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Spanish Filler Words to sound like a native Spanish speaker

7 SPANISH FILLER WORDS That Make You Sound Like a Native Speaker

Hola amigos, hoy este… es super especial porque, pues, les voy a enseñar a hablar con muletillas que los van a hacer sonar o sea como todo un nativo. (Hello my friends, so today is super special because well, I will teach you to speak using filler words that will like, I mean make you sound like a native speaker.)

Mastering muletillas (filler words, the Spanish equivalent of “umm, like, right, you know, …”.) is one of the secrets to sounding super natural in a foreign language, so pay close attention! 

Here’s our first muletilla:

1. Este…

Literally, it translates as “this”. Este constitutes like 80% of the content that students recite in front of the class when they have a presentation. “Este” is a very common way to start speaking and commonly used when we had to hacer exposiciones (present in class.) 

Este… Los Mayas fueron una civilización este… Mesoamericana, que este… que este… se localizó más que nada en este… la península de Yucatán y este… su periodo clásico fue este… del 250 este… al 900.”

(Um… the Mayans were a civilization hum… Mesoamerica, that hum… flourished in um… the Yucatán Península and their classic um… period went from um… 250 BC to um… 900 BC.) 

Often I can tell that people are lying to me when I hear them using “este” a lot. It might feel sketchy. 

Hola hijita ¿cómo estás? 
(Hello little daughter. How are you?)

Este… bien
(Uhm, well.)

¿Dónde estás? 
(Where are you?)

Este… en la casa.
(Uhm, in the house.)

Debes estar reposando. re
(You should be resting. Remember the doctor said you should rest.) 

Claro que sí, ma. 
(Of course Mom.)

Bueno. Cuídate mucho mi niña. Te amo, bye. 
(OK. Take care my child. I love you, bye. )

2. Bueno or y bueno

In Mexico, we actually use the word bueno “good” or good one to answer the phone. But we also use “bueno” and more specifically “y bueno” to fill up the spaces as we tell a story.

Watch me unedited: 

¿De dónde soy de verdad? Bueno, últimamente ha habido una pequeña controversia tanto aquí en YouTube como en la vida real sobre de dónde soy. Y bueno, quería aclarar que yo nací en Acapulco, en el estado de Guerrero, México. 

Ahí nací, pero mis papás se fueron a vivir a Cancún cuando yo era muy chiquita y bueno ahí en Cancún yo crecí.

Y bueno aunque yo considero a Guerrero como mi hogar ancestral, el lugar de donde provienen los héroes de mi familia, pues bueno la verdad es que amo mucho Cancún y también me considero orgullosamente cancunense y dignamente quintanarroense. Y bueno, esa es mi verdad. O cómo diría Niurka, “mi veldá”. 

(Where am I really from? Well, lately there has been a little controversy both here on YouTube and in real life about where I'm from. Well, I wanted to clarify that I was born in Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.

 I was born there, but my parents went to live in Cancun when I was very little and well there in Cancun, I grew up.

And well, although I consider Guerrero as my ancestral home, the place where the heroes of my family come from, the truth is that I love Cancun a lot and I also proudly consider myself Cancunense and Quintanarroense. And well, that's my truth. Or how Niurka would say, “mi veldá” (my truth).

It is like saying “and well” and other than being a filler word, it’s also a great: 

Chunk Alert! 

Bueno is a great way to agree to something that doesn’t excite you much. It’s like a mediocre yes! 

Mami, ¿puedo salir a jugar al parque?
(Mom, can I go play in the park?)

Sí, pero primero tienes que recoger tus juguetes.
(Yes, but first, you have to pick up your toys.)

Bueno, está bien. 
(Well, ok.)

For more useful chunks like this, make sure to download our free Essential Spanish Chunking Kit! It’ll give you tons of useful chunks you can use alongside these fillers in conversations. Link in the description!

For the next section, I have a special guest! My friend Gaby! I met her in Kuala Lumpur! I asked her some questions about her favorite type of tacos. This, to show you that when giving an explanation we use so many filler words. Extra: Pay attention to the way she speaks, I find it very fresa!

