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The First English Words People Learn


There are quite a few basic words that people always tend to memorise first, when learning English. Surprisingly, after hello and thank you, it is not always the words you would think – it is all based on the learner’s first exposure and memorising capacity. Read on to find out the most popular words non-native English speakers learn first.

  1. Verb: When starting out, the word verb is actually quite a common one. Because learners are merging basic grammar and figuring out verb tenses, it is only natural that this word becomes a very basic and quick reference.
  2. Animal: This word is part of every basic vocabulary when learning any new language, especially if you are trying to memorise words with an image next to them. Before delving into complicated grammar, the word animal seems to be a first favourite to learn!
  3. Write: The more words you know, the more you will be able to understand what you hear and read; and the better you will be able to say what you want to when speaking or writing. Which is why the word write figures on this list.
  4. Test: Ah this word, how can it not be one of the first important ones you learn? Because, surely, you have been, or will be, tested on your vocabulary and your overall learning of the English language, right?
  5. Sorry: This is a word that is uttered and muttered the most, when first learning English. You will almost be using sorry at the start of every sentence or question, even if you don’t necessarily want to apologise for anything in particular.
  6. Because: One of the first and most used conjunctions you would learn and utilise is probably As it is a very common way to start a sentence when asked a question starting with why, the word because is very easily found by a brain that is still registering basic English. However, it is also one of the most commonly used words in the English vocabulary.

You hear, read and learn about many new English words every day. While you also find them in your dictionary when you are translating from your own language, you can’t possibly learn all these new words, so it is important to decide which ones to concentrate on. Here are some suggestions:

  • Try and memorise the words that most important to your subject of learning.
  • Learn the words that you keep seeing and hearing.
  • If you like the sound of certain words, learn them and practice saying them.
  • There are a few words that are almost never used and that can be very rare – save these for when you have all your basics down, and then look to grow your vocabulary.

If you need more help and training to learn and ameliorate your English, and also to help you stay away from any distractions, why not try one of our One to One General English courses? You can find more information by clicking here.