300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (2023)

300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (1)

One of the most intimidating things about learning English is the huge number of words to know. 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… yikes!

But research shows that there’s no reason to be scared. Why? Because you will be able to understand about 65% of all written material in the English language with only the 300 most frequently used words.

The 300 most common words in English

We’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 verbs in English

Verbs are “doing” words that express a specific action. The most common English verbs are:

iswasarebehave
hadwerecansaiduse
dowillwouldmakelike
haslookwritegosee
couldbeencallamfind
didgetcomemademay
takeknowlivegivethink
sayhelptellfollowcame
wantshowsetputdoes
mustaskwentreadneed
movetrychangeplayspell
foundstudylearnshouldadd
keepstartthoughtsawturn
mightcloseseemopenbegin
gotrunwalkbegangrow
tookcarryhearstopmiss
eatwatchletcuttalk
beingleave

Most common nouns in English

Nouns are words that name something — a person, a place or a thing. The most common English nouns are:

(Video) 300 English Words for Everyday Life - Basic Vocabulary #15

wordtimenumberwaypeople
waterdaypartsoundwork
placeyearbackthingname
sentencemanlineboyfarm
endmenlandhomehand
pictureairanimalhousepage
letterpointmotheranswerAmerica
worldfoodcountryplantschool
fathertreecityeartheye
headstoryexamplelifepaper
groupchildrensidefeetcar
milenightseariverstate
bookideafaceIndiangirl
mountainlistsongfamily

Most common adjectives in English

Adjectives are words used to describe nouns or pronouns. The most frequent English adjectives are:

heaoneallan
eachothermanysometwo
morelongnewlittlemost
goodgreatrightmeanold
anysamethreesmallanother
largebigevensuchdifferent
kindstillhigheveryown
lightleftfewnexthard
bothimportantwhitefoursecond
enoughaboveyoung

Most common adverbs in English

Adverbs are used to change the meaning of a verb, adjective or another adverb. Aside from the most common ones below, you can usually spot adverbs by looking for words that end in ‘-ly’. The most common English adverbs are:

notwhentherehowup
outthensonofirst
nowonlyveryjustwhere
muchbeforetooalsoaround
wellherewhyagainoff
awaynearbelowlastnever
alwaystogetheroftenoncelater
farreallyalmostsometimessoon

Most common prepositions in English

Prepositions are words that link nouns, pronouns or phrases with other words in a sentence. The most common English prepositions are:

oftoinforon
withatfrombyabout
intodownoverafterthrough
betweenunderalonguntilwithout

Most common pronouns in English

Pronouns are words that replace nouns. They are used to avoid repeating nouns over and over again, making sentences easier to understand. The most common English pronouns are:

youthatithehis
theyIthiswhatwe
yourwhichshetheirthem
theseherhimmywho
itsmeourussomething
those

Most common conjunctions in English

Conjunctions connect words, clauses and sentences together. The most frequently used English conjunctions are:

andasorbut
ifthanbecausewhile

Most common contractions in English

Contractions are shortened versions of words, which cut out letters and replace them with an apostrophe (’). The most common English contractions are:

it’sdon’t

4 great ways to learn new English words

Now that you know the words you need to get started, the next step is to ask, “How can I learn them?” Take a look below at our top tips to grow your English vocabulary.

(Video) 300 Words Every English Beginner Must Know

Use flashcards

300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (2)

Are flashcards still a useful way to learn a language?

The short answer is: yes! The longer answer is: yes, but they should be used to support other learning activities. Flashcards help you learn new vocabulary through repetition, repetition, repetition. By focusing more on what you don’t know, you can build new connections in your mind and improve your memory of new words. Testing yourself with flashcards is also strangely satisfying, especially when you look back at the number of new English words you’ve mastered!

Flashcard apps allow you to identify which words you need to work on and which you already know. Some great flashcard apps are:

  • Memrise: Test your knowledge with this addictive flashcard app with interactive features. Learn more of the benefits in our Memrise vs Rosetta Stone review.
  • Quizlet: Study your target language with ready-made flashcards, or make your own.
  • Preply: Import words your tutor shared in your online lessons, or add any word you want to learn!

Write a diary

300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (3)

Another great way to grow your English vocabulary is to write a diary every day.

When you write a diary, you’ll learn and reinforce the most frequently used words in your daily life. You’ll also figure out which words are missing from your vocabulary. As the days pass, you can go back and see the amazing progress you’ve made and the new words you’ve learned. Seeing your progress in this way is extremely motivating, and keeps you learning!

(Video) Learn 300 Most Common English Words

If you’re learning the most common words in English, a diary is an amazing technique to use these words in context. Give it a try!

Practice by speaking

300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (4)

Once you’ve learned the most common English words, you have plenty of material to start a real English conversation.

