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.
the most plausible
said the detective
2 to
     1. part. (en-part)
     2. 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.
he was quick to ask
listening to the footsteps
3 a
     1. n. The name of the Latin script letter A/a.
     2. art. One; any indefinite example of; used to denote a singular item of a group.
           There was a man here looking for you yesterday.
     3. 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.
a thump
with a grin
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 so I said
and be lively
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 (m, en, thee); originally as a mark of respect.)
     4. pron. (subject pronoun) The people spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Replacing (m, en, ye).)
           Both of you should get ready now.
you will
will you come
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.
I asked
I must confess
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.
in spite of all this
a pine chest of drawers
8 in
     1. v. (obsolete, transitive) To enclose.
     2. v. (obsolete, transitive) To take in; to harvest.
     3. adv. (not comparable) Located indoors, especially at home or the office, or inside something.
           Is Mr. Smith in?
     4. adv. Moving to the interior of a defined space, such as a building or room.
in the meantime
in a queer tone
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.
it sounds incredible
the coroner left it open
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.
that
for that matter
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
'is it?'
what is it
     be
          1. v. (intransitive, now, literary) To exist; to have real existence.
          2. v. (with (m, en, there), or dialectally m, en, it), as glossary, dummy pronoun, 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
I've got a job for you
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. det. (AAVE) (synonym of his)
he was interested
he wasn't with them now
14 was
     1. v. first-person singular past of be.
     2. v. third-person singular past of be.
she was small
there was no suicide
     be
          1. v. (intransitive, now, literary) To exist; to have real existence.
          2. v. (with (m, en, there), or dialectally m, en, it), as glossary, dummy pronoun, 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).
I have evidence
he might have found it
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.
flat on his back
not on your life
17 be
     1. v. (intransitive, now, literary) To exist; to have real existence.
     2. v. (with (m, en, there), or dialectally m, en, it), as glossary, dummy pronoun, 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 completely frank
I knew they must be up
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 some friends
he wasn't with them now
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.
but he put me off
not even looking at me
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).
by this time I
supports this theory
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary