The 100 Most Common Words in English

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Although there are plenty of vocabulary resources that we recommend at Confidence Learning Services, not the least of which is the Oxford Picture Dictionary, it’s important to look at the most common words in the English language.

Many of these words are “function” or “grammar” words, meaning they do not have a very concrete meaning but rather serve a grammatical purpose in a sentence. While we cannot attach pictures to these words, they are extremely useful to learn. Once you learn these words, you will be able to recognize, understand, and read a large percentage of the English language. In fact, some people estimate that these 100 words make up about 50% of written and spoken English.

Lists of the “100 Most Common Words in English” are available from a variety of sources, and there are slight variations from list to list. This is because these lists are derived from analyzing different materials from different sources, as no one can accurately analyze all of the written and spoken English in existence.

Unlike most lists, however, this is list is arranged by categories, making it much easier to study and understand these words. We recommend that you study one category at a time. You will likely be surprised by how often you encounter these words each day!

100 Most Common Words



time person year day way



new one two first good
even all other most



not no well there
only just then now



the a an some any



but and or so also than because




I you he she it we they


my your his her its our their



me him us them


that this these those



be have do say know can make like take will* could*
go come think use work want give get look would*

*Auxiliary or other verb forms


to of in for on as at with
from about into out up over back after



who what where when why how


We hope this list is helpful to you as you are studying English. If you want even more assistance in your English studies, contact Confidence Learning Services today for a completely free English language evaluation. You’ll get to chat one-on-one with a highly qualified instructor about your personal goals and abilities in English. Call us now at 1-865-226-9477.

by Laura Brewer