You can learn so much by speaking to people on language exchange apps, friends, family members and during 1-on-1 lessons with an expert English tutor. In fact, research conducted at the University of Montreal discovered that repeating words out loud to another person is more effective for memorization than saying them aloud to yourself.

The more you speak with other people, the more you’ll use the most common English words, and the more your fluency and memory will develop. You’ll definitely make mistakes when you speak. But the more mistakes you make, the faster you’ll see progress!

Create your own word lists

300 Most Common English Words (+ How to Learn Them Fast) (5)

Before making a word list, ask yourself this key question: “What will I spend my time doing with this language?”

(Video) 300+ Most Common English Words - Fast vocabulary increase (Man Voice AI)

With this question in mind, you can create your own word lists which focus on the vocabulary you will need every day. For example, if you work in finance, you might need to use the word “assets” much more than you would “flowers.” If you continue to see common words, whether it’s during your work, with your friends, or inside the English stories you read, write them down!

Create your own word lists in a spreadsheet, notepad, or app, and update them every time you pick up an important new word.

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 with 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 the 300 most common words, you can understand the majority of texts written in English.

When we spoke to Olly Richards (who knows eightforeign languages), we found that learning the most common words is the first step he takes to learn any language fast. He said:

What most people don’t realize is that when you use really simple dialogues, they will contain the 100 or 200 most common words in the language which are used over 50% of the time. So if you learn the most common 100 words in a language, you will understand 50% of everything you hear. This blows people’s minds when they first hear it!

Pretty incredible, huh?

(Video) 300 words you NEED in your English Vocabulary - Part #1

Grow the vocabulary you need with a tutor

We’ve already discussed some powerful tactics for learning new vocabulary. If you want more tips to expand your vocabulary, check out the article on how to memorize new words in English.

However, research shows that the fastest way to learn new words and speak a language is (unsurprisingly) to speak it! That’s why learning with an online tutor can take your English to the next level. With your own tutor, you’ll be speaking from lesson one, and will quickly understand which words are missing from your vocabulary. Your tutor will also put together a plan so you can grow the vocabulary you need.

There’s nothing more motivating than seeing your vocabulary grow from 300 simple words, to 600 and even more. Before you know it, you’ll be building sentences with confidence!

FAQs

How can I learn English words quickly? ›

How to memorize new vocabulary faster: 9 tips
  1. Use Memory Techniques. ...
  2. Create a learning environment. ...
  3. Put the words in context. ...
  4. Learn from real-life situations. ...
  5. Take it to the next level. ...
  6. Find the tools that work for you. ...
  7. Make it interactive. ...
  8. Focus on useful words.
Jun 15, 2022

Can I learn 100 English words a day? ›

You probably can't master one word a day. Forget about 100. But you can certainly learn 100 words in a day. Sure, you can't learn everything you could ever need to know about these 100 words, and memorise all that information, but you can certainly get a basic understanding of 100 words in a day.

How can I learn 200 words? ›

Here's how I did it.
  1. Start small. ...
  2. Build up your memory gradually. ...
  3. Learn memory tricks (mnemonics) ...
  4. Visual memory and imagination. ...
  5. Repeat and refine your memory tricks. ...
  6. Try reading the definitions in English. ...
  7. The power of routine. ...
  8. Review.
Feb 16, 2019

Can I speak English fluently in 30 days? ›

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix or easy go-to solution to learn English in 30 days. However, you can vastly improve your English language skills with a little bit of motivation and a lot of dedication. You won't be fluent in English in 30 days - but you could be a lot closer to your goal than you are today.

How to memorize in 10 minutes? ›

10 Ways to Memorizing Anything in Under 10 Minutes!
  1. Change up your environment. ...
  2. Associate words with visuals. ...
  3. Memorize with the help of repetition. ...
  4. To-do List Applications. ...
  5. Use mnemonic devices. ...
  6. Make use of your senses. ...
  7. Don't wait until the last minute. ...
  8. Use time recording software.
Sep 30, 2022

How long should it take to speak 500 words? ›

How minutes is 500 words? 500 words is 3.33 minutes of speaking time.

How many hours should I study English in a day? ›

Specifically, a year is the average amount of time it will take an adult to become fluent enough to work in English if he starts out as a beginner and studies at least 5 hours a day. But everyone is different. How long it will take you to learn English depends on many things: Your current level of English.

How long should I study English a day? ›

Study one hour per day

Our advice is to set aside at least one hour a day to learn English, do not rush, but be determined. Of course, if you want to achieve a better result in the short term, you have to change this time, devoting more, depending on the result you want to get.

How to remember 300 words? ›

In that case you should use this technique. First write down the first letter of each word in the speech (or poem or whatever it is.).
...
Also- when I say “read” I mean walk around and say it :) it helps.
  1. Read the first sentence. ( ...
  2. Try to recall sentence.
  3. Read next sentence.
  4. Recall 1st sentence.

