Top 200 English Words

The Top 200 English Words

I hope you like shortcuts. Personally, I love them. Why bother walking 2kms when a shortcut can make your trip a measly 1km? One shortcut to learning English is to first focus on the highest frequency words. So, instead of learning every word that you encounter in your studies, you should start by putting all of your attention and energy in an area where it will pay off the most.

This is a follow-up to the article on The Top 100 English Words. The previous article was based on the Oxford English Corpus. This list in this article and future articles are based on the one billion word Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The words are listed in order of frequency.

How to use the Top 200 English Words

While starting with the top 200 English words is a great idea. It’s important to remember to go slow. It might only take you a few minutes to read the list, but you should plan on taking 1 month to memorise the list. Here are some tips

  1. Go slow. Take your time. Reading is fast and easy. Memorising is more difficult
  2. Study a maximum 10 words per day. You probably want to go faster, but it is more important to be consistent
  3. Use cue cards. Get organised. Get geeky. It works
  4. Use apps like Quizlet to help you study
  5. Learn example sentences for each word
  6. Pay attention to the word class. Is it a noun, verb, adjective, adverb?

The Top 100 English Words

  1. the
  2. be
  3. and
  4. a
  5. of
  6. to
  7. in
  8. i
  9. you
  10. it
  1. have
  2. to
  3. that
  4. for
  5. do
  6. he
  7. with
  8. on
  9. this
  10. n’t
  1. we
  2. that
  3. not
  4. but
  5. they
  6. say
  7. at
  8. what
  9. his
  10. from
  1. go
  2. or
  3. by
  4. get
  5. she
  6. my
  7. can
  8. as
  9. know
  10. if
  1. me
  2. your
  3. all
  4. who
  5. about
  6. their
  7. will
  8. so
  9. would
  10. make
  1. just
  2. up
  3. think
  4. time
  5. there
  6. see
  7. her
  8. as
  9. out
  10. one
  1. come
  2. people
  3. take
  4. year
  5. him
  6. them
  7. some
  8. want
  9. how
  10. when
  1. which
  2. now
  3. like
  4. other
  5. could
  6. our
  7. into
  8. here
  9. then
  10. than
  1. look
  2. way
  3. more
  4. these
  5. no
  6. thing
  7. well
  8. because
  9. also
  10. two
  1. use
  2. tell
  3. good
  4. first
  5. man
  6. day
  7. find
  8. give
  9. more
  10. new

The Top 200 English Words (#101-200)

  1. one
  2. us
  3. any
  4. those
  5. very
  6. her
  7. need
  8. back
  9. there
  10. should
  1. even
  2. only
  3. many
  4. really
  5. work
  6. life
  7. why
  8. right
  9. down
  10. on
  1. try
  2. let
  3. something
  4. too
  5. call
  6. woman
  7. may
  8. still
  9. through
  10. mean
  1. after
  2. never
  3. no
  4. world
  5. in
  6. feel
  7. yeah
  8. great
  9. last
  10. child
  1. oh
  2. over
  3. ask
  4. when
  5. as
  6. school
  7. state
  8. much
  9. talk
  10. out
  1. keep
  2. leave
  3. put
  4. like
  5. help
  6. big
  7. where
  8. same
  9. all
  10. own
  1. while
  2. start
  3. three
  4. high
  5. every
  6. another
  7. become
  8. most
  9. between
  10. happen
  1. family
  2. over
  3. president
  4. old
  5. yes
  6. house
  7. show
  8. again
  9. student
  10. so
  1. seem
  2. might
  3. part
  4. hear
  5. its
  6. place
  7. problem
  8. where
  9. believe
  10. country
  1. always
  2. week
  3. point
  4. hand
  5. off
  6. play
  7. turn
  8. few
  9. group
  10. such

See the rest of the Top 500 English words. Each page introduces another 100 of the most frequently used English words. Learn them all.

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