Spanish Sentence Starters and Filler Words (Muletillas): The Grease of the Language Gears

An extremely common problem amongst people learning a new language is smoothness, that ability to keep talking without herky-jerky stop-and-starts in their sentences (lots of awkward silences and “ummms” while they try to think of the right word), and a specific area of this that’s almost never addressed anywhere that I’ve noticed a lot of people have trouble with is how exactly to start a sentence or statement. We’ve got all these little filler words and phrases in English that we use over and over again that work great for this stuff, and we don’t realize that we do, they really are the grease that allows the gears to work–without it things grind, hang up, jerk back and forth, and sometimes just break down. This stuff is immensely useful and valuable to know if you actually want to be able to talk to people, but almost no one teaches it because it just doesn’t occur to them to do so (plus, it’s not “proper” formal Spanish, so textbooks shy away from it). Let’s go over a list of the most common and useful starters and filler words, commonly known in Spanish as “muletillas”

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