Knowing how to use these filler words is key to success.

  • Pois é!

You wouldn’t want to use them in the wrong way and make yourself look like a fool.

  • Pois...

Então... if you start each sentence so, it will buy you at least some seconds to figuring out the right verb conjugation.

  • When being asked for proof of your Portuguese fluency, feel free to start making an excuse: ‘pois, mas é que...’ [poeesh, mazEHk...]. I bet you won’t need to finish, because chances are, you will be interrupted. We do that a lot, I’m afraid.

Pois é! (eyes roll)

In case you meet us on one of our bad days (meaning, it’s raining and therefore our view on life is momentarily rather grim), have sympathy and throw in a lot of ‘pois... pois...’ while we moan away. A great listening opportunity, I tell you!

And claro, don’t forget to always agree with our opinions so as not to start a civil war. When your verbal capabilities are up to speed, then claro, contest our views of the world as you wish!

Another favourite filler word of mine is more of an expression. Whatever amazing information a native speaker has told you, it may be nice to reply with ‘a sério?!’ to show interest. Just make sure the information sounded vaguely surprising. Otherwise, it may be safer to stick to ‘pois’.

If you have enjoyed this quick lesson and would like to learn more Portuguese outside of the box, then please contact Catarina from The Language Unschool -