Today we will learn about filler words in Spanish (muletillas). Being able to use them properly will help you master speaking Spanish and sound like a native. Our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, will explain the most commonly used filler words. Take a look at our blog! ?

Filler words in Spanish are casual words or phrases, that are used in speaking Spanish with the aim of “filling” or “support” the speech. Therefore, in Spanish they are called “muletillas”, a name that derives from the Spanish word “muleta” (crutch).

The muletillas are considered as meaningless words or phrases, since their usage does not change the meaning of the sentence. Although they do not affect the literal meaning, these filler words can be used by the speaker to express an intention or with a specific purpose.

For instance, they can be use with the aim of:

– Taking a pause in order to gather thoughts
– To express uncertainty or hesitation
– To check that the listener has understood what you said
– To search for listener’s approval
– To attract the attention
– To sum up a situation

So, lets’ start learning some!

  • Bueno.

It used to make a pause, especially when starting a conversation or answer a question. It is also used to express uncertainty. Especially in the latter case, Spaniards usually pronounce it stretching the e sound out (bueeeeno)

¿Te gustó la exposición del viernes? – Bueno, la verdad es que no era lo que me esperaba
Did you like the exhibition we saw last Friday? – Well, to be honest it was not what I had expected

  • ¿Vale? / ¿Me entiendes?

It is a casual expression we use to informally ask people whether they have understood us. In English we would say “You get me?”

Es necesario que te pongas la crema solar antes de que salgas de casa. ¿Vale? = You need to put the sunscreen before leaving home. You get me?

  • Vale, vale, vale

By repeating once or twice this word, we will let the speaker know that we have totally understood what he/she had said.

Vale, vale, vale…ya entiendo lo que pasó = Yep, yep, I got what happened

  • Pues

In most cases, it is used before Yes or No, when giving a positive or negative answer to a question.

¿Vamos a dar un paseo? – Pues sí = How about a stroll? – Well, yes
¿Tú crees que María nos ayudará con la mudanza? – Pues, no creo = Do you think that Maria will help us with the move? – Well, I don’t’ think she will

Pues is also used to make a pause before starting to speak. In this case, this word works like entonces.

Pues, ya sé dónde quiero ir este fin de semana = Well, I already know where I want to go this weekend

  •  Pues nada

You will probably hear this expression from someone who is telling a story. It is used to jump forward and quickly come to the end of it, without giving more details or explanations.

Cuando llegué al aeropuerto me enteré de que habían cancelado el vuelo y…pues nada, no me fui al extranjero aquel año = When I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been cancelled and…well, I didn’t go abroad that year

  • A ver / vamos a ver

Spaniards use them at the beginning of a sentence, with the aim of better explaining themselves or summing up what they want to say.

A ver, te digo esto para ayudarte = Look, I tell you that to help you
Vamos a ver, quieres mudarte a Madrid pero no ahora. ¿Es así? = Let’s see, you want to move to Madrid but not now. Don’t you?

  •  En plan

This expression is mostly used by young people. We say “en plan” to give example of something.

Fuimos a comer al parque, en plan pic-nic = We had lunch in the park; a kind of a pic-nic

  • Quiero decir

To clarifing, explaining in details.

Prefiero no comer carne; quiero decir, no soy vegetariana pero no me gusta mucho la carne = I would rather not eat meat; I mean, I am not a vegetarian but I don’t really like meat

  • Es decir, o sea

We use it to reformulate or expressing more in details what we have just said

Esta promoción es para los clientes jóvenes; es decir, los que tienen entre 18 y 25 años = This offer is addressed to young customers; that is, those who are between 18 and 25 years old

  • ¿Qué te iba a decir?

It can be used to take a pause before speaking or to pick up the thread of the speech

¿Qué te iba a decir? Ah sí, que mañana empiezo mi curso de español = What was I going to say? Oh, yes, tomorrow I will start my Spanish course

Finally, filler words in Spanish can be different from one Spanish speaking country to another and also changes according to the age of speakers.

We hope that our post on filler words in Spanish will help you sound like a native Spanish speaker.
As usual, we encourage you to expand your vocabulary with new Spanish words.

If you want to learn Spanish from scratch or upgrade your knowledge, El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school gives you the chance to do it by having fun, here in Valencia ?

¡Hasta pronto!