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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

20 Filler Words To Eliminate From Your Writing

Updated: Jan 9

When you've finished your first draft and it's time to hone your prose, a good place to begin is by eliminating filler words.

Hey! What Are Filler Words?

Filler words are additions to our sentences that, rather than adding substance, dilute the clarity and impact of writing. They cling to words like little linguistic parasites, muddying the waters of our words.

The Usual Suspects

Let's familiarize ourselves with some common filler words that can infiltrate our writing:

  1. Absolutely

  2. Actually

  3. Almost

  4. Basically

  5. Completely

  6. Definitely

  7. Essentially

  8. Literally

  9. Maybe

  10. Notice

  11. Perhaps

  12. Really

  13. Seem

  14. Simply

  15. Somehow

  16. Somewhat

  17. Suddenly

  18. That

  19. Up

  20. Very

Download a handy infographic here:

Filler Words Infographic
Download PDF • 74KB

Look at your WIP. Do a search for the above words. If you find one, remove the word from the sentence. Does the sentence still make sense? Congrats—you've removed a filler word!

Overcoming Filler Word Overuse

Awareness is Key

- The first step to overcoming filler words is awareness. Regularly review your writing with a keen eye for intruders.

Precision Over Quantity

- Practice prioritizing precision. Sometimes removing filler words isn't enough.

   - Choose words that convey your message with clarity and impact. Which sounds better?

  • She ran very fast.

  • She sprinted.

How about this?

  • She sat down on the chair.

  • She collapsed onto the chair.


Keep practicing and you'll become a pro at avoiding filler words!

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