The 12 English words most often used in the U.S.

 

1 – the / 2 – of / 3 – and / 4 – a / 5 – to / 6 – in / 7 – is / 8 – you 9 – that / 10 – it / 11 – he / 12 – for

Note that four of the most-used words are pronouns, four are prepositions, two are conjunctions, two are articles and one is an intransitive (not active) verb. None is a noun or a transitive (active) verb. Contrary to what you might expect, “I” is not one of the 12, but “you” is. “I” is the 24th most often used word.

Note that “he” is the 11th most used. Interestingly, “she”is the 54th.

The first transitive verb among the 100 most often used words is “said,” at 43 on the list. Of the top 100 words, only eight are transitive verbs.

The first noun on the list of 100 is “time” at 69. The next noun, at 79, is “people.” There are only four nouns among the 100 words most often used by American speakers and writers of English.

There are more than 400,000 words in the English language, largely because there are so many “borrowed” words from other languages, especially Latin and Greek, and there are so many cases of mulitiple words that mean pretty much the same thing. (Of course, there are also many words that have mulitiple meanings, depending on context.) The average American has a working vocabulary of about 15,000 words. It is possible to carry on most everyday communications using fewer than 1,000 words, most of them Anglo-Saxon in origin, rather than borrowed from other languages.

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 Posted by at 12:09 am