Updated: Feb 2018
So you may have noticed that Adept English offers you a different way of learning – you learn through listening – and this helps you move towards fluency. Now you may know that the English language has around 225,000 English words in use today, which is a scary number of words to have to remember! Which is exactly why Adept English decided to tackle the problem more logically and efficiently, we decided to you should learn the 100 Most Common English Words and their Grammar BEFORE you move on the the other 224,900 words.
Our language learning approach is based on listening to audio, which we know helps you move towards understanding and speaking English naturally and automatically, without translating, without thinking about it, just like when you speak your own language. It’s a different way of learning – and you’ll find it really works! This article covers the first 100 words, and we have a course that covers the most common 500 English words.
Learn the 100 Most Common English Words and their Grammar
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Hi I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. We are here to help you learn English – but when you learn with us, you learn in a different way. Most English language courses focus on you learning to read and write English – so that you can pass your exams. But often, when you’re taught in this way, it’s fine for passing your exams, but it doesn’t actually help you understand and speak the language.
So Adept English offers you a different way of learning
You learn through listening – and this helps you move towards fluency. It helps you move towards understanding and speaking English naturally and automatically, without translating, without thinking about it, just like when you speak your own language. It’s a different way of learning – and you’ll find it really works!
For today’s podcast, I thought I would give you something a bit different. Normally, because the idea of Adept English is that you learn through listening, I don’t really go into grammar or the structure of the language very much. But I also realise that many of you are learning English through traditional courses – the ones which do teach you how to read and write English, rather than speaking it. And these courses often focus on grammar – so I thought today that I’d give you a little help understanding English grammar. You don’t really need it to speak the language and be fluent – but you do need it for most English language college courses and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way, so even if you are primarily interested in English conversation, this is still helpful, I think.
I’m currently writing our next courses and these courses are special in that they take the first 500 – 1000 most commonly used words in English. And in line with the Adept English approach, they give you recordings, pieces to listen to, so that you can learn the words through listening to interesting articles and stories. As I said, the main focus of Adept English isn’t grammar and language structure. But, I thought today it would be interesting as a podcast and maybe useful to you to take the 100 most commonly used English words – and present them to you grouped accordingly to their place in grammar, their grammatical type. So what I mean here – I’ve grouped together all the verbs which appear in the list of the 100 most commonly used words. And I’ve grouped together all the adverbs in the list and so on. So if you’re familiar with the English words for the different parts of grammar, so words like verb, noun, adverb – you’ll find this quite easy. If you haven’t learned these, it will be an introduction to English grammar for you! If this is the first podcast that you’ve listened to, this really isn’t what I normally do – but let’s see how it goes!
So if we take the various words, in the most commonly used 100 words in English – and start perhaps with the easier ones. So let’s look at the most common verbs – a verb is a word to describe an action, something you do. Here is the list of most common verbs:
OK, so I think perhaps you understand what I’m doing now. And those verbs, if you are listening to this podcast and understanding it are all words that you’ll know.
And next another easy group – this is a list of the nouns which appear in the most common 100 English words. These are
So again, they’re easy, they’re understandable. So nouns are words that you can put a ‘the’ in front of – ‘the day’, ‘the sound’, ‘the work’, ‘the place’.
The next group of words is called determiners – so these are the little words that you put in front of nouns. It’s probably easier to understand if you hear them. But we use them a lot in English, so you will know them. So the most common determiners are:
So you might say ‘the person’, or ‘a person’, ‘this person’, ‘these people’ or ‘no person’ or ‘no people’ – so yes, words we use all the time. And they tell you a little bit about the relationship of the person speaking to the thing or person they’re talking about. So it might be ‘this over here, near to me’ or ‘that, over there, way away’.
