What is the Meaning of the Spoken English Expression
Um is used in conversational English to hesitate. You use this when you aren’t ready to give an answer.
Often after saying “um“ the speaker is vague and avoids giving a direct answer to the question.
This is called stalling for time.
This is typically spelled with more than one m so the reader will make the sound last longer, as though the speaker is thinking.
Person 1: “Are you going to the mountains with us this weekend?”
Person 2: “Ummm… I don’t think so. Maria and I had a big argument yesterday. It would be uncomfortable to travel in the same car for 3 hours.”
Uh means the same thing as um.
Because these are both informal, conversational expressions, the spellings may vary.