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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #116853: Vocabulary: gap-fillers
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Linking words | Idioms [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Although / in spite of / despite - Again/ back - FOR and its use - Differences between Like and As - Bill, tip, fare, fine, fee - Tall, high, great
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Vocabulary: gap-fillers


     

    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...  

    b) Expressions: 

     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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    'Well, Mom, ..? Do you remember that you agreed to let me go to Chloe's pyjama party tomorrow night? Hum, well, ? We've decided I'd go tonight too...'
    ' ... Chloe can't have moved her party without telling her guests' parents!'
    ' not... Mom... but we thought I might also go tonight, and that will make two consecutive parties! That , wouldn’t it ?!'
    ' Lucy! Look at me! ! Tomorrow is a schoolday, and you're not going to have a late night. No way!
    ' Yes, , Mom, but Chloe said... '
    'Well, , little girl... Parents decide, kids don't... ... I think you've forgotten that Becca was staying here tonight because her parents are away.'
    ' Oh ! How could I forget that? We'll walk to school together tomorrow morning, and of course, talk a little before going to bed. , Mom!'
    ' ! Becca' s sleeping in the spare room tonight, not in yours...' ' !'

     

                                                           








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