10 tips on how to get rid of filler words in your speech


Beautiful speech free from parasitic words is easy and pleasant to listen to.
Unfortunately, many people, both speakers and ordinary interlocutors, suffer from this speech “disease”. In this article we will tell you what you can do to make your speech clearer. Examples of filler words are known to everyone one way or another. Here is a list of the most popular words:

  • Briefly speaking,
  • Well,
  • exactly this,
  • All in all,
  • so to speak,
  • as if,
  • In fact,
  • Just,
  • like,
  • Means,
  • actually,
  • Here,
  • that is,
  • fashionable vocabulary: damn, kapets, wow, etc.

The so-called parasitic sounds (vocalized pauses) are also very common: “uh”, “mmm”, “aaa”, etc.

The most common:

  1. Extremely limited vocabulary. Its deficiency forces a person to use junk words to connect speech and express his thoughts.
  2. Low speed of transformation of thoughts into words. In this case, pauses between phrases are automatically filled with words and sounds like “uh-uh,” “like,” “mmm...”, etc.
  3. Ordinary laziness and lack of understanding of speech culture.
  4. Excessive excitement when expressing thoughts.
  5. Intentional use of “garbage” in speech (when the communication style is part of a “fashionable” image).

Of course, one cannot judge a person’s education or level of intelligence by the use of filler words. Sometimes the “Gopnik in the Gateway” expresses himself culturally in beautiful and pure Russian, and some famous professor, speaking on TV, on the contrary, speaks like that same Gopnik from the Gateway.

It is worth noting that everyone has their own parasitic words , and their “set” can be very wide.


Indeed, colloquial speech, completely devoid of parasitic words, seems artificial, “sterile-clean.” However, it is difficult to recognize this as a disadvantage. And when there are too many filler words, they make it difficult to understand and spoil the overall impression of a person’s speech. Everything is good in moderation. There are literary characters whose speech consists entirely of filler words. Remember Anfisa Tikhonovna, the character of A.N. Ostrovsky in “Wolves and Sheep” and her lines? Alas, such characters are found not only in works of fiction. In addition, it is important that the speaker's entire speech makes sense. And you even need to know how to use parasites. We do not divide words into good and bad. The word itself is not a parasite, but from excessive and inappropriate use it can turn into a parasite (more on this later).

You won’t believe it, but some OK participants turned out to be supporters of the position “My parasitic words are part of me. And I won't give them to anyone. I’m already a confident person and I don’t need to bother getting rid of parasitic words.” If you suddenly recognize yourself, I suggest you think about the following: • When you speak in public (and always), it doesn’t occur to you not to brush your teeth or wash your clothes, because you are a person. Why should speech be unkempt and littered? Every word is a parasite - a coffee stain on the white shirt of your narrative. • For everyone for whom individualism, personal style, personal brand matters: Clear speech in our time, unfortunately, is a rare phenomenon - your interlocutors will definitely distinguish you from many others, and if you are different, they will remember you.

The most common “junk” words:

  • “Mmm...” or “Uh...” . This “mooing” is common to many people. The brain simply cannot keep up with the language, and while the phrase is being thought over, peculiar sounds appear. Naturally, the number of listeners to such a speaker will quickly decline. As, in fact, does the image: after all, such “parasites” say a lot about the level of unpreparedness.
  • "As if". Also a very common “parasite”. Listeners perceive this word as the speaker’s doubts about the correctness/sincerity of his own words. And a speech with such garbage looks quite ridiculous.
  • "Actually…". A word that is a substitute for the mooing described above, like “uh”.
  • "Here" . This “parasite,” unfortunately, has long been perceived by people as the norm. The word does not carry any semantic load, and its presence in speech radically reduces its perception.
  • "Well" . A popular “parasite” that irritates even people who use it themselves.
  • "Briefly speaking". This “garbage” is used even at official events, and even by cultural figures. In terms of popularity, the word confidently shares the step of this pedestal with “well.”
  • "That is" . A dangerous “parasite” that cleverly disguises itself as a word for a bunch of phrases. At first it appears like this, but before you know it, “that is” is already cluttering up the speech, making it difficult to understand.
  • "All in all" . A word that clearly demonstrates the speaker's uncertainty.
  • “E-mine”, “damn”, “tryndets”, “like” and other “fashionable” words. Usually they stick in companies, on the Internet, in the society where they are used most often. Speakers with such a “vocabulary” are simply not taken seriously - this is the style of an immature person who does not control both his actions and speech. These garbage words are perceived by people as disrespect from the speaker to the listeners.
  • "English speaking". It is good to learn useful experience from other countries. But English-language words pollute the purity of the Russian language, turning information into content, good/good into ok, songs into singles, protection into security, tightening into lifting, etc. Of course, there are moments in which borrowing is justified, but in most cases of “English-language” are used due to a lack of vocabulary or an attempt to impress everyone with their “eruditeness.” It is worth noting that the Russian language is self-sufficient and does not require such borrowings at all.

