still can’t remember after another two seconds we often explain what the word means and hope that the listener can tell us what the word is.
It’s on the tip of my tongue..
This phrase means that we really think we know the word that we are searching our memory for but can’t remember it at this moment.
Now let me think…
This phrase is used for requesting the listener to wait for one or two seconds. You can only wait a few seconds after saying these.
(Now) that’s an interesting question..
This phrase is often used by politicians when they are asked a difficult or embarrassing question. Very often, they change the subject and avoid answering altogether.