Filler Sentences: What They Are and How To Avoid Them

Are you looking for a way to avoid common filler words and filler phrases? What do you need to do to get rid of filler sentences in your writing? Learn more. 

The use of filler words is common across all types of writing, particularly academic writing. However, if you use English filler words in public speaking, it could impair your communication skills. Even though many people believe that adverbs are filler words, there are some situations where they might be necessary.

Regardless of whether you are following APA style, MLA style, or the Chicago Manual of Style, you need to avoid using many filler words and sentences. So how can you eliminate meaningless words and filler sentences in your writing?

Filler sentences refer to statements that are unnecessary to the overall point of the work. You need to remove filler sentences because they can make it more difficult for readers to interpret your writing. By keeping your work concise and on topic, you can avoid using filler sentences in your work It’s time to take a closer look at how you can improve your use of the English language by eliminating unnecessary words. 

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Understanding Filler Words and Filler Sentences

Filler sentences

First, everyone has to understand the difference between filler words and filler sentences. Many people believe that a bunch of filler words put together equals a filler sentence; however, this is not always the case. 

In some cases, too many filler words could create a sentence that equates to filler, but filler words are usually discussed in terms of public speaking. When someone has a hard time figuring out what to say next, they might use words as, such, um, oh, and uh to fill the awkward time. When you are writing, you probably will not use these words. Therefore, it is unlikely you will have this problem when you are trying to finish your work.

Filler Words in Writing

There are also situations where you might use other filler words in your writing specifically. For example, a lot of introductory learners use filler words, and this creates a wordiness problem. In general, academic writing should have almost no sentence filler. Some of the most common examples of filler words in writing include: that, there is, that, and it is.

Here are a few examples of filler words:

  • Filler Words: There were five students in Dr. Smiths’s lesson group. 
  • Corrected: Five students were in Dr. Smith’s lesson group.

Here is another example:

  • Filler Words: There were twenty students who went down the ski slopes with the instructor.
  • Corrected: Twenty students went down the ski slopes with the instructor.

Based on the examples above, it’s obvious that there are ways to remove filler words from your writing. Even though a few filler words here and there are unlikely to cause any serious issues, too many filler words could impair the ability of the reader to extract meaningful information from your work. Therefore, you should try to remove filler words to make it easier for people to see the point of your writing. 

There are some situations where you may have filler sentences as well. What does this mean, and how was it different? 

Filler Sentences

In general, people refer to filler sentences as unnecessary details in your writing that are not useful to the audience. You need to remember what the point of your writing is. If something is not relevant to the needs of your audience, then you should remove it. For example, if you have a lot of phrases that use flowery text, or if you are sharing your opinion unnecessarily, you may be putting filler sentences in your work. 

Keep in mind that the definition of filler sentences can vary depending on the type of work you write. There may be some situations where extra context or details are important. Then, there may be other situations where this additional context might not be necessary. Therefore, it may amount to filler sentences.

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Examples of Filler Sentences in Writing

Filler sentences
Filler sentences as unnecessary details in your writing that are not useful to the audience

Because the definition of filler sentences can vary, it may be helpful to look at a few examples. That way, you can see how you can remove unnecessary details and make sure you get straight to the point. 

  • Filler Sentences: There is nothing I enjoy more than spending a significant amount of time outside, smelling a garden that has produced numerous flowers. After working hard for weeks on end, you are probably ready to enjoy the hard work your labor has produced. Of course, you could not have done this without the right tools and equipment. You need to make sure you purchase the right tools to get the most out of your garden. How do you make the right choice? 
  • More Concise: If you purchase the right tools for your garden, you will have an easier time getting your flowers and trees to bloom. Learn more about purchasing the right gardening tools

In the first paragraph, you probably didn’t even realize the work was about purchasing the right gardening. It isn’t mentioned until the end. It is easy to confuse your readers, so make sure you put the point at the front.

Here is another example:

  • Filler Sentences: If you want to follow feng shui, you need to remove all unnecessary clutter from your life. This includes your bedroom, your kitchen, your bathroom, and even your garage. If you correctly follow feng shui, you can strike the right balance between your surroundings and nature. 
  • More Concise: The goal of feng shui is to strike a balance between nature and the surrounding area.

Remember that you need to tailor your writing for your audience. There might be a situation where you need to include some extra details, but you need to remember the point of your writing. There will probably be other situations where these supplementary statements and details are not relevant. 

Seven Top Tips for Removing Filler Sentences

A lot of people tend to write as they speak. Therefore, you might have a difficult time removing filler sentences. What might amount to filler to someone else might be important to you. So, how can you avoid filler sentences? These seven filler-removing tips :

  1. Always have a plan before you start writing. For example, what is the goal of your work? You should keep this goal in mind as you write, as this will make it easier for you to stay on track.
  2. Try to keep your introduction short, sweet, and to the point. You may need a few sentences to introduce the point of your writing, but you don’t need your introduction to be an entire page. A lot of people have a tendency” to “overexpose” in the introduction.
  3. Try to write short sentences. Even though readability calculators do have their drawbacks, they can help you remove filler sentences in your work. 
  4. Minimize the number of adverbs you use in your writing. There might be situations where an adverb is needed for dramatic effect, but you should not attach an adverb to every verb in your work. 
  5. Use active voice instead of passive voice. Even though academic writing uses a lot of passive voice, you can still trim back the words you use.
  6. Do your best to show the audience instead of telling them. For example, if you show your audience with expressive verbs, you won’t have to use as many terms to explain what is happening in your work.
  7. Always ask for someone else to take a look at your work before you publish it. They may find ways for you to trim words and shorten sentences, removing filler from your work.

These are a few essential tips you should follow to avoid filler sentences and your work. It can be challenging to change your writing style, but there are advanced tools that can help you. Check out our definitive list of the best story writing apps to better your writing. Furthermore, you can lean on other people if you want to reduce filler in your work.

Final Word on Filler Sentences

Today, a lot of people expect instant gratification. This is true of the people who read your work. You need to get straight to the point if you want to hold your audience’s attention. This means you should avoid filler sentences when you write.

The definition of filler can change depending on the type of work you write. You need to think about your work’s goal, consider your audience’s needs, and make sure you write with their goals in mind.

Try to minimize expressions and stay away from adverbs when you can. Finally, do not hesitate to ask someone else to take a look at your work. They may be able to help you find ways to trim unnecessary fat from your writing. Want more? Read our filler words list.

FAQs About Filler Sentences

What are filler words examples? 

Filler words are usually words in public speaking people use to fill awkward silences. A few examples include uh, um, and oh. There are also examples where people might use filler words in their writing. Common examples include that, there is, and it is.

What is a filler statement? 

A filler statement is a passage in a work of writing that is unnecessary to the audience. The definition can change depending on the type of work you produce. If the sentence is not necessary for the audience to grasp the passage’s meaning, then it is probably a filler statement. You may want to remove it to make it easier for your audience to get the intention of your work.


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.