In this post, I’m going to talk to you about the word tipo, which Brazilians often used as a filler word.
If you start using the word tipo with moderation, it will help you sound more fluent.
The basic meaning of the word tipo is type, as an example:
Vinho é um tipo de bebida.
Wine is a type of beverage.
However, a lot of Brazilians also use the word tipo differently.
They use it as a filler word, when they are stalling for time. A bit like the English word like. Let’s see some examples:
Vou chegar tipo… nove horas.
I’m going to arrive, like… at nine o’clock.
Ele me olhou, tipo… o que você tá fazendo aqui?
He looked at me, like, what are you doing here?
Preciso comprar várias coisas, tipo… salgadinhos, bebidas.
I need to buy a lot of things, like… snacks, drinks.
A variation of it is tipo assim, just adding the word assim, after tipo. It doesn’t change the meaning of it – people still use it as a filler. Perhaps it emphasizes a little bit more what you’re about to say, if you want to highlight what’s coming next in your sentence. Let me give you an example:
Mas, tipo assim… eu tô bem, sabe.
But, like… I’m OK, you know.
Now, a couple of things about the word tipo as a filler:
- It’s very informal so keep it to colloquial speech, don’t use it in formal speech or formal writing.
- With all filler words we need to be careful not to use them too much. Some language purists will tell you that you shouldn’t use the word tipo as a filler, the same way that some English purists will tell you that you shouldn’t use the word like as a filler. I’m of the opinion that it’s okay, but we need to be aware of how much we use them. On the one hand it will make you sound more natural, more fluent, but on the other hand if you say it too much it might sound a little bit annoying to people.