In America, it is not unusual to hear the phrase "you know" overused in spoken English. It may be just a habit of a person, or maybe something that occurs with the person is nervous, or not an ease. It may even occur when an inexperienced person has to speak in front of a group of people without notes.
An example would be: "You know, I remember a time, you know, at my house, you know, when we were attacked my skunks, and uh, and it really stunk, you know." For language learners, the use of "you know" like this is not recommended and is not considered good English.
Are there similarly abuse/misused phrases in German or other languages you would like to share?
These type of expressions are called 'crutch words'. It helps the speaker buy a bit of time. Por ejemplo en castellano se usa "Osea" ( Like the use of 'osea' in spanish, its largely latin american colloquial spanish though )
Very useful information for me about the use of "you know" my teacher (he is American) is always saying blah blah... and at the end of his phrases "you know". I was trying to use that phrase frequently but not anymore. =)
In colloquial Russian it's "короче" (koroche = in short) or "типа" (sort of), also "в общем" (generally speaking). The literal "вы знаете/знаешь" (you know) also occurs, but it's not that frequent, usually happens at the start of a sentence, meaning that some revelation or switch of context will follow.
Yes, Rick there's one that drives me nuts! Some people would repeat "do you understand?" every two minutes! And it's like we're talking in different languages, but we'r not. Of ocurse they do know that what they say is understood but they can't help repeating themselves;) I believe as bruce said; it's a bad habit and nothing more.
Rick! You are touching a nerve here: "Unnecessary words" is one of my pet hates!!
I must however confess that, occasionally, I am guilty of using some of them too! :(((