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If you want to learn how to hold a conversation with native English speakers, one of the first steps you need to take is build up your English vocabulary.
In this post, we are going to present to you some of the most common words in English. To get this list, we are referring to the world’s largest English language resource, the Oxford English Corpus.
The OEC is used by the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary, a very good resource if you want to English words with meanings. According to the OEC, there are 2.1 billion English words.
The OEC also compiles and publishes a list of the 100 most common words of English. You can see all 100 words in the PDF below, ranked by most to least common, along with what part of speech they are.
Get your copy of the most common words of English here
Let us take a closer look at the top 10 common English words with meanings on the OEC list of most common words.
This is an article that is used to refer to a person or thing that was previously mentioned.
This is a verb which means that something exists or that someone is present.
This is a preposition. You use “To” when you are trying to denote motion in a certain direction. When you are moving to something you are going towards it.
This is a preposition that is used to express a relationship between a whole and its parts.
This is a conjunction that connects two words, clauses, and sentences.
This is an article that you can use when you are referring to a person or a thing, if you are referring to them for the first time in the conversation.
This is a preposition that denotes that someone or something is currently located in an area where they are surrounded by something else.
This is a pronoun that you use when you are trying to refer to a specific thing or person.
This is a verb that is meant to designate possession of an object or a living being.
This is a pronoun that you can use when you want to refer to yourself.
To build up your list of common English words used in daily life, take note of the following words according to how they are used.
A noun is a word that can be used to refer to people, places or things. These are the most commonly used nouns.
This is the most commonly used noun in the English language. According to Oxford English Dictionary, it is the indefinite and continued progress of existence and events.
This is a gender-neutral word that can be used to describe a human being.
This is a word that donates a specific time period. A year specifically refers to 365 days beginning from the month of January till the last day of December. In scientific terms, it is how long it takes for the Earth to complete a revolution around the sun
As a noun, way means how something is done. Way can also mean the customary mode of behavior of a particular group.
This word donates another period of time. A day is 24 hours and, scientifically, is meant to correspond to one rotation of the earth on its axis. Day can also refer to the hours when the sun is up in the sky.
A thing is an inanimate object.
This is a word that is used to refer to a male person
This word refers to the earth, the planet we live on. When you refer to the world, you are also talking about the countries and people as well as the natural features that make up the earth.
Life refers to the existence of a living organism. An organism has life if it has the capacity to act, grow, reproduce, and change.
This word refers to the body part. Your hand is the body part that is located at the end of your arm and includes your fingers, thumb, and palm.
Here are the 15 other commonly used nouns in English.
Verbs are known as “action words”. You use verbs when describing an action that you or someone else are doing. They also used to describe a state of being.
The 10 most common verbs that are commonly used in English are the following.
To be means to exist or to occupy a position in space.
This word means that you possess or hold something.
If you do something, you are performing an unspecified action.
When you say something, you utter words. When you say something you are letting other people know about your feelings or intentions. It can also mean that you are imparting information to someone else verbally.
When you get something, you are taking possession of it. It can also mean that you understand something.
When you make something, you form or create it.
When you go, you travel from one place to another. It means that you are moving.
When you know something, you are aware of it.
When you take something, you gain possession of it.
This refers to vision. When you lay eyes on something, you see it.
Here are the 15 other most common verbs:
Adjectives are words that are used to modify or describe a noun. Here are the 10 most common adjectives in the English language.
If something is good, it is pleasing.
If something is new, it is something that has just come into being or has just been discovered.
If something is the first, then it came before everything else. It was the initial product or effort.
If something is the last, then it came after everything else. It is the final product.
This adjective refers to a measure of distance. If something is long, there is a great distance from one end to the other.
If something is great, then it is better than average or normal.
This is an adjective that is used to say that something is small in size.
If you own something, then it belongs to you. It is something that you possess.
This is meant to denote that something is distinct or different from something else.
Something is old if it has been in existence for a long time. If you call a person or an animal old, then it means it has been alive for a long time.
Here are the 15 other most commonly used English adjectives
According to Stuart Webb, a professor of applied linguistics at the University of Western Ontario, native speakers of a language have a vocabulary of 15,000 to 20,000 words.
For those who are trying to learn a second language, they should pick up at least 800 to 1,000 common words and learn the ways that these words are used.
So, if we follow what Webb is saying, if you memorize and learn 800 common English words, you should be able to understand 75% of the English as it is used in daily life.
If, however, you want to understand the dialogue of movies and TV shows, you should know 3,000 common English words.
If you want to read English novels or newspapers, then you need to know 8,000 to 9,000 common words of English.
Downloading the PDF of the common English words that we discussed in this article can help you get started in building a vocabulary that will allow you to participate in and understand daily conversations held in English.
Memorizing lists of daily use English words and meanings is not enough to make you fluent, however.
The only way you can really be fluent in a language is if you are able to hold a conversation in that language.
This is why it is important that, if you really want to learn to speak English, you should find and work with a good English language tutor.
A few hours with a native language English tutor takes you beyond mere memorization; they help you learn to actually use your memorized list of English vocabulary words in conversation.
The more confident you become in your mastery of common English words, the better your ability to communicate in English will be – even if English is not your native tongue.
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Average English speaker knows around 20,000 words while educated people know around 40,000 words.
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