Leary – what can we learn?

Leary speaks very quickly and uses the intonation of his voice to create comedic affects. He also uses a number of common features of English that we will now take a closer look at.

Filler words, contractions, and tag questions

Filler words

Let’s look at how Leary uses colloquial discourse markers (little words to tell us how he feels about what he is saying) in his utterances (Äußerungen)


  • They just want to take it and feel better. (Line 2)
  • Alli was the drug that basically invented anal leakage (Line 15)
  • Well, my wife isn’t that good looking anymore anyways. (Line 38)
  • We are all kind of familiar with this thing. (Line 66)

Common filler words

  • just, simply, only 
  • basically, essentially, really, actually
  • kind of, sort of

We know contractions from sentences like, “He’s my best friend” or “I’d like to ask you a question,” where the apostrophe indicates the existence of missing letters. This type of contraction is completely acceptable and an important feature of English.

There are other contractions that are only part of spoken English. They do not use an apostrophe and they often effect multi-word verb structures.


  • I dunno anything about this one. (Line 30)
  • I’m gonna find out now. (Line 32)
  • I gotta five-hour erection going right now. (Line 55)
  • That’s gotta be it, right? (Line 65)


Common in spoken English

  • don’t know –> dunno
  • going to –> gonna
  • have got –> gotta
  • have got to –> gotta

Note that “gotta” can be the contracted form of “I have got” in the sense of ownership if it is followed by a noun and “I have got to” in the sense of obligation if followed by a verb.

Tag questions

Tag questions are simple question phrases that are put at the end of a sentence to show that the statement is actually a question that is usually asked to confirm a fact.


  • You shit your pants again, didn’t you? (Line 9)
  • It sounds like a heavy metal band from the 80’s, doesn’t it? (Line 16)

How to make a tag question.

Find the first verb in the sentence and use that in a short question you put at the end of the sentence.

  • You understand that, don’t you?
  • He went to the store, didn’t he?
  • She can play piano, can’t she?
  • You should take an umbrella, shouldn’t you?
Colloquial tag questions

Because tag questions can sometimes be difficult to form, there are other ways to express this. Leary’s favorite colloquial tag question is “right.”


  • You can get more of this shit, right?
  • Guys love this one, right? (Line 60)
  • What I imagine is this thing, like 64 when your leg won’t stop, right? (Line 64)
  • That’s gotta be it, right? (Line 65)
  • … or maybe you’re a little nervous, right? (Line 66)
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