Why, oh why, should I learn how to say “um” in Spanish?

How to say "um" in 6 different ways in Spanish.  A bubble then says "Why would I want to do that?"Why – um in Spanish?

A great and logical question.

The short answer is:

“To sound Spanish”.

Yes, more authentically Spanish.

What I am going to show you in this blogpost, used judiciously and sensibly, is linguistic gold.

However, over done, it is linguistic dross.


English speakers use lots of ways to collect their thoughts, they are verbal props. They give the speaker important thinking time.

How about these?  These are examples from the UK. Perhaps English speakers from around the globe might like to chip in with their own local equivalents.

Examples of word fillers, or “um” in English.



“Like….” (this does seem to have hit epidemic proportions of late!)


“Do you know what ?….”


6 word fillers or verbal props or “um”in Spanish


“Pues….” (well…)

“Bueno….” (good…)

“….o sea” (well…)

“Cómo lo diría?” (How will I say it?)

“Mira” (look….)

“A ver…” (let’s see…)

These are verbal props or filler words, used sensibly, will make you sound more Spanish. But, don’t overdo it. Job done.

Conclusion – to “um or not to “um”?

A short blog post – reflecting the short verbal props in both languages.

Will you be brave enough to use them in your own Spanish? Let me know how you get on!

Also – are there others that you can think of? Latin American equivalents?