Learn these Filler Words, Phrases and Expressions from this Dua Lipa Interview

From this natural conversation, you can learn how people use repetition when they are not getting the words or ideas quickly (underlined) and how they use words like "like", "I mean", "I think", "actually", "you know", "well" etc (highlighted in various shades of blue).  These are used as filler words, or discourse markers.  Um and Uh are also filler words (are they really words?) which you can use when you need a few micro seconds to think about the next word or idea.  I have not highlighted them below, but there are plenty of them in this conversation.

You may also take note of some useful expressions highlighted in shades of orange, which will help you sound fluent.

Filler words can be used for different purposes in fluent speech.  They are used
        To buy time to think ("um," "like")
        To soften statements ("you know," "I mean")
        To signal a change in direction ("actually," "well")
        To emphasize ("like," "really")
While excessive filler words can hinder clarity, using them naturally is part of spoken English. Our goal is to achieve comfortable, conversational fluency, but don't forget that you'll find many lessons and articles online teaching you how to avoid using filler words.  Don't be surprised to find some such articles on this site also. But you get the point!

Listen to the interview a few times, then scroll down while playing and choosing a short segment, use the shadowing technique to practice fluency.  Listen to short segments of the interview and try to repeat exactly what you hear, including the filler words. This helps with mimicking natural speech patterns.

Let's  go!

First guest tonight is a multi platinum selling mega star with a highly anticipated third album coming out later this year, her new single is called "Training Season" it debuts on February 15th, say hello to Dua Lipa.

How are you? thanks for coming.

Thank you for having me, so nice to be here.

Uh hey how long did they make you hang on this monkey bar to get this picture

A very long time actually I was I was I mean how do you think I got these?

Yeah that seems unpleasant really. I mean I think we sometimes we oh yeah like cuz your hair can't go like that.


No yeah, it seems like you're very very very very busy, like maybe busier than anyone in the whole world, is that true?

Uh don't know about anyone in the whole world, but I, busy.

What's your daily schedule like?

Oh I'm obsessed with my schedule

oh good okay

Um because I plan everything, like I'd put in "have a shower" and 

No! come on is it really showers on it?

Get ready and you know everything is like down to the minute.

you write down "take a shower"?

I mean I write down like, what succession.

For real? So you, even your fun is scheduled?

Well, I just need to I need to like plan things so in order for me to be able to like do work and take care of me


I like to plan things and that way I feel like I can I can do it all.

Is it at all loose, like if you said could you go like you know what, I'm going to go to Smart and Final and buy corn dogs um

Go Rogue

Yeah just go Rogue for a couple of hours

I could it really, it just depends how the how the day goes but I like to I like to stick to it

Do you feel like you're obsessive compulsive like is that the reason why you write all that stuff down?

Um I just, I, I like being in control

Have you always been like that even as a kid?

Yeah, I had I had to do lists, like, from when I was tiny, like my parents would find them
around the house of, do my homework, get ready, go to school,

Were you a good student?

Debatable, but look, it was, I like to like write things down like my ideas and my plans and my dreams and you know, how they would materialize in school, you know whatever happened then, it, you know it worked out in the ..

You know when your third album is coming out right?

I do yeah

But you're not sharing that information yet.

I'm not, no.

Um why?

Uh because I want to keep it a a secret for a little bit longer.

If I guess when it is will you get mad at me? Cuz I think I figured it out I gave it some thought like a detective this afternoon

oh yeah

yeah do you want me to say?

Well, go on.

Okay, I think it's going to come out on Leap Day.

On leap day?

Because it's like Dua Lipa day!

Very good.

And it's there's only one Leap there's a leap day every four years .

I mean it would be the best best kept secret for sure.

Mhm um

No it's not.

No? It really isn't?


Well it should, why wouldn't? It it makes per.. aall right all right

I can't I can't I can't reveal my secrets.

You cannot reveal the title of the album either?


Can you tell us what letter it starts with ?

You you're on a mission tonight!

you must have it written down somewhere right ?

I do I do have it written down somewhere.

you do you know what it's going to be ?


You did give us a little something that I don't think people know about. You gave us the lyrics to your new song Training Season, and I do want to ask you about this because I'm curious about, your song writing process, you actually brought something pretty cool, I'm going to show that in a second but, um when you write these songs, you write them down in a book.

Yeah, well I it was my first time doing it, I, um I started writing for this album in 2021 and I just wanted to, write my ideas down and so I went down to CVS and I just bought a random, notebook, had I have known how important that book would have been, maybe I would have gotten a more fancy one, but

you really went into a CVS? huh


I love CVS

Do you?

I'm obsessed with it


Yeah like there's nothing like a CVS or going in and buying a bunch of stuff you don't need.

Do you like when you get the um the receipt that's like a mile and a half long for no reason?

Oh yeah the the tree that you end up getting for free

The tree you end up getting it's like a a beauty pageant stash or something


So you brought the book, this is, you really bought this book at CVS?


And this book contains all of your thoughts, your lyrics?

It's got every single song I've written for this album and really...

How many?

I wrote 97 songs.

No wonder you don't have time for corn dogs, wow!

97 songs !

Yeah, um and only because I have this, it's now become kind of this like relic, of mine in a way

Aren't you terrified of that how,  that this is going to get lost somehow?

Yes petrified

Yeah or I'm just going to run..

Oh are you going to take it? 

Yeah yeah

I'm sweating, right now, at the idea of this ...