How long does it take to do 300 words? ›

Writing 300 words will take about 7.5 minutes for the average writer typing on a keyboard and 15 minutes for handwriting. However, if the content needs to include in-depth research, links, citations, or graphics such as for a blog article or high school essay, the length can grow to 1 hours.

How can I memorize a lot in one day? ›

9 Steps to Learn How to Memorize Something Fast
  1. Prepare. ...
  2. Record What You're Memorizing. ...
  3. Write Everything Down. ...
  4. Section Your Notes. ...
  5. Use the Memory Palace Technique. ...
  6. Apply Repetition to Cumulative Memorization. ...
  7. Teach It to Someone. ...
  8. Listen to the Recordings Continuously.
Mar 7, 2022

How do I speak English fluently in 10 days? ›

9 Practical Tips To Improve English Speaking Fluency In 10 Days
  1. Watch English Movies & TV Series. ...
  2. Make Use Of Online Courses. ...
  3. Read A Lot. ...
  4. Don't Be Scared To Make Mistakes. ...
  5. Talk To Yourself In English. ...
  6. Talk To People In English. ...
  7. Focus On Your Goal. ...
  8. Always Make Notes.
Sep 2, 2021

How can I improve my English in 7 days? ›

7 Ways to Quickly Improve Your English Language Skills
  1. Watch movies in English. ...
  2. Immerse yourself in English language news. ...
  3. Start a vocabulary book of useful words. ...
  4. Have conversations in English. ...
  5. Practice, practice, practice. ...
  6. Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat. ...
  7. Don't forget to have fun while you learn.

What are the 50 difficult words? ›

50 Difficult Words with Meanings and Examples
  • Abnegation /abnɪˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n/: Renouncing a belief or doctrine. ...
  • Aggrandize /əˈɡrandʌɪz/: enhance power, wealth or status. ...
  • Alacrity /əˈlakrɪti/: Eagerness. ...
  • Anachronistic /ənakrəˈnɪstɪk/: misplaced chronologically. ...
  • Archetypal /ˌɑːkɪˈtʌɪp(ə)l/: quintessential of a certain kind.

How long does it take to learn English 1 hour a day? ›

“An hour a day five days a week is therefore going to be more beneficial than a five-hour blitz once a week.” According to the FSI index, it would take 96 weeks at this pace to achieve basic fluency in a Group 1 language, or nearly two years.

Can I improve my English in 1 month? ›

So the answer to “Can I learn English in one month?” depends a lot on the level you're aiming for. Assuming you're currently A1: If you want to learn survival English (roughly A2) in a month, you'll have to make it your full-time job to take courses and do homework.

How many hours a day should you study a language to become fluent? ›

The short answer is as much as possible.

Realistically, however, at least 20 minutes per day should be dedicated to learning a new language. The ideal amount of time to spend on daily study, if you can find the time, is an hour, but you don't need to cram it all in at once.

How can I study fast without forgetting? ›

Now let's look at some of the ways research shows you can remember more and forget less:
  1. Drink coffee to improve memory consolidation. ...
  2. Meditate to improve working memory.
  3. Eat berries for better long-term memory.
  4. Exercise to improve memory recall.
  5. Chew gum to make stronger memories.
  6. Sleep more to consolidate memories.

What are the 3 R's of memory? ›

3 'R's: Remember It, Recall It, Retain It. Your bible of exercises to increase your brain power, improve your memory, and train your fluid intelligence.

Why do I keep forgetting what I study? ›

Lack of Revision

Students generally tend to forget the content during the examination if he has burnt the midnight oil at the last minute. With a regular schedule of study and appropriate revision, the retaining capacity of the brain improves and the content is embedded in a much deeper manner.

How many words in 20 seconds? ›

You can only reasonably speak 100-150 words per minute, or 33 words every 20 seconds.

How many words in 30 seconds? ›

60 seconds: approx 150 words. 30 seconds: approx 75 words. 15 seconds: approx 36 words.

How many pages is a 20-minute talk? ›

A good rule of thumb: the proportion of pages to minutes is just a smidgen over one to two. In other words, a 20-minute presentation should be nine to ten pagels long, while a 15-minute presentation should be seven to eight pages long.

Can I speak English fluently in 3 months? ›

You will not be able to speak English perfectly after 3 months. But, it's likely you won't speak English perfectly after 3 years, or even 30 years, either. After 3 months, you should expect to make mistakes, but you should be confident that you will be understood.

What is the best time to study English? ›

That said, science has indicated that learning is most effective between 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm, when the brain is in an acquisition mode. On the other hand, the least effective learning time is between 4 am and 7 am.

