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Using hesitation devices

 

Techniques > Use of language > Parts of speech > Using interjections > Using hesitation devices

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

When you are talking and are not sure exactly what to say, use interjections as 'Hesitation Devices' such as 'ah', 'er', 'um', etc. They may be short or extended ('errrrrr', 'ummmmmm').

Example

I, er, was thinking, um, er, whether you might ah, go out with me.

Discussion

Hesitation devices effectively hang onto the talking stick, signalling to other people that you have not finished speaking.

Hesitation can also signal uncertainty, and others may interject either to help you or to grab the talking stick and take over the conversation. Depending on culture and aggression or empathy in the situation, this will either be a common or uncommon action.

See also

Using exclamations

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