I'll never do that, I would never ever do anything like that, but that's pretty, I mean that's pretty impressive and this is like, I mean it's kind of most..,  nowadays it seems like people just like kind of hum the song into their phone or, they just type the lyrics in, it's very old-fashioned in a way.

Yeah I just I've I loved, when I started it, then I couldn't stop, and now I I feel very lucky to have it

97 songs in here, are any of them terrible like you look back and, oh they are?



About like 80 of them

Oh really? So that makes it easier to whittle them down.

Yeah, exactly, no, the second I I write a song um I know, whether it's it's good or not or whether it's, close to being good and then I would rework it and, every song on this album unlike any of the other records that I've made like, I've gone in and I've Rewritten it over and over again until I felt like it was, perfect, which I didn't really have the confidence to do on my previous records, like whatever I wrote on the day was, pretty much what everyone heard, and now this time around I'm like, much more confident in myself as a songwriter, and as a performer, and how I want things to, be and sound, and look, and, so I just went in, and I just digged a little deeper and I changed things to the point that it felt, perfect to me and, I feel proud of it and it's..

Training season is about, you, and you fill in the blanks here, but it's about dating, it's about um training people you dated ?

Well it's it's almost like, not wanting to train, people up.

I see. Did you, have you found that you've had to train, people ?

I think like with every dating experience, like whether, you know it's it's good or bad, each person kind of leaves the situation, Having learned something, you know, and then..

Ideally yeah 

You know, they they'll be better for the next person

I don't want to date that person again.

Ever again um

Your lyrics, uh which you shared with us "are you someone that I can give my heart to or just the poison that I'm drawn to"

It can be hard to tell the difference late at night.

That's right, here we are late at night, um "play fair is that a compass in your nature or are you tricky cuz I've been there and baby I don't need to learn that lesson twice."


"But if you really want to go there you should know I need someone to hold me close deeper than I've ever known whose love feels like a rodeo." Now have you been to a rodeo? Cuz I feel like a rodeo is not what you, I mean they smell, first of all, they smell like animals.

Right, I haven't been to like, I I was thinking more metaphorically of like I'm ready for
like the ride of my life kind of thing.

I see, okay, all right all right, wow, that's something else, yeah. Boy would I love to get into this book, um I feel like it's taunting me, it's like looking at me right now, oh I wanted to mention something because, uh this is pretty cool, this is a photograph, and Katy Perry's going to be here on Monday,

Oh cool

And this is a photograph uh, from uh you know what this is, what year this was?

Uh well I was 15 years old

Okay Katie is somewhere in here, oh there she is right there, 

There yeah 

And um and there's you right there

That's me

She called kids up on stage and you jumped up there

Yeah, I was 15 California girls dream tour Hammer Smith Apollo in London I was so excited

I bet

Like people like calling people up on stage and I

Here's a closer, different photo we have here, and uh and uh yeah there's you there's Katie and there's you and look it's GMO he was on stage when was that GMO?

Oh long time ago Jimmy.

You know his love is like a rodeo, I've always said that.

Dua Lipa is here, Training Season is your song it comes out Thursday we'll be right back we are back with Dua, do many of your fans probably all of them know you're born in London your parents are Albanian of Albanian descent

Albanians from Kosovo

Do you, uh you know the show Cheers, do you have you ever seen that show, is that before your time

I've heard of the show but I haven't seen it

It's the best show first of all


And this is all I know about Albania besides that you're from there and like the Belushi brothers are Albanian but um, there's a song that coach one of the characters sings uh it
goes  Albania Albania it borders on the Adriatic the land is Mountain us and their chief export is Chrome


Is that is that the chief export ?

I have no idea.

You don't know, yeah.

I have no idea, but you learn something new every day. I'll check on Google after this.

Last time you were here you shared um some uh Albanian like superstitions


So this time, apparent there are some great sayings uh, Albanian sayings, and I'm going to do my best I might even have to put on my reading glasses here, to uh, to do this, now if you I'm going to try struggle through pronouncing these, you can correct me if I get it wrong

Well you're going to pronounce them in Albanian?

Oh yes

Oh! okay!

I mean it's not going to sound like..

I'm really looking forward to this

It's not going to sound like Albanian but I'll give it a shot all right?


eabo rusak kumla

Oh not bad

So that means, they made them grapes and plums which means that they spent all their money on drinking and partying 

Oh okay

You know, grapes and plums you got raki which is from grapes and and plum wine and that kind of stuff

akish nidras mongi

No you're very good at this

akish nidras mongi 

Okay yeah that's even better
Which which uh which the the literal translation is uh you've got plank missing, which is like you've got a screw loose.

Oh okay all right all right uh

saua EA SAU EA

Just for just for eyes and cheeks, which is kind of means like doing something with with no effort just for show, like you're just doing it for the sake of doing it.

Okay all right one more.

hup Trava hup Trava Trava

I like to imagine the, every Albanian in the world laughing hysterically right now

Is, climb or I'll kill you, or go down or I'll kill you which is

Is that what they said to you when you were shooting this? climb or I'll kill you?

It's very aggressive actually now when I when I think think of it it's kind of it's like damned if I do damned if I don't, but but we can't, we have another one which is like ???? um which means, grab one hit the other which is which is I guess the meaning behind it is like if you have if you have two people um or you're dealing with two people and they're both idiots


There's kind of no silver lining it's just it's just a shit sandwich

Grab one hit the other


All right, well thank you for not hitting me um

Did a very good job

It's very good to see you, thank you for sharing my first  Albanian experience course

My pleasure
Everybody, Training Season comes out Thursday, we'll be back with Leo Woodall

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