Is studying 1 hours a day enough? ›

Study Every Day: Establish a daily routine where you study in one place a minimum of 4 -5 hours each day. There are different kinds and 'levels' of study discussed below. What is important is that study becomes the centerpiece of your day and the continuous element in your work week. Do not wait for exam-time to study.

How much should I read a day to improve my English? ›

Whether it is a book, magazine or newspapers, an English language learner can greatly benefit from reading only 20 minutes per day. Aside from reading being great for your health, it is also not too demanding or constraining for most learners when compared to all of their obligations or a lack of a reading habit.

How long does it take to become fluent? ›

You Need Patience to Become Fluent in a Language

True language fluency requires consistent effort and time, and while 500 – 1,000 hours may seem like a lot, a typical person could probably invest that level of time over 12 – 18 months, with the right study schedule.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

How can I instantly memorize text? ›

Say your words over and over at an increasingly fast rate. Build up the speed to a point where you're speaking so fast that you're almost tripping over your own words. Don't try to understand what you mean or place any context in what you're saying. Just talk fast.

How to learn big answers in 1 minute? ›

  1. Read the whole answer only to understand .
  2. Don't think of memorising in one go.
  3. Break the question in parts( as many u wish.. ...
  4. Now go through one part and learn it loudly.
  5. Now check whether u have learnt by hiding the answer.
  6. If yes: repeat process 4 and 5 till u complete the answer.
  7. If not: try to learn again and again.

Can I write 1,000 words in a day? ›

Is it easy to write 1000 words in a day? In most cases, yes! The average writing speed by hand is around 20 words per minute. And the average for typing is usually double at 40 words per minute.

What 300 words looks like? ›

How many pages is 300 words? The answer is close to two-thirds of a page single spaced, and around one and one-third of a page double spaced. Depending on your settings this may vary, but typically with a 12 point font-size, Times New Roman or Arial font and regular page margins your results should be similar.

How many words is 3 minutes? ›

How many words are there in a 3 minute speech? On average there are 450 words in a 3 minute speech. This is based on the average speech rate of 250 words per minute. At the 3 minute mark, even a novice speaker could keep going at the rate they started – with some practice.

What are the 3 secret study tips? ›

3 Secret Study Tips
  • Know what your lecturers want. Before you start studying a topic, write down your lecturer's learning objectives for that topic. ...
  • Make a study plan. Many people waste time when they study because they don't have a plan. ...
  • Use effective study techniques.

How can I study a lot in 2 hours? ›

Here are some of the best science-backed techniques to focus while studying:
  1. Meditate for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Create a study schedule.
  3. Use soothing study music.
  4. Turn off all the technology that distracts you.
  5. Prepare a perfect study spot.
  6. Get up for a walk or workout.
  7. Train your mind to focus for a longer time.

How do celebrities learn English so fast? ›

Many of the best actors in Hollywood, for whom English is not their native language, learned English in a short period of time because they had to act in an American film. It's not surprising that such a motivation – the wealth and fame that Hollywood offers – was behind their success in learning English.

How can I speak English fluently in 10 days? ›

9 Practical Tips To Improve English Speaking Fluency In 10 Days
  1. Watch English Movies & TV Series. ...
  2. Make Use Of Online Courses. ...
  3. Read A Lot. ...
  4. Don't Be Scared To Make Mistakes. ...
  5. Talk To Yourself In English. ...
  6. Talk To People In English. ...
  7. Focus On Your Goal. ...
  8. Always Make Notes.
Sep 2, 2021

How can I improve my vocabulary in 30 days? ›

How To Improve Your Vocabulary In 30 Days
  1. Make use of new words.
  2. Read every single day.
  3. Improve Your Vocabulary: Keep a thesaurus closeby.
  4. Learn everyday vocabulary.
  5. Learn new words each day.
  6. A dictionary is your best friend.
  7. Improve Your Vocabulary: Play word games.
  8. DIY vocabulary tests.

How can I learn 30 words a day? ›

The best way to remember new words is to put them into practice straightaway. Try to compose a sentence with the new word or phrase or use it in your next conversation later the same day. This way, it will move into your active vocabulary and you will feel more confident using it in your speaking or writing.

How many hours does it take to speak English fluently? ›

A beginner can learn English in a year. That's pretty fast, although not as fast as some of the crazy 15-day promises you see online. Specifically, a year is the average amount of time it will take an adult to become fluent enough to work in English if he starts out as a beginner and studies at least 5 hours a day.

What is the secret to English fluently? ›

Read Books, Newspaper, and Novels

By reading English books and novels on a daily basis, you'll learn new words and your vocabulary will also enhance. In this regard, the best practice is to read aloud. In this way, you'll have a grip on the words you read and speak.

Can I become fluent in English in 1 month? ›

Even if you go with the speed of learning 6 hours a day, it will still take you 80 days to achieve the basic fluency level. To achieve the minimum professional fluency in English, you may have to practice a little longer, but it is worth it.

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