How many English words do you need to speak fluently?
The number of English words is impossible to calculate exactly, but a recent study found that there are no more than one million words in English – and the number is still growing!
But you DON’T need to learn a million words in order to speak English fluently. Did you know that 90% of all spoken English is composed of just 2700 words? That’s good news! If you learned just 10 English words a day, you could learn 2700 words in less than a year.
You can start with these vocabulary lists of the most common English words:
- 1000 Most Common English Words
- 100 Common Nouns in English
- 100 Common Verbs in English
- 100 Common Adjectives in English
- 100 Common Adverbs in English
How to Learn English Vocabulary
(…and NOT forget the new English words!)
Many students try to learn English vocabulary like this: they study word lists or dictionaries, trying to memorize all the definitions.
However, just trying to memorize vocabulary isn’t very effective. You don’t REALLY learn the new words, and you’ll forget them when you want to use them in conversation.
To improve your vocabulary AND remember the new English words better, you need to do two extra things.
#1 – Write the word, definition, and an example sentence in your vocabulary notebook.
Why? Because writing is more ACTIVE than just reading a definition. If possible, write the definition in English (from an English-English dictionary).
- Photo: Jomphong, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
#2 – Use the new English word immediately – create your own sentences
Write 3-4 sentences using the new word. It’s best if the sentences are true / applicable to your life. You can check your sentences with a teacher or native speaker to make sure they’re correct. AND say the sentences out loud to practice using the new word in your spoken English.
- Photo: smokedsalmon, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Do you have an English vocabulary notebook?
If not, start one today!
Dictionary photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net