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What are "gap-fillers", which are in French clumsily named "bouche-trous" (Yuk ! a derogatory word! )? They're "little words" or set expressions to fill in gaps, literally..., blanks, moments of troubling silence when you have to think and speak fast in a conversation. They give this conversation a harmonious flow, its natural fluency and spontaneity. Of course, they vary in the different languages, and must be learnt!
Gap-fillers are the reactions to several feelings requiring a fast answer in conversations. They may also be considered as "time-givers". Hmm ... All this looks and sounds terribly complicated, but is, in fact, very simple since we all use "gap-fillers" permanently in our mother tongues.
I) ENTHOUSIASM: sVery different words may express the same feelings in different registers depending on the speakers, their eduction and their moods! ... )
|Wow!/ Great!/ Super!/ Awesome! Wonderful!||Are all expressing enthusiasm and admiration.|
II) IMPATIENCE, WEARINESS, SURPRISE:
|Do you?/ Did you?/ Are you really?/ Forget it!||Astonishment/ Weariness...|
Noooo! I can't believe it!
III) HESITATION, DOUBT, INCREDULITy:
When you hesitate, or when you need pondering for a few seconds... What will you say?
a) Little words:
|So.../ Well.../ Er.../ I see .../ You know.../ Oh My...!/ You see...||Hesitation/ Doubt...|
|Maybe/ Are you sure...?/ I'm not sure.../ You can't be serious!/ Are you kidding/ joking?|
|I'd say that.../ You didn't!/ Is it?/ Do you?/ Can you?/ What do you call it?|
|Does that make sense?/ That's what you think.../ Now, let me think.../ In a way...|
|How shall I put it?/ It's on the tip of my tongue.../ I can't believe it!/ That's what you think...|
IV) "Gap-fillers" are used to BUY TIME, not to leave blanks in conversations.
|Hold on a minute! / Well, you see .../ Hang on a moment (informal!)|
|Just a moment! / Give me a second! / Let me think!/ Mind you...|
|Let's see... let me think!/ To get back to what you were saying...|
V) TO CLARIFY YOUR WORDS:
|I mean.../ You know what I mean.../ If you see what I mean.../ What can I say...?|
|Well, what I'm trying to say is.../ How can I say this...?/ See what I mean...?|
|What's the word for it?// It's a sort of/ a kind of.../ I suppose/ I guess.../ I reckon...|
VI) In order to express AGREEMENT, SYMPATHY, and end a CONVERSATION:
- Agreement: Of course, Go ahead! // That's all right/ That's OK!
- Sympathy: Poor You! Hard luck! I'm sorry!
- End of conversation: See you... Bye! Take care...
As you can see, they're very varied, and depending on people. I 'm sure you won't mix them up. Try it in the test!
Good luck and THE FORCE!
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