For people who are still learning English, they might use filler words. They are used as a crutch or in times where ESL learners cannot think of what to say.

Filler words are used to allow people to collect their thoughts. The problem with this is once you start using them they become a bad habit.

This leads to them being overused and in turn, they become crutches. This prevents people from becoming fluent English speakers. It also takes away from the speaker’s credibility and distracts from what they are saying.

Here are a few examples of filler words:

Um.

Ah.

So.

You Know.

Like.

Right?

Well.

How do we get rid of this habit?

Simple, the first thing that you do is record yourself when you are having natural conversations with others. This will allow you to hear when you make any of the sounds listed above or others. Recognizing that you have issues with filler words or sounds is the hardest part.

The second step is to embrace the pause. It is better to pause than try to fill in the gaps with filler words. Simply pause and eventually, you will fill in the gaps as you improve your English skills.

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