Master French Filler Words: The Key to Sound More Fluent

When learning French, it's not just about mastering the grammar and vocabulary. To truly sound like a native speaker, you need to get a handle on the little words and phrases that pepper everyday conversation. These are known as filler words. In French, filler words are indispensable if you want to sound more natural and fluent. They can help you buy time to think, show agreement, express doubt, or simply make your speech more engaging. Let's explore some common French filler words and how to use them.

What are Filler Words?

Filler words are those little words or phrases that we insert into our speech while we think or because they've become a verbal habit. In English, words like "um," "like," and "you know" are common filler words. The French language has its own set of filler words, which can help you sound more natural when speaking French.

Learn French Filler Words with Lingopie


Lingopie can be a fantastic resource for learning French filler words. Through the platform's extensive library of authentic French TV shows and movies, you can hear these filler words used in real-world contexts by native speakers. Lingopie's interactive subtitles allow you to click on any word or phrase, including filler words, to get instant translations. This way, you can understand how and when to use these words in your own conversations. Plus, you can save new words and phrases to your personal vocabulary list for later review. Immerse yourself in the French language and culture with Lingopie and master those filler words in no time!

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Common French Filler Words

1. Euh

The French equivalent of "um" or "uh" is "euh". It's a handy filler word to use when you're thinking about what to say next.

Example: "Je voudrais, euh, deux croissants, s'il vous plaît." (I would like, um, two croissants, please.)

2. Alors

"Alors" is a versatile filler word that can mean "so," "then," or "well." It's often used at the beginning of a sentence.

Example: "Alors, qu'est-ce que tu penses de mon idée ?" (So, what do you think of my idea?)

3. Donc

"Donc" is similar to "alors" and can be used to mean "so" or "therefore."

Example: "Il fait très chaud, donc nous irons à la plage." (It's very hot, so we'll go to the beach.)

4. Enfin

"Enfin" can be used to mean "finally," but as a filler word, it's often used to express exasperation or to signify a change in topic.

Example: "Enfin, passons à autre chose." (Anyway, let's move on to something else.)

5. Voilà

"Voilà" is another versatile filler word. It can mean "there is" or "here is," but it's also often used to indicate that you've finished speaking or doing something.

Example: "Voilà, j'ai fini mon travail." (There, I've finished my work.)

6. Bah

"Bah" is a filler word that doesn't really have a translation in English. It's often used to express surprise or hesitation.

Example: "Bah, je ne sais pas vraiment." (Well, I don't really know.)

7. Quoi

"Quoi" is generally used at the end of a sentence to express surprise or disbelief, similar to the English "what".

Example: "Tu pars demain, quoi?" (You're leaving tomorrow, what?)

8. Hein

"Hein" is a French filler word used to seek affirmation or confirmation, similar to the English "huh" or "right".

Example: "C'est difficile, hein?" (It's difficult, huh?)

Summing Up

Learning to use French filler words can make your speech sound more natural and fluent. Remember, the key is to use them sparingly and in the right context. Practice incorporating them into your conversations, and soon you'll be sounding more like a native speaker. Bonne chance!

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