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Common English Words

A list of the most common English words ordered by their frequency of use. You can use this list to learn words efficiently, ensuring you cover the basic vocabulary of English.

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1 the
     1. art. Definite grammatical article that implies necessarily that an entity it articulates is presupposed; something already mentioned, or completely specified later in that same sentence, or assumed already
           I’m reading the book. (Compare I’m reading a book.)
           The street in front of your house. (Compare A street in Paris.)
           The men and women watched the man give the birdseed to the bird.
     2. art.          Used before a noun modified by a restrictive relative clause, indicating that the noun refers to a single referent defined by the relative clause.
said the doctor
on the other hand
2 to
     1. part. A particle used for marking the following verb as an infinitive.
           I want to leave.
           He asked me what to do.
           I don’t know how to say it.
           I have places to go and people to see.
she turned to the stove
as if to make it plain
3 a
     1. art. One; any indefinite example of; used to denote a singular item of a group.
           There was a man here looking for you yesterday.
     2. art. Used in conjunction with the adjectives score, dozen, hundred, thousand, and million, as a function word.
           I've seen it happen a hundred times.
     3. art. One certain or particular; any single.Brown, Lesley, (2003)
a thump
he gave it a pull
4 and
     1. conj. As a coordinating conjunction; expressing two elements to be taken together or in addition to each other.
     2. conj.          Used simply to connect two noun phrases, adjectives or adverbs.
     3. conj.          Simply connecting two clauses or sentences.
     4. conj.          Introducing a clause or sentence which follows on in time or consequence from the first.
     5. conj.          (obsolete) Yet; but.
and choked out
and her things
5 you
     1. pron. (object pronoun) The people spoken, or written to, as an object.
     2. pron. (reflexive pronoun, now US colloquial) (To) yourselves, (to) yourself.
     3. pron. (object pronoun) The person spoken to or written to, as an object. (Replacing thee; originally as a mark of respect.)
     4. pron. (subject pronoun) The people spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Replacing ye.)
           Both of you should get ready now.
you see
I tell you
6 I
     1. pron. The speaker or writer, referred to as the grammatical subject, of a sentence.
             (audio, Here I am, sir.ogg, Audio)
     2. pron. (nonstandard, hypercorrection) The speaker or writer, referred to as the grammatical object, of a sentence.
     3. n. (metaphysics) The ego.
     4. n. (US, roadway) Interstate.
says I
here I am
7 of
     1. prep. Expressing distance or motion.
     2. prep.          (now obsolete, or dialectal) From (of distance, direction), "off".
     3. prep.          (obsolete except in phrases) Since, from (a given time, earlier state etc.).
     4. prep.          From, away from (a position, number, distance etc.).
                    There are no shops within twenty miles of the cottage.
one of the town girls
what did he die of, sir
8 in
     1. prep. Used to indicate location, inclusion, or position within spatial, temporal or other limits.
     2. prep.          Contained by.
                   The dog is in the kennel.
     3. prep.          Within.
     4. prep.          Surrounded by.
in that rocker
in a troubled way
9 it
     1. pron. The third-person singular personal pronoun that is normally used to refer to an inanimate object or abstract entity, also often used to refer to animals.
           Put it over there.
           Take each day as it comes.
           I heard the sound of the school bus - it was early today.
     2. pron. A third-person singular personal pronoun used to refer to a child, especially of unknown gender.
he killed it
pretty, isn't it
10 that
     1. conj. Introducing a clause which is the subject or object of a verb (such as one involving reported speech), or which is a complement to a previous statement.
           He told me that the book is a good read.
           I believe that it is true. — She is convinced that he is British.
     2. conj. Introducing a subordinate clause expressing a reason or cause: because, in that.
           Be glad that you have enough to eat.
she hurried over that
it was late that night
11 is
     1. v. third-person singular present indicative of be
           He is a doctor. He retired some time ago.
           Should he do the task, it is vital that you follow him.
     2. n. plural of i
           remember to dot your is
as it is
what is it
     be
          1. v. (intransitive, now literary) To exist; to have real existence.
          2. v. (with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
          3. v. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
12 for
     1. conj. (dated) Because.
     2. prep. Towards.
           The astronauts headed for the moon.
     3. prep. Directed at, intended to belong to.
           I have something for you.
waiting for her
for, as he read
13 he
     1. pron. (personal) A male person or animal already known or implied.
     2. pron. (personal, sometimes proscribed, see usage notes) A person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.
           The rulebook clearly states that "if any student is caught cheating, he will be expelled", and you were caught cheating, were you not, Anna?
     3. pron. (personal) An animal whose gender is unknown.
     4. n. The game of tag, or it, in which the player attempting to catch the others is called "he".
he said
he replied
14 was
     1. v. first-person singular past of be.
     2. v. third-person singular past of be.
was the answer
was a crate of bananas
     be
          1. v. (intransitive, now literary) To exist; to have real existence.
          2. v. (with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
          3. v. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
15 have
           Additional archaic forms are second-person singular present tense hast, third-person singular present tense hath, present participle haveing, and second-person singular past tense hadst.
     1. v. To possess, own, hold.
           I have a house and a car.
           Look what I have here — a frog I found on the street!
     2. v. To be related in some way to (with the object identifying the relationship).
he might have found it
as might have been expected
16 on
     1. adj. In the state of being active, functioning or operating.
     2. adj. Performing according to schedule.
           Are we still on for tonight?
           Is the show still on?
     3. adj. (chiefly UK, informal, usually negative) Acceptable, appropriate.
on the other hand
we mustn't take on
17 be
     1. v. (intransitive, now literary) To exist; to have real existence.
     2. v. (with there, or dialectally it, as dummy subject) To exist.
           There is just one woman in town who can help us. (or, dialectally:) It is just one woman in town who can help us.
     3. v. (intransitive) To occupy a place.
           The cup is on the table.
to be sure
and be lively
18 with
     1. prep. Against.
           He picked a fight with the class bully.
     2. prep. In the company of; alongside, close to; near to.
           He went with his friends.
     3. prep. In addition to; as an accessory to.
with a sigh
with some friends
19 me
     1. pron. As the direct object of a verb.
           Can you hear me?
     2. pron. (obsolete) Myself; as a reflexive direct object of a verb.
     3. pron. As the object of a preposition.
           Come with me.
they tell me
but he put me off
20 this
     1. det. The (thing) here (used in indicating something or someone nearby).
           This classroom is where I learned to read and write.
     2. det. The known (thing) (used in indicating something or someone just mentioned).
           They give the appearance of knowing what they're doing. It's this appearance that lets them get away with so much.
     3. det. The known (thing) (used in indicating something or someone about to be mentioned).
look at this door
why, look at this one
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary