How to Use ‘Pues’ in Spanish (and Other Cool Filler Words)
If you want to start sounding like a native speaker, then you’ll want to know how to use pues in Spanish!
You can use this word in almost any sentence! It roughly translates to the English word “well” but also takes on dozens of other meanings. Let’s take a closer look at this versatile word so that you can start using pues in Spanish without even thinking about it!
Pues as a Conjunction
A conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences together. Common conjunctions in English are “and” and “but.” However, you can also use pues in Spanish for an easy conjunction!
Pues in Spanish has dozens of meanings, but as a conjunction it usually works the same as “for,” “then,” “since,” “because,” or “well.” It is used to express cause, motive, or reason. It can also show sequential value, a question, or to emphasize the phrase.
Then (Sequential Value)
Pues vete a dormir.
Go to sleep then.
No sé que decirte, pues.
I don’t know what to tell you, then.
Pues ve acostumbrándote.
Well, get used to it.
No podía jugar, pues tenía que limpiar mi habitación.
I couldn’t play since I had to clean my room.
Because, For (Cause)
Me quedo en casa, pues tengo que estudiar.
I’m staying at home because I have to study.
No pude verlo bien, pues olvidé las gafas.
I couldn’t see it too well because I forgot my glasses.
Pues as an Adverb
Pues in Spanish can also be used as an adverb! As an adverb, it translates roughly as “well”, “so,” “yes,” or “then”.
Adverbs are a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb. Pues in Spanish can be used to denote posteriority in time, place, or situation. Posteriority is a fancy way of talking about a series of events.
Well (Something that was expected or presumed)
¿No quieres escucharme? ¡Pues te arrepentirás!
You don’t want to listen to me? Well, you’ll regret it!
¡Pues, lo que yo había dicho!
Well, just what I had said!
Repito, pues, que hace bien.
I repeat, then, that he’s doing the right thing.
Buenas noches, pues.
Pues no compre.
Then don’t buy
Pues, ¿quién te lo dio?
So, who gave it to you?
¿Conque te dijo la verdad? Pues
So he told you the truth? Yes
Pues as a Filler Word
Pues is used by almost all speakers as a verbal filler word. It’s a favorite word for people to say when they are trying to buy time in between sentences.
As a filler word, pues in Spanish most commonly translates to “well” but it can have other meanings too. In English we might say “ummmm…” “so…” or “then…”
Pues, como te iba contando…
Well, as I was saying…
Ah, sí, pues… quizás es mejor que cenemos más tarde.
Ah, yes, um… perhaps it is best we dine later.
Pues… no sé.
Well… I don’t know.
Other Spanish Filler Words
Undoubtedly, pues in Spanish is one of the most commonly used filler words. However, you don’t want to keep repeating it over and over again!
Make sure to stock up your Spanish vocabulary with these other cool filler words to add a little diversity into your sentence flow. Filler words like these will let you sound like a native, even when you’re still trying to decide what to say next!
A ver directly translates as “to see.” As a filler word, it’s used like the English phrase “let’s see,…” or “now then…” You could also use vamos a ver which translates as “let’s see…”
¿Cuántas cartas has recibido? A ver…una, dos, tres!
How many letters have you received? Let’s see…one, two, three!
A ver…¿quién quiere ir a la playa?
Now then… who wants to go to the beach’
A ver… ¿Qué quieres hacer esta noche?
Let’s see… What do you want to do tonight?
Vamos a ver qué hay para hacer esta semana.
Let’s see what there is to do this week.
En plan is a super popular filler word used in Spain, usually by teenagers. The phrase is used in a variety of situations, sort of how in English we use the word “like.”
Estábamos allí en plan descansando cuando llegó Miguel.
We were there, like, relaxing, when Miguel arrived.
No te enfades, lo hice en plan broma.
Don’t get angry, I meant it like, as a joke.
Have you ever messed up a sentence in the middle of a conversation? This is a natural and common occurrence for Spanish learners — luckily, digo is here to save the day!
You can use digo to correct your previous mistakes while still sounding fluent. It directly translates as “I say,” but as a filler word it’s used as “I mean.”
Me dijo que la clase empieza a las ocho—digo, a las siete.
He told me the class starts at eight—I mean, at seven.
Miguel fue al restaurante con Sasha—digo, con Katherine.
Miguel went to the restaurant with Sasha—I mean, with Katherine.
O sea translates to “I mean…” or “in other words…” It’s a way to clarify or repeat what you already mentioned.
¿Vas a salir otra vez con él? O sea, ¿lo pasasteis bien?
You’re going to go out with him again? I mean, you had a good time?
Porque Barcelona no aburre nunca. O sea, siempre hay actividades.
Because Barcelona is never boring. I mean, there are always activities.
Since entonces translates as “so” and “therefore,” it comes in handy as a filler word. Use it at the beginning of almost any sentence for a smoother transition.
¿Entonces, no tiene un trabajo?
So you don’t work?
¿Entonces te gustaron?
So, you liked them?
Like entonces, asi que as a filler word translates to “so” and “therefore”. You can pair the word with bueno or nada to recreate English phrases like “so yeah..” or “so anyways…”
¿Así que al final fuiste al parque?
So, you ended up going to the park?
Así que no vas a trabajar con nosotros?
So, you are not going to work with us?
Así que bueno, estaba pensando que podríamos ver una película.
So, anyways, I was thinking we could watch a movie.
You’ve probably heard this word at least once or twice! While bueno directly translates as “good,” as a filler word it takes on multiple new meanings. You can use similarly to pues in Spanish as “well” or as a way to say that you agree.
Sí, bueno, un par de cosas han cambiado desde entonces.
Yeah, well, a couple of things have changed since then.
Sí, bueno, ese fue el final de mi escolarización.
Yeah, well, that was the end of my schooling.
Bueno, tengo que acostarme.
Well, I have to go to bed now.
Es que is another super common filler word. You can use it to explain a situation or to disagree with someone. It sort of translates as “the thing is,” or “it’s just that.”
Es que me he puesto a mirar cosas en Instagram y al final no me ha dado tiempo.
Well, the thing is… I started going through my Instagram and I ended up running out of time.
Es que…necesito averiguar que haya tiempo para esa actividad.
It’s just that…I need to check that there’s time for that activity.
Pues que is used as a way to emphasize what you are about to say. It’s sort of like saying “this and nothing else.” It also allows you to not have to repeat part of the question in your answer.
¿Qué te dijo tu padre de mí?
What did your father say about me?
Pues que eres muy simpática.
[He said] That you are very kind.
¿Te contó algo Pedro cuando fuisteis a cenar?
Did Pedro tell you anything when you went out for dinner?
Pues que se iba a vivir a Perú.
[He told me] That he was going to move to Peru.
Keep Practicing to Sound Like a Native Spanish Speaker!
Now that you’ve learned all about pues in Spanish, it’s time to practice! If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, encourage yourself to study with a native Spanish-speaking teacher! By signing up for a free trial class with us at Homeschool Spanish Academy, you’ll experience a 1-on-1, conversational-style Spanish class with one of our certified Spanish teachers from Guatemala. Our teachers are friendly, engaging, and will help you achieve fluency faster!
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