Most common words in english

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English is a rich and diverse language, with over a million words in its lexicon. However, there are some words that are used far more frequently than others, and are considered the most common words in the English language. In this article, we will explore the most common words in English and their usage.

Before we dive into the most common words in English, it’s important to understand how these words were identified. There are a number of methods for determining the most frequently used words in a language, including analyzing written texts, conducting surveys, and using corpora (large collections of written or spoken language). One of the most well-known corpora is the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), which includes over 560 million words from a wide variety of sources.

According to the COCA, the most common word in the English language is “the.” This simple three-letter word is used in a wide variety of contexts and makes up roughly 6% of all words in written English. Other top words include “be,” “to,” “of,” “and,” “a,” “in,” “that,” “have,” “I,” “it,” “for,” “not,” “on,” “with,” “he,” “as,” “you,” “do,” and “at.”

Here are the top 20 most common words in English, along with their part of speech and a brief definition:

  1. The (article): Used to indicate a particular person, thing, or class already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge.
  2. Be (verb): Used to indicate a state or condition, or to describe an action in progress or habitually performed.
  3. To (preposition): Used to indicate direction, position, or connection.
  4. Of (preposition): Used to indicate possession, origin, or relationship.
  5. And (conjunction): Used to connect words, phrases, or clauses together.
  6. A (article): Used to indicate a single, unspecified person, thing, or class.
  7. In (preposition): Used to indicate location, time, or position within something.
  8. That (conjunction): Used to introduce a subordinate clause, to identify or explain something, or to specify something previously mentioned.
  9. Have (verb): Used to indicate possession, ownership, or the presence of something.
  10. I (pronoun): Used to refer to oneself as the speaker or writer.
  11. It (pronoun): Used to refer to a thing, situation, or circumstance previously mentioned.
  12. For (preposition): Used to indicate a purpose, reason, or cause.
  13. Not (adverb): Used to indicate negation or the absence of something.
  14. On (preposition): Used to indicate location, position, or a basis for something.
  15. With (preposition): Used to indicate association, attachment, or accompaniment.
  16. He (pronoun): Used to refer to a male person or animal previously mentioned.
  17. As (conjunction): Used to indicate similarity, comparison, or cause and effect.
  18. You (pronoun): Used to refer to the person being addressed or spoken to.
  19. Do (verb): Used to indicate an action, to perform an action, or to emphasize something.
  20. At (preposition): Used to indicate location, direction, or time.

While these words may seem simple and straightforward, their frequency of use is a testament to their importance in the English language. In fact, these words are so common that they are often referred to as “function words,” meaning they are used to convey grammatical relationships and structure, rather than specific meanings.

It’s worth noting that the ranking of these words may vary depending on the source and method of analysis. For example, the most common words in spoken English may differ from those in written English, and the most common words in American English may differ from those in British English. Nonetheless, the words listed above are generally considered to be among the most common and important words in the English language.

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