3. O sea

Its closest equivalent, that I can think of, would be “I mean”. Everyone uses this in Mexico, everyone. Some people, los fresas (the posh ones), pronounce it in a very particular way. O sea. What are they and how do they speak? Check out María Fernanda’s video about Fresas up here.

¿Cuál es tu taco favorito Gaby? 
(What’s your favorite taco Gaby?) 

Es el taco de suadero. O sea, es una cosa. Deli, deli, deli. 
(It’s the suadero taco. It’s such a thing! Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!)

¿Cómo es un taco de suadero Gaby?
(What’s a suadero taco Gaby?)

Es algo excepcional y es algo super super super rico, pues como te puedo decir, o sea no es un taco normal, es un taco grasiento. 
(It’s something exceptional and it’s super, super, super delicious, well, like, it’s not a regular taco, it's a super fatty one.)

4. Así, así como and cómo 

It is very similar to the English: Like this, like that, or just “like”. 

Gaby, ¿y qué es el suadero? ¿Y cómo se comen los tacos?
(What ‘s suadero? And how do you eat the tacos?)

Viene de la carne de res que está muy cerca de la costilla. Entonces es como que la carne, pero pues todavía un poco más grasiento. Y luego le pones así, le pones el cilantro y la cebolla y aparte le pones una salsa roja y una salsa verde. A mí me encantan las dos porque, híjole, la verdad es que son super deli. Y así un chorro de limón y ¡o sea!
(It comes from a part of the cow that is close to the ribs. Then it’s, kind of like, meat, but fattier. And then you put like, the cilantro, and the onion and on top of that, red salsa and green salsa. I love both because, seriously, they’re both really good. And then like a lot of lime and like!) 

5. Pues

Remember my confession? 

Well, people from Acapulco, and other parts of the coast of Mexico are notorious for their use of the word. Y pues es la verdad, pues así soy ¿y qué? (And well then, the truth is, this is who I am, so what?) We pronounce it like this. But a lot of Mexicans use it. Not only Acapulqueños. It’s similar to saying “so” or “well”. Just sprinkle it everywhere! 

Órale pues, si pues, no pues, órale pues, ya pues.
(Alright then, yes then, no then, alright pues, already then.) 

Mi familia es de Guerrero, pero pues, en los 80’s  las cosas no estaban yéndoles muy bien y pues, decidieron mudarse al sureste de México, a Cancún pues.
(My family is from Guerrero, but well, then in the 80’s things weren’t going great, and well they decided to move to the southeast of Mexico, Cancún then.)

6. Entonces 

This is equivalent to “then” and “and then”. We use it so much! I find it so cute when children use it as they tell stories. Let’s hear from Amanda:

Oye, ¿qué hiciste el fin de semana?
(Hey, what did you do on the weekend?

 Pues fui a un hotel y entonces… las gemelas, era su cumpleaños, y entonces Victor bailó con ellas, y entonces había era muy divertido, y entonces había música pero bien divertida, y entonces bailamos… 
Well I went to a hotel and then… it was the twin’s birthday, and then Victor danced with them, and then it was fun, and then there was music but fun music, and then we danced…)

7. ¿No? Sí ¿no? 

This is our equivalent of saying, right? When you’re looking for reaffirmation from the person with whom you’re talking. But we use the negative. ¿No? It gets really funny and confusing even when we say: yes, no? 

¡Ay, cómo me encantan estas flores! 
(Oh, how I love these flowers!)

Se llaman bugambilias. ¿Sí, no? 
(They are called bugambilias, right?) 

Me encanta este perfume.
(I love this perfume.)

Es el L’Interdit, ¿no? 
(It’s L’Interdit, right? )

This is how you transform a sentence

Let’s take a regular phrase. 

El suadero es carne de res. Viene de una parte cerca de la costilla. (Suadero is beef meat. It comes from a part near the ribs.) 

Now let’s say it filled it up with muletillas to make you sound like a real native!

Option 1: 

Este el suadero, es este, carne de res. Viene de una parte así cómo cerca como de la costilla. 

Option 2: 

O sea, el suadero es carne de res. ¿Sí, no? Y viene de una parte como cerca, cerca, así como cerca de la costilla. 

See how easy it is? 

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