Most Common English Words

English students often ask us what’s the #1 English learning hack as a beginner?

We always answer: learn the most common English words. Better yet, learn the first 100 as soon as you can.

The reason why you want to focus on the most common English words is because we rarely use all the words we have in our toolbelt. Think about how you speak your native language. You’ll find that you can have a great conversation in most situations by using only 20% of the vocabulary you already know.

I mean, when’s the last time you used to words ‘microchip’ or ‘tricycles’ in your conversation? If you did happen to use it, how long do you think it’ll be until you use it again? On the other hand, you’ll likely be using words like: ‘yes’, ‘as’, ‘what’, or ‘how’ in nearly every conversation you have with someone.

This is the simple language hack that will help you save months of time. Instead of focusing on the uncommon words that you’ll rarely use, just focus on the most common English words.


1,000 Most Common English words = 88% of comprehension

Studies show that…

Studying the first 1000 most frequently used words in the language will familiarize you with 76.0% of all vocabulary in non-fiction literature, 79.6% of all vocabulary in fiction literature, and 87.8% of vocabulary in oral speech.

Studying the 2000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 84% of vocabulary in non-fiction, 86.1% of vocabulary in fictional literature, and 92.7% of vocabulary in oral speech.

And studying the 3000 most frequently used words will familiarize you with 88.2% of vocabulary in non-fiction, 89.6% of  vocabulary in fiction, and 94.0% of vocabulary in oral speech.

What does this study mean in short?

It means that once you get past a certain number of the most common words, you get massively diminishing words. While the first 1,000 frequent words enabled you to know 88% of the oral speech, learning double that amount (2,000 words) only gave you a 5% boost.

Instead of focusing on learning 2x the amount of words that you need, you can spend that time improving your speaking skills, grammar skills, or any other weaknesses you may have in the English language.

100 Most Common English Words

To save you time, we’ve curated the 100 most common English words that you can write down, copy and paste, or print out for reference. If you’re interested in finding out the other 900 list of the most common Englishwords, here they are:

-1,000 most common English words

1. the 21. at 41. there 61. some 81. my
2. of 22. be 42. use 62. her 82. than
3. and 23. this 43. an 63. would 83. first
4. a 24. have 44. each 64. make 84. water
5. to 25. from 45. which 65. like 85. been
6. in 26. or 46. she 66. him 86. call
7. is 27. one 47. do 67. into 87. who
8. you 28. had 48. how 68. time 88. oil
9. that 29. by 49. their 69. has 89. its
10. it 30. word 50. if 70. look 90. now
11. he 31. but 51. will 71. two 91. find
12. was 32. not 52. up 72. more 92. long
13. for 33. what 53. other 73. write 93. down
14. on 34. all 54. about 74. go 94. day
15. are 35. were 55. out 75. see 95. did
16. as 36. we 56. many 76. number 96. get
17. with 37. when 57. then 77. no 97. come
18. his 38. your 58. them 78. way 98. made
19. they 39. can 59. these 79. could 99. may
20. I 40. said 60. so 80. people 100. part

How to learn the most common English words

Now that you know how to get the best bang for your time, how do you start learning them? Well, we have some suggestions for you:



Anki is a digital flashcard app that allows you to create easy-to-memorize flashcards online. You can use this tool by inserting 100 of the most common English words inside, and start testing yourself today. We should note that the user interface is not our favorite, but the tool does what it promises, which is helping you memorize new words faster!

Link to Anki



Memrise is an online tool and community that allows you to create and use digital flashcards to memorize anything. The major benefit of Memrise is the pre-designed templates for just about any language you can imagine, including Spanish, French, and of course, English.

Here’s a channel on Memrise that teaches you 504 of the most common English words with audio!




“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This quotation just about sums up the success rate of just about any language learner (or anyone looking to create change) when they decide to go at it alone. While it seems easy enough when you get started, the road ahead is murky, and most often than not, you find yourself wasting time, losing motivation, and lacking accountability.

Rype offers an easy and affordable way to connect with the top handpicked professional language teachers. These teachers will not only help you learn the most common English words, but help you reach fluency in English faster. It’s a complete package to help you get to where you want to go, whether you want to learn English for business, career, travel, or more.

On Rype, you get 1-on-1 live video (or audio) lessons with a personalized lesson plan that’s fit to you goals, needs, and proficiency level. No more standard one-size-fits-all curriculums that don’t relate to your needs.

Come join over 10,000+ members who have taken the step in learning English faster, around their busy schedule. We have a special offer where we’ll offer 7 days of English lessons, risk-free. Come try it out today.

Next steps

If you’re interested in learning how to speak English we’d love for you to meet Rype.

With the ability to immerse yourself on a daily basis, it’s the easiest and most effective way to learn English for busy people.

  • Start your free trial with Rype, and you can book daily lessons at anytime of the day, any day of the week. We’ve built the entire experience to fit the needs of busy individuals like yourself, and you can even try it out for free!

Or hear why students recommend Rype as the best way to learn English.


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