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What are the 100 most commonly used words in English?

These are the most common words in English, ranked in frequency order. The first 100 are said to make up about half of all written material.

The first 25 make up about one-third of all printed material in English and the first 300 make up about sixty-five percent of all written material in English: the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, word, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if, will, up, there, about, out, many, then, them, these, so, some, her, would, make, like, him, into, time, has, look, two, more, write, go, see, number, no, way, could, people, my, than, first, water, been, call, who, oil, its, now, find, long, down, day, did, get, come, made, may, part. (Source: Fry, Edward Bernard et. al., The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, 4th Edition. Paramus, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000.)

Another study, The Brown Corpus Standard Sample of Present-Day American English (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1979), cites: the, of, and, to, a, in, that, is, was, he, for, it, with, as, his, on, be, at, by, I, this, had, not, are, but, from, or, have, an, they, which, one, you, were, all, her, she, there, would, their, we, him, been, has, when, who, will, no, more, if, out, so, up, said, what, its, about, than, into, them, can, only, other, time, new, some, could, these, two, may, first, then, do, any, like, my, now, over, such, our, man, me, even, most, made, after, also, did, many, off, before, must, well, back, through, years, much, where, your, way.

14 Comments

  1. fg -  June 15, 2016 - 1:25 pm

    hallo

    Reply
  2. Ona Guerrero -  June 14, 2016 - 10:53 pm

    Rerorr How about composing a small dictionary for students to reference quickly, prepared by topics, such as
    HOME
    Kitchen
    Stove
    Sink
    Refrigerator
    Plates
    Dishes
    Fork
    Spoon
    Etc.

    Bedroom
    Bed
    Lamp
    Fan
    Sheets
    Etc.

    Living Room
    Sofa
    Chairs
    Piano
    Etc.

    The list should be alphabetized with translations of words or phrases beside the original word.

    Home
    Work
    Animals
    Travel
    Weather
    Outside
    Etc.

    Reply
  3. RememberThat -  May 11, 2016 - 5:35 am

    Oh, my. 45 years a great teacher, and still referring to yourself as “i”. No, dear, it’s “I”.
    I suppose the shoe fits.

    Reply
    • Raccoonnookkeeper -  August 10, 2016 - 12:36 pm

      has anyone seen ee cummings, lately?
      “i have found what you are like
      the rain,
      …”
      i is small, the dot even smaller, but does It matter more than the 45 years as a great teacher? Who can say?

      Reply
  4. anthony rdz -  April 25, 2016 - 6:58 am

    Well mainly if you ever need a place to stay dont come to me

    Reply
  5. booboo -  April 9, 2016 - 10:27 am

    As an ESL/EFL teacher I would like a list of the 100 most used common nouns; no articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, auxiliary verbs etc. It would be nice to say, “Hey, students! Today we are going to learn the 100 most used nouns in English. and maybe follow it up with the 50 most common verbs. Or 75 nouns and 25 verbs. and then make this list for a bunch of popular languages. Voila, a best seller.
    And please all you wise linguinists; refrain from finding a bunch of errors in this post and making fun of what a bad teacher i must be. I am a great teacher and have been one for 45 years. (BTW a linguinist is a person who likes to find faults in others, especially typos and such and then point them out and go off to have a huge plate of pasta.)

    Reply
    • Smart Person -  April 11, 2016 - 8:57 am

      What about 34 nouns, 33 verbs, and 33 non-article adjectives?

      Reply
    • Emily -  May 10, 2016 - 10:26 am

      I love pasta. I would absolutely LOVE to have a list like that. I am a writer. I make a million mistakes daily so I certainly won’t dwell on yours. I thought that was what I was going to get actually. I was muy disappointed when I opened this only to find “the”. Everyone knows we use the a million times a day. Give me something interesting. This seems like the mundane to me. ;-)

      Reply
    • Yoyo -  July 4, 2016 - 7:12 am

      I would love lists like you have mentioned, broken down into the commonly used nouns and verbs that could be translated for other languages as well. Great suggestion.

      Reply
  6. ameyaw dennis -  March 15, 2016 - 9:28 am

    i want a powerful grammar online book

    Reply
    • Lia amaranthine -  March 18, 2016 - 10:55 am

      I feel you.

      Reply
      • mohsen -  April 2, 2016 - 10:08 pm

        Hi dear Lia feeling me or others is because of being us in one air and one earth and each one of us is a member of this world based on our size we have different traces or effects. Be lucky to feel goodness!

        Reply
        • jake -  May 8, 2016 - 12:38 am

          Hi, i fell you too. Where are you from will like to talk with you ok.

          Reply
    • adelere -  March 29, 2016 - 5:45 am

      please send me Grammatical word.

      Reply

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