The next group of words are easy too and you’ll know them – they’re pronouns. So these are little words that sit in place of nouns. Now pronouns are words like
So again you’ll know them – we use them all the time. And the place in the sentence is clear too – if you use ‘he’ it means that ‘he’ is the subject of the sentence, the one doing the action, but if you say ‘him’ – that person is the object of the sentence. He’s having the action done to him.
And then we also have what we call possessive pronouns. So these are used to show that something belongs to someone. So again, if I list them, you’ll recognize then:-
They’re not all there, you’ll notice – ‘our’ is another one that doesn’t appear. But we’re just doing the most common 100 words – but you get the idea. So these little words are used to show possession – so ‘his shoes’, ‘your shoes’, ‘their shoes’ or ‘her shoes’. So little words to show who owns something are possessive pronouns.
Next we have another type of pronoun – interrogative pronouns. Interrogative just means that they ask questions – and again, if I list them, you’ll know these words. So interrogative pronouns are:
interrogative pronouns (and conjunctions)
And while I’ve mentioned that what, when, which, how and who are also conjunctions – or should I say, it’s worth mentioning that they’re also used as conjunctions. So conjunctions are the little words that we use to join sentences, to stick them together, if you like. So these interrogative pronouns can also be used as conjunctions. So it might be ‘I met him, when I was going to the shop’ so there ‘when’ is being used to stick the sentence together, but if you said ‘When is he going to the shop?’ that would be an interrogative pronoun use of ‘when’.
While we’re on conjunctions, which are the little words used to join sentences together, let’s list the rest of them, that occur in the 100 most commonly used English words. So these are:-
So those are conjunctions, joining words, if you like.
Another group of really tiny little words, which help English hang together are called prepositions. Again, you’ll know these. The ones which appear in the 100 most commonly used English words are:
So these words help you describe where things are, or they give you more information – in the house, up the street, about me, over the chair – and often they’re used with verbs, to just give the verb a little extra meaning – so we go up, or we go down. Or we might speak over someone, speak down to someone or speak up for someone. All of those have a slightly different meaning even though the verb is the same. So prepositions are useful little words.
Another type of word which features in this 100 most commonly used words list is numbers and the only two numbers to appear are ‘one’ and ‘two’, which is probably not surprising.
Another type of word which appear are modal verbs. You’ll come across these a lot in English, and they don’t behave like normal verbs. So if I say what they are, you’ll know them.
So you’ll notice that you can’t say ‘to can’ or ‘to would’ – you’d never hear that. And they don’t behave like normal verbs in terms of tenses. They don’t necessarily have a future or a past tense –but you could say ‘I may have done that, a long time ago’. So there are some past tenses, with these, but not others. Modal verbs also tend to go with other more normal verbs – so if you take ‘can’, you might say ‘I can see where I’m going’ or ‘may’ – ‘I may decide tomorrow’ or ‘will’ – ‘I will come home tonight’.
Finally, two easy groups of words, one lot describe nouns and these are called adjectives, the other lot describe verbs, and these are called adverbs.
So adjectives – describing words, words that give you more information. Here is the list of the adjectives which appear in the 100 most commonly used words. They are:
So all of these words you use to put in front of nouns. ‘A little house’, ‘a long time’, ‘a new dog’, ‘some people’ etc. There are of course a lot more adjectives than these – but I’m only listing remember, the most common ones.
And the final group – adverbs, so words which are used to give the verb, the action more meaning.
So these are the most common adverbs, but perhaps they’re not typical. Most adverbs you can recognise because they end in ‘-ly’. ‘He walked slowly’, ‘She did it carefully’ or ‘he spoke loudly’.
OK, so that’s the end of this podcast on English grammar and the most commonly used 100 English words. If you’re learning English on a traditional language course and they want you to know all about English grammar, then hopefully this podcast has been helpful to you! And for those of you who are lucky enough to be learning English through listening and speaking only – hopefully, just a bit of knowledge of English grammar and the names of the parts of grammar will be helpful to you too!
Enough for now, have a lovely day and speak to you again soon. Goodbye!