700 most common words in the English language

The Most Common Words in English

What are the most common words in English? What are the most common thousand, million, billion, trillion, and quadrillion words in English? Let’s take the data from the English Wikipedia and find out!

What are the top 10 most common words?
The top 10 most common words are: the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, I. These words make up over 50% of all written material! The next most common words are: you, it, he, she, they.

Most common word statistics
The 100 most common words in English make up 50% of all written text. The 200 most common words make up 65%. 300 words make up 75%. And 1,000 words make up 89%. Just 20,000 words account for 98% of all written material. That means that if you know just the 2,000 or so most frequently used words, you can understand nearly everything that’s written.

Top 20 single word entries

  1. the – 3,351,385 occurrences
  2. of – 2,564,782 occurrences
  3. and – 2,067,225 occurrences
  4. to – 1,779,163 occurrences
  5. a – 1,692,194 occurrences
  6. in – 1,513,874 occurrences
  7. that – 1,471,193 occurrences
  8. is – 1,378,801 occurrences
  9. as – 975,325 occurrences
  10. for – 857 316 occurrences

Longest single word entry
The longest single word entry in the Oxford English Dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, which is defined as an inflammatory lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust. The word is 45 letters long and was first used in 1935.

Very long phrases
It’s no secret that the English language is filled with a seemingly endless supply of words. In fact, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are over 171,000 words currently in use! While it’s impossible to know every single one of these words, it’s still helpful to know the most common ones. After all, these are the words that we use on a daily basis, so it’s important to be familiar with them.


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