It is unlikely that anyone will have any doubts that we need to get rid of garbage in speech. And there are many reasons to start fighting it.

Modern filler words

  • Among the parasitic words that have appeared in recent years, the leading ones are such expressions as “like”, “nice”, “as if”, “really”, “specifically”. All of them were originally slang, used in certain social groups. Many words come from films or youth TV series.
  • And, of course, unfortunately, many “garbage” words arise, the basis of which is profanity. The same “damn”, and with it “eprst” or “eper theater” , are nothing more than swear words pseudo-adapted to social and cultural norms.

A person who uses filler words...

  1. Gives the impression of a careless, illiterate and insecure person who is unable to control himself.
  2. Unable to express thoughts clearly and purely, turning his monologue into a useless stream of water.
  3. Uninteresting to others. No one will take seriously, for example, a business partner who sprinkles words like “in short,” “scribe,” etc. left and right. Parasitic words cause irritation, and nothing more.
  4. He confuses himself. By purifying our speech, we purify our thoughts.
  5. Gives away his secrets. Based on many “parasites,” one can form a definite opinion about a person—what kind of society he lives in, what he is like, etc.

Parasite words: psychology

  • The use of parasitic words often stems from the psychological characteristics of a person and his character. For example, if you often say the word “just” , then it is quite possible that the opinion of you will be formed as a person who does not have his own opinion, in addition, is quite irresponsible .
  • “by the way” out of place and out of place , an experienced psychologist will immediately characterize you as constantly trying to attract attention to himself .
  • The address “you know,” as well as “you see,” “you hear,” with which many begin a conversation, hints at your talkativeness , which is sometimes not always appropriate and desirable.
  • The use of such a parasite as “in short” is most often perceived by the interlocutor as an indicator of the superficiality of your knowledge and mastery of the topic of conversation.
  • “I think” - this sometimes sounds categorical, unless, of course, the interlocutor at the moment was interested in your opinion.
  • And if you insert the adverbial clause “in fact” into a phrase, you can give the impression of a snob who does not respect the point of view of others, but considers himself a truly expert in this matter.

Who can use

It is impossible not to note the useful functions of filler words. There are few of them, but they still exist:

  • If you are in a hurry, then with a “parasite”, for example, “To-that”, you can express a thought faster than listing what you will do on vacation or for a walk.
  • Tactical ploy. If you are asked an awkward question, then with “parasites” (“you see”, “how can I explain it to you”, etc.) you can slightly delay the time in order to have time to formulate a thought and “bomb” your opponent with it.
  • Without filler words, it is difficult to play ignorant people in cinema and theater.
  • Without many filler words, speech would not be so emotional and easy to understand, even if the text was sometimes reduced to just one word. Exclusively literary speech in ordinary everyday life is like a dried mummy - without emotional coloring, naturalness and liveliness.

origin of name

This term refers to an organism that exists and maintains its vital functions at the expense of another organism. Speech “garbage”, the use of which occurs unconsciously, distorts the meaning of what is said, as if absorbing and eating it. This precise definition is given by experts.

They feed on your beautiful speech. That is why such words acquired the same name. Over time, they begin to occupy a larger share in the dialogue and become more popular than other phrases and statements.

Why is this needed, and what will it give you?

  • Your speech will become more meaningful and understandable to others.
  • Your “parasites” are not a part of you, not a highlight or some feature that needs to be preserved. Your “parasites” are, first of all, parasites (without quotes) that you need to get rid of. However, if for you unbrushed teeth and dirty nails are also highlights, then you don’t have to get rid of the “parasites” - continue to live with them in peace and harmony.
  • Pure speech today, unfortunately, is a rarity. A person who is able to clearly and clearly express thoughts without garbage in words commands respect. You want to listen to him, you want to trust him. Such a person will definitely be remembered, which, in turn, can help in work, study, etc.
  • By clearing your speech of “parasites,” you also clear your thoughts. This level is not for the “weak”, because self-control is a complex and lengthy process.

