More than 1 million English words…so where should you start?

A new study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Google found that the English language was expanding at a rate of 8,500 new words per year and now stands at 1,022,000 words.  So with more than 1 million words in English, where should an ESL student start?

How about with the 100 most commonly used words?

An analysis of the Oxford English Corpus of over a billion words conducted by Oxford Online, associated with the Oxford English Dictionary has come up with a list of the top 100 used words.  The sources they used include writings of all sorts from “literary novels and specialist journals to everyday newspapers and magazines and from the language of chatrooms, emails, and weblogs”.  Their list cannot be definitive of course, but it gives a good indication of some of the most frequenlty used words in English:

  1. The
  2. Be
  3. To
  4. Of
  5. And
  6. A
  7. In
  8. That
  9. Have
  10. I
  11. It
  12. For
  13. Not
  14. On
  15. With
  16. He
  17. As
  18. You
  19. Do
  20. At
  21. This
  22. But
  23. His
  24. By
  25. From
  26. They
  27. We
  28. Say
  29. Her
  30. She
  31. Or
  32. An
  33. Will
  34. My
  35. One
  36. All
  37. Would
  38. There
  39. Their
  40. What
  41. So
  42. Up
  43. Out
  44. If
  45. About
  46. Who
  47. Get
  48. Which
  49. Go
  50. Me
  51. When
  52. Make
  53. Can
  54. Like
  55. Time
  56. No
  57. Just
  58. Him
  59. Know
  60. Take
  61. Person
  62. Into
  63. Year
  64. Your
  65. Good
  66. Some
  67. Could
  68. Them
  69. See
  70. Other
  71. Than
  72. Then
  73. Now
  74. Look
  75. Only
  76. Come
  77. Its
  78. Over
  79. Think
  80. Also
  81. Back
  82. After
  83. Use
  84. Two
  85. How
  86. Our
  87. Work
  88. First
  89. Well
  90. Way
  91. Even
  92. New
  93. Want
  94. Because
  95. Any
  96. These
  97. Give
  98. Day
  99. Most
  100. Us
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: