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Filler Words in (and Phrases )German

Hi everyone,

I recently listened to a German interview and noticed some filler words such as "You know" (Weißt du) being used, and I would like to know some more filler words in German!
Here is the interview.
Does anyone know more filler words in German?
Do Germans also say "Okay"?

Thank you! AP4418

May 13, 2018



Okay, of course, we say this.. ;-)

The topic about "filler words" is quite big. They are often used if you want to put emphasis on something or make something more clearly. I think some examples would help best which I will take from my German teaching book:

ja :

<pre> 1. "Das musste ja passieren!" (You aren't surprised that "das" has happened. </pre>
  1. "Das ging ja ganz einfach!" (surprise, astonishment)

  2. "Mach das ja nie wieder!" (expresses a warning)


  1. "Vielleicht holen wir doch lieber Hilfe." (a request which sounds more politely.)

  2. "Ruf doch endlich den Elektriker an!" (emphasis on the fact that one should have done this long ago)

  3. "Darüber haben wir doch schon gesprochen!" (something is known, was already discussed and you want to remind him)


"Bitte mach mal das Licht an." ( a polite request)


  1. "Wer kommt eigentlich zu deiner Feier?" ( friendly question starting a new topic in a chat)

  2. "Eine neue Lampe ist eigentlich zu teuer" (You are thinking about it and you are unsure)

  3. "Eigentlich müsste die Lampe funktionieren" (The lamp should work but it doesn't, you are pensive about this)

eben and halt

"Es klappt eben / halt nicht immer!" (something can't be changed and you don't want to talk about it anymore... )

There are a few more.. :-))

Just as any language has them they make speaking more expressive


Thank you so much once again Birgit! Have a Duolingot!


You are welcome, and I am happy I can help. ;-)


Yes, Germans also say "Okay", eventhough it might sound a bit different. (-: Like German pronounced "ockeeh". I do not know how to write it so English people speak it in the wanted way.

Other filler words are "quasi, so zu sagen, im Grunde, eigentlich, mehr oder weniger, theoretisch, praktisch". Which all mean "so to say", "virtually" (Google translate), properly speaking (Langenscheidt).

For example "Dieses Lied ist quasi die Vereinshymne." In some way this song is our club's hymn, but officially he have none.

Could you please enumerate some English filler words? I am German and I learn English.


That's awesome, thank you so much. I'm English and I'm learning German.
Well, here are some off the top of my head, not all of the following are exactly filler words, but now that I have a German speaker to help me I guess I can keep you busy! Hehe! :),
1. Maybe
2. Probably
3. Sort of/Kind of
4. Wow! (do Germans use that?)
5. Totally!
6. Wait!
7. No way!: How do you deny something in German besides just using "nein"? 8. Actually...
9. I heard that Germans say "Jop" and "Jap" besides just "Ja" to confirm something, is that correct?
10. Hang on!
That's all I can think of right now, but thank you so much for your comment, it's so useful!


Thank you for this list!
Yes, Germans use "Wow!" to express positive surprise.
What means 10. "Hang on!", or in which context do you use it?


You can say: "Hang on" if you wanted someone to wait for something that a task is done. Or you would say this to someone who is going through a hard time and you want him / her to keep on and not give up.


Although not a native speaker, I once lived with a German family with a teenage son. Often the mother would look out of the window and remark: Kommt der Werner, the son's name. When the father would scold him, he'd tell him "Das darfst du nicht machen" One of my German friends would say "doch!" in contradition to another.


This "Doch" means "Yes". Saying "Ja" here in German would mean mean "The sentence before is correct (with the negation)."

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