Tuesday, 19 August 2008

19. Most frequent words - AskOxford

Ever wondered what the most frequently used words are in the English language? According to askoxford.com over 25% of all words are accounted for by just ten words (the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, I), while 50% is accounted for by 100 words. (Another 900 words only adds another 25%.) There are other gems, such as the 14 most common adjectives are monosyllabic, while the ten most common verbs are - be, have, do, say, get, make, go, know, take, see.

Question: If it is so easy to define the word frequency in a language, why is it that when I try to learn a language they always try to make me learn such obscure words?

Further information on this can be found on the Ask Oxford website