In German these filler words are known as “Füllwörter” (das Füllwort) or more precisely “Modalpartikeln” (die Modalpartikel). These words have a dual function: reflecting the mood or attitude of the speaker or narrator, and highlighting the sentence focus. It must also be said that in comparison to many other languages, German is very rich in these words.
7 Rules of Modalpartikeln:
- Modalpartikeln are not declined (no particles are)
- Modalpartikeln do not change the truth value of the sentence. (you could leave them out and the sentence would have the same meaning)
- Modalpartikeln cannot be negated
- Modalpartikeln cannot be taken from a question and used alone as an answer.
- Modalpartikeln cannot start a sentences
- Modalpartikeln have homophones in other word types
- Modalpartikeln cannot be coordinated with conjunctions like “und” or “oder”
Below are some German-English examples of particles: