Most common words in English

The most common words in English. The English  language has a huge number of words to learn. English has over 100,000 word families, which are words with the same root (like “played”, “playful” and “playing” which all share the root word “play”).

It also gains around three new words every day… OMG!

But research shows that there’s no reason to be scared. You will be able to understand about 65% of all written material in the English language with only 300 words. Yes only 300 words.

Why you don’t need as many words as you think

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 principle? This fascinating idea is well-known in economics and business. It explains that in many skills 20% of your time and energy generates 80% of your results. The same rule can be applied to language learning, too.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the research of Dr. Edward Fry, who collected the most common English words for his book Dr. Fry’s 1000 Instant Words. He found that the 25 most commonly used words appear in a huge 30% of written material in English.

The first 100 are used in about 50%, and the first 300 are used in about 65%.

Dr. Fry’s findings mean that with just 300 words, you can understand the majority of texts written in English. Pretty incredible, huh?

The 300 most common words in English

Dr. Fry’s word lists have helped English learners young and old develop their core vocabulary.

I’ve collected the most common English words below, split into the major word classes (verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs) and four more word classes (prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions and contractions).

If you see some words repeated in these lists, don’t forget that many English words can be in more than one class.

Most common words in English

Most Common Verbs in English

is was are be have
had were can said use
do will would make like
has look write go see
could been call am find
did get come made may
take know live give think
say have tell follow came
want show set put does
must ask went read need
move try change play spell
found study learn should add
keep start thought saw turn
might close seem open begin
got run walk began grow
took carry hear stop miss
eat what let cut talk
being leave - - -

Most Common Nouns in English

word time number way people
water day part sound work
place year back thing name
sentence man line boy farm
end men land home hand
picture air animal house page
letter point mother answere America
world food country plant school
father tree city earth eye
head story example life paper
group children side feet car
mile night sea river state
book idea face indian girl
mountain list song family -

Most Common Adjectives in English

he a one all an
each other many some two
more long new little most
good great right mean old
any same three small another
large big even such different
kind still high every own
light left feel next hard
both important white four second
enough above young - -

Most common adverbs in English

not when there how up
out then so no first
now only very just where
much before too also around
well here why again off
away near below last never
always together often once later
far really almost sometimes soon

Most common prepositions in English

of to in for on
with at from by about
into down over after through
between under along until without

Most Common Pronouns in English

you that it he his
they i this what we
your which she their them
these her him my who
its me our us something

Common Conjunctions in English

and as or but
if than because while

Common Contractions in English

it's don't

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Elena Malyshkina, Review

Elena Malyshkina

James is a very professional teacher with whom i recommend to work 100%.

I had several goals before we start

1 – resume my English communication skills after almost a 10-year break

2 – not to afraid to speak because of the possible grammar mistakes

3 – expand my vocabulary to continue working in consulting business all over the world

And during our lessons we archived it on 100%, 100% and 70% now and “work in progress”.

Advantages of working with James:

– Native speaker – faster progress

– Very extensive work experience and professional approach is felt thanks to this

– Personal training materials, which are constantly improving and progressing

– Very diverse tips on how to progress independently in between classes

– It is always a pleasure to work with a person who understands his mission

– James’ interest in student development is always felt

I highly recommend working and have progressed in English with James!

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We have been working with Jimmi since October 2021. He is an excellent teacher who is ready to adapt to your wishes. We had excellent and productive IELTS preparation classes and had wonderful conversational classes where we discussed various topics and our hobbies. It turned out that Jimmi loves music and Formula 1, just like me. Classes are fun and fruitful!


“Смело могу рекомендовать James кака репетитора английского языка. 

Открытый и доброжелательный человек. Общение идет только на английском, так как другого языка он не знает. Объясняет все доходчиво и понятно. Преподаватель адаптирует стили ведения урока под знания ученика, знаю так как мой сын также учился у James.

Нет напряжения и отношения- я учитель, ты ученик. С James ты изучаешь настоящий английский –английский.

Nikita Mukhin, review

Nikita Mukhin

После 2,5 лет в международной школе у 12- летнего сына был приличный уровень английского, поэтому когда мы прервали обучение там, стали искать репетитора “native speaker”. Джимми Монк стал настоящей находкой для нас! Два урока в неделю по скайпу в течение года позволили не только сохранить набранный уровень, но и существенно продвинуться в лексике. Очень важно, что сын слышал от учителя “настоящий британский английский”, не отягощенный акцентом.

Через год, вернувшись в международную школу, сын смог успешно сдать вступительный тест и не испытывал значительных сложностей в общении с преподавателями и своими позврослевшими англоговорящими одноклассниками. Спасибо Джимми за это!

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Polina Mark and Kira

James у нас семейный учитель английского языка. Мне как фешн блогеру необходимо много коммуницировать с людьми. James мне помог быстро подтянуть уровень разговорного английского, сделать мое произношение лучше, а также адаптировал уроки под мою сферу деятельности. Очень благодарна за это и продолжаю совершенствовать язык.
А с детьми коннект с учителем произошел сразу же. Марк и Кира разговаривают с James как с другом обо всем, что сами захотят обсудить.
Как итог – мгновенный результат, с большим удовольствием. Дети пришли почти с 0 и через 1.5 года говорят на свободном разговорном.
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Yulia Anisakharova,

Moscow Russia

When I started learning English with James my speaking skills were so poor, that I asked him to work on General English instead of Marketing. I felt very uncomfortable while speaking. Months were passing by, James was providing me with such complex topics, which I almost never speak about in Russian. I struggled with discussing them. But in 3 months I was able to easily go through a job interview! I haven’t even realised when I became such confident! And James provided me with useful idioms, such expressions that natives use, like “I’m in between jobs” instead of “I don’t work currently”. Also, I want to mention that James is an incredibly interesting person to talk to! He has more than 20 years of travelling experience and so many brilliant stories to tell from there! So I’m very happy that I could learn from him!

Yulia Anisakharova,

Moscow, Russia




Business English was what I wanted, But not just business I wanted pacifically Law. And James organized a perfect course for me and gave me all the vocabulary and grammar used for law. We studied for 6 months. What I like about James is he will just do things as and when needed. We work on my pronunciation and fluency and confidence It only took 6 months to get my fluency perfect. James is a great language coach and I advise anyone that choosing James would be the right decision. Really thank you, James

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