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The harm of parasitic words

It would seem, what’s so scary about them, about such repeated parasitic words? Of course, they do not pose a mortal threat, but they are harmful in the following ways:

  1. The interlocutor, listening to such “insertions”, perceives what is said worse, since the coherent presentation is interrupted, in addition, such filler words are unpleasant to the ear.
  2. in the filler words .
  3. By using such “trash” words, you emphasize the limitations and poverty of your vocabulary.
  4. Frequent use of unnecessary words can indicate to your interlocutor that you are worried or simply not confident in yourself.
  5. If you don’t just use “uh” or “well” to fill a pause, but interrupt your speech with swear words, this indicates a low level of culture, which will reduce the number of people who want to communicate with you.
  6. By overloading your speech with a large number of additional words, you reduce the chances of the interlocutor understanding you.
  7. Parasitic words are dangerous because the person uttering them often does not notice it himself, but those around him draw certain conclusions.

Harmful words

What's next?

  1. The most important thing is to realize that your parasitic words are evil that must be fought.
  2. Expanding vocabulary. If you have a deficiency of it, as a result of which you are replacing the Russian language with “parasites” - start reading. It’s better to drink the classics every day, like a medicine that you drink regularly, by the handful and 3 times a day.
  3. Develop self-confidence. Then you won't be afraid of pauses and awkward questions.
  4. Take your time. When you are in a hurry, your brain simply does not have time to give out the entire amount of information, as a result of which you have to express yourself in words that lie “on the surface”.
  5. Write your expositions. Every day is like homework. We read a passage of text, memorize it, and retell it in writing as close to the original as possible. Over time, the brain itself will begin to retrieve from the depths of consciousness those synonyms and definitions that you so lack in speech.
  6. Control yourself. Without self-discipline - nowhere. It is better to speak less and more slowly, but more clearly, than quickly, a lot and interspersing speech with filler words, slang, obscenities, etc. How to become a responsible person?
  7. Come up with a system of punishments for yourself. For example, for each spoken “parasite” - 100 rubles to the child’s (wife, husband, dog) piggy bank. Or 20 push-ups. Or a ban on sweets until tomorrow. This way you will begin to control yourself much faster.
  8. Family help. Ask members of your household to note your violations of self-discipline.
  9. Self-control. No matter how often filler words are used in your environment, hold on and don’t let “garbage” settle in your speech. While on social networks (alas, and not only) people communicate in “Albanian” (“padonkaff language”), distorting spelling, eliminating punctuation marks and the meaning of what was said, you continue to speak and write in pure Russian, pleasantly surprising those around you.
  10. Read aloud. Child, husband, parents. Reading aloud not only expands vocabulary, but also sharpens diction, improves speech style, and also contributes to the acquisition of the habit of speaking culturedly and beautifully. Over time, tongue-tiedness will disappear, the angularity of speech will disappear along with the “parasites”.
  11. Personal dictionary. While reading books, jot down interesting expressions, quotes, turns of phrase, and individual words in a notebook. Don't forget to re-read your dictionary sometimes and use written expressions more often in your speech.
  12. If there is no one at home, find the most hated parasitic word in your speech and repeat it until you are completely tired of it. Use the “radio hits chart”: a song played on every corner and from every iron a hundred times a day eventually begins to make you feel fuzzy and stormy. The “parasite” should make you sick so much that it disappears even from your thoughts.

And one more important piece of advice: don’t allow yourself to relax, even at home with your loved ones. Of course, they won’t throw tomatoes at you for “like” and “well,” but allowing yourself illiterate speech at home, you will not be able to get rid of it among strangers - sooner or later the “parasite” will jump out at the most unnecessary moment and let you down.

You must be constant in your self-control!

If you liked our article and have any thoughts on this matter, please share with us. It is very important for us to know your opinion!

How verbal pests characterize a speaker

Psychoanalysts have long paid attention to the phenomenon of “verbal parasites.” After conducting a series of studies and observations, an interesting theory was created that helps to characterize a specific person (talk about habits, nature).

