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100 Most Common English Words – And What To Do With Them -Yay!

BLOG #191   Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 100 Most Common English Words– And What to Do With Them- Yay

    In this blog you will find a list of the 100 Most Common English words.  Studies that estimate and rank these look at written texts. This list comes from the Oxford English Corpus (OEC) from 2 billion words ranging from literary works, novels, academic journals, newspapers, journals, blogs, chat logs, emails and even Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates 2013.  Another corpus which found similar results is from 1967 and is called the Brown Corpus, from Brown University, USA. Their findings were similar.

    Yay for 100 most frequently written English words.  But there’s more reason for you to read through these words both silently and aloud. (More  later about the tip to read this list aloud. And HOW to do that for best short term and long term pronunciation learning results.)  According to the Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, the first 25 words in the OEC account for about one-third of all printed material in English. AND according to a study cited by Robert McCrum in The Story of English,  all of these hundred words are of Anglo-Saxon origin, except for “people”, which ultimately came from the Latin “populus” and “because” which developed from Latin “causa.”

  1. the
  2. be (all forms, is, was)
  3. to
  4. of
  5. and
  6. a
  7. in
  8. that
  9. have
  10. I
  11. it
  12. for
  13. not
  14. on
  15. with
  16. he
  17. as
  18. you
  19. do
  20. at
  21. this
  22. but
  23. his
  24. by
  25. from
  26. they
  27. we
  28. say
  29. her
  30. she
  31. or
  32. an
  33. will
  34. my
  35. one
  36. all
  37. would
  38. there
  39. their
  40. what
  41. so
  42. up
  43. out
  44. if
  45. about
  46. who
  47. get
  48. which
  49. go
  50. me
  51. when
  52. make
  53. can
  54. like
  55. time
  56. no
  57. just
  58. him
  59. know
  60. take
  61. people
  62. into
  63. year
  64. your
  65. good
  66. some
  67. could
  68. them
  69. see
  70. other
  71. than
  72. then
  73.  now
  74. look
  75. only
  76. come
  77. its
  78. over
  79. think
  80. also
  81. back
  82. after
  83. use
  84. two
  85. how
  86. our
  87. work
  88. first
  89. well
  90. way
  91. even
  92. new
  93. want
  94. because
  95. any
  96. these
  97. give
  98. day
  99. most 100. us

Congratulations, you got all the way to the bottom of this list of the 100 most frequently written words, Now—do consider reading this list of words aloud for practice in making your English speech more understandable to everybody and , if you want it– sound more like native-born North Americans.

Here’s an important hint. Based on our –Clear Talk Mastery’s– experience with one-on-one coaching of student-learners who are taking the format Gold, Gold Plus or Platinum,  the student-learners who used work-out mode practice for their homework/ direct practice did the best.  Hands down. 

Here’s a quck description of work-out mode practice—For fastest and long lasting results, including growing speech muscles,  when you practice some or all of these words do this:

  1. Pronounce each sound carefully and accurately
  2. Consciously make your speech muscles stiff and hard. Lips, tongue, even jaw muscles.
  3.  Consciously exaggerate the movement of your muscles—make slow muscles go at least double slow and fast muscles at least double fast.  Thus slow sounds like “th” make these very very slow.  And exaggerate the accuracy or placement of muscles. For example, for the “th” sound, push your tongue outside of your mouth and make the tip of your tongue go down toward your chin.   That will make that muscle grow in strength because you have loaded it.
  4. Importantly, make the muscles attached to the vocal folds stiffer and harder than you typically do.  You will know you have succeeded because the speech sound is louder. -30-

Speech Tip #1

English Speech Tip 1: l, r, e “clear”

In this video Dr. Antonia Johnson shows how to pronounce the American English word “clear.” She focuses on the English l, r, and long ē sounds.

Let us know what sounds or words you would like help with!