  • For example, “in fact...” is used by extroverted realists. For these people, there is only their own opinion, and only it is correct. Under any circumstances they will defend it.
  • The saying “you understand...” characterizes the speaker as a “small” person, unsure of himself and his strength, timid, apologizing to everyone all the time.
  • The word “simple” burdens the speech of those who want an easy life and to solve all problems simply. People are so dependent, often resorting to excuses.
  • A speaker who wants to shorten the conversation time and does not want to communicate often uses the word “in short...”.
  • Among young people you can hear an interesting word - “as if...”. It creates a conditionality for the existing one, speaks of the introvert’s uncertainty (they often use it) and doubts.
  • “Like...”, “So...” are often said by teenagers and aggressive people.

Speech without the words of parasites becomes clear and interesting. It is pleasant to listen to such an interlocutor; you easily understand the meaning of what is said. But not everyone knows how to get rid of filler words in speech and automatically pronounce everything that comes to mind.

Are there any advantages?

Even when interjections and particles become parasites and interfere with a person’s ability to establish contacts, one can highlight the benefits of their use. The general advantages include the following (may linguists forgive me):

  1. Reduce the information flow. Sometimes, I think it’s appropriate to use strange words, such as “this and that,” “here and there.” If you are talking with a person who knows you well, then when you suggest going for a walk, you can say “Let's take a walk, go shopping, go to the cinema, this and that.”
  2. Fool around, play. Try on someone else's role by consuming typical weeds.
  3. Give the conversation emotional expression. Relevant again for communication among friends. Occasionally it is not shameful to say “topic” or “tough” if it is said by you with your own permission. Otherwise, you can purify your speech so much that it becomes businesslike always and with everyone. But besides formal communication, there is informal communication in life.

Additional benefits can be identified separately for the speaker and for the listener.

For the speaker

It’s not for nothing that filler words are also called pause substitutes. They allow a person to select the necessary thoughts and think, that is, they give time. But the conclusion suggests itself: time to “think” is needed by those who have:

  • poor vocabulary;
  • poorly developed speech;
  • weak thought processes.

With swearing and inappropriate repetition of particles, a person fills a mental and speech vacuum.

For the listener

For the listening person, parasites have less of a positive impact. As a result, only parasites become noticeable and interfere with the perception of basic information. But among the advantages:

  • the opportunity to consider the partner’s hidden states (behind the parasites lies a specific problem);
  • a hint for pause, comprehension of what was said (the word “here”).

An interrogative “yes” or “you know” on the part of the speaker does not necessarily signal his uncertainty; perhaps it is a way of attracting the attention of the listener and maintaining communicative contact.

Breathing training

The process of getting rid of such words is impossible to imagine without proper breathing. More often they appear when unexpected pauses occur. And to prevent this from happening, you need to learn to control yourself by taking a deep breath.

Every time you want to insert “extra” expressions, you need to take a good breath and use the resulting pause to correctly construct and use the next phrase. Such a silent pause that arises will look much better than if people speak as if, like, and so on.

Stop worrying

The fight against verbal “garbage” should be based on the factors that provoke the emergence of such a problem. One of them is excessive anxiety. When your own thoughts are not clearly formulated, they are constantly confused, and the thread of the logical narrative is constantly lost, then sentences cannot be constructed correctly.

To cope with this and start, as they say, constructing sentences beautifully, you need to learn to manage your anxiety. Try to breathe in as much oxygen as possible, concentrate and pull yourself together. People speak in parasitic phrases more often when excitement takes over their consciousness.

Constant practice

Only constant practice allows you to cope with such a problem and forget about the words parasites. It's worth practicing every chance you get. Especially if it is a public speech or report that will be read in front of a huge audience.

Through constant practice, you will speak meaningfully, slowly and thoughtfully. This is the only way to achieve your goal. Through public speaking and preliminary preparation of monologues, “junk” words, the use of which was previously habitual, will gradually begin to leave your vocabulary. And then your speech will begin to improve, and you will be able to communicate the way professional speakers and real intellectuals speak.

Replacing words

When it is difficult to eradicate “garbage” from your speech, you can try to replace it with an appropriate, but literary analogue. You need to write down all the “unnecessary” words on paper and opposite each one indicate what it can mean, but in a more beautiful language.

New analogues used instead of familiar speech patterns will need to be learned. And then, every time you want to insert verbal “garbage” into the middle of a conversation, you will have to remember its replacement synonym. This technique really works. But what the subsequent result will be depends on your patience and desire.

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