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500 Most Common English Words

This list of 500 common words in English is a good place for beginners to start learning the foundation of the language or for advanced students to really test themselves.

Vocabulary is the foundation of language.  Without the words, you can’t make the sentences.  Many students get overwhelmed at the thought of learning ‘all of those words’.  Everybody learns differently, so you need to figure out what is best for you!  If you are an organized, laid-out-plan type of person, this list of the 500 most common words in English is a good place for you to start.  Do you prefer more of a random style of learning?  This list will be great for you as well.

  • Come up with a plan of attack: I’ve grouped the words into clumps so that it is easier to identify small groups of 10 words instead of looking at a list of 500 words.  Decide on a number that you want to focus on per day/per week.  3 a day seems to be a popular number with students or 15 a week if you have less time to spend on it.  You decide what works for you best.  If you miss a day it is not the end of the world, pick up where you left off.
    • Make paper note cards
    • Make electronic flash cards (Quizlet & Anki are both popular)
    • Use a whiteboard 
    • Have a notebook with the words ANDthe words used in sentences
  • Random sampling: Save this list and each day just point to a word and use it in a sentence.  Do not just say it in your mind and tell yourself, ‘Cool, I know this word’.  WRITE IT DOWN or record yourself saying it.

500-most-common-english-words.pdf

Pronunciation

Now that you KNOW the words, it time to pronounce them correctly!  Have a look at this link here > Pronunciation in English: 500 Common Words

As you look at the words, click on VIDEO in each column to watch video lessons on the sounds and word lists.  Soon you will be pronouncing 500 common words according to American English pronunciation. Plus, you will feel confident about American English sounds.

Practice

Practice makes perfect!  You have to use the words in order to really KNOW them.  Practice speaking with a native speaker and in no time, you will feel comfortable and confident with your English speaking>>  SkypEnglish4U Online Sessions

Plan of attack (noun) ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation

 

Figurative Language

To truly understand English, you must have some knowledge of the most common types of figurative language.

What does figurative mean?

Figurative means that words are used in a way that is different from the usual meaning. That way the description is more interesting or impressive. Figurative language creates a picture in your mind.

For example:He is about to explode!

We do not mean to say that the man will actually explode. We only want to say that he is extremely angry.

So we use the verb “explode” in a figurativeway. In other words, we use a word that usually describes something else.

That way the description is more interesting. It creates a certain picture in the mind.

Very angry

 

The opposite of figurative is literal

Literal means that you mean what you say exactly.

For example:He is about to explode!

Here we do mean to say that the man will actually explode. The man holds fireworks, and it looks dangerous enough to explode.

So here we use the verb “explode” in a literal way.

In other words, we use the usual meaning of the word.

Figurative comes from the word figure (also figure of speech).

  • A figure of speech is a word or phrase used in a different way from its usual meaning in order to express a particular meaning.In the about example, “explode” is a figure of speech.

Literal comes from the Latin word littera, which means “letter.”

Jump to:

To get a better understanding of figurative language, let’s look at some common figurative sayings:

“Sam is a pig!”

This is an example of figurative language.

This sentence does not mean that Sam is actually an animal.

 A pig

This sentence is a figure of speech meaning that Sam is very messy and does not have good manners.

messy boy

 


“Beth let the cat out of the bag
about Lisa’s surprise party.”

This is another example of figurative language.

This sentence does not mean that Beth had a cat in a bag and let it out.

A cat in a bag

Native English speakers understand this sentence is figurative language meaning that Beth told Lisa the secret about the surprise party.

lady telling a secret

Figurative or Literal

To truly understand figurative language, you must first understand the terms “figurative” and “literal.”

Literal

If a statement is “literal” it is true. You can believe every word. When you say something “literally,” you mean exactly what you say.

beautiful lady
She looks beautiful in her red dress!

This is a literal statement because the writer thinks the lady looks beautiful. The writer is simply stating that she looks beautiful.

strong man
He is a very big man.

This is a literal statement. The writer means that the man is big and strong.

These statements are literal and can sometimes be boring! To add interest, writers often write in a figurative way.

Figurative

“Figurative” is the opposite of “literal.” You do not believe a figurative statement word for word. When you say something “figuratively,” you are usually making a comparison to give a description or make a point.

beautiful lady

 

She looks like a million dollars!

This is a figurative statement, because a person can’t really look exactly like money. The statement means that she is well dressed and looks beautiful.

strong manelephant
He is as big as an elephant!

This is also a figurative statement because a person cannot be as big as an elephant. The statement means he is very large. The writer compares the man to an elephant to help the reader visualize the large, strong man!

Continue reading this article on Really Learn English

RIHAM’S PROFILE

 

 

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Another / Other / Others

Oftentimes, people get confused when using the words “other” and “another.”  How do we distinguish between the two?  Simple.  It’s a matter of singular and plural.  
 
A simple rule to help you remember the difference between another and other is:
another + singular noun
other + plural noun
others (a pronoun to replace other + plural noun)

 

  • I need another cup. (cup is singular so we use another)
  • I need other cups. (cup is plural so we use other)
  • I need others. (refers to other cups)

Another Other Others

 

Try the QUIZ

Thanks to Woodward English for putting this all together for us!

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Standard Contractions in English

contraction is a word or phrase that’s (or that has) been shortened by dropping one or more letters. In writing, an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters.

Standard Contractions in English

aren’t are not
can’t cannot
couldn’t could not
didn’t did not
doesn’t does not
don’t do not
hadn’t had not
hasn’t has not
haven’t have not
he’d he had; he would
he’ll he will; he shall
he’s he is; he has
I’d I had; I would
I’ll I will; I shall
I’m I am
I’ve I have
isn’t is not
it’s it is; it has
let’s let us
mightn’t might not
mustn’t must not
shan’t shall not
she’d she had; she would
she’ll she will; she shall
she’s she is; she has
shouldn’t should not
that’s that is; that has
there’s there is; there has
they’d they had; they would
they’ll they will; they shall
they’re they are
they’ve they have
we’d we had; we would
we’re we are
we’ve we have
weren’t were not
what’ll what will; what shall
what’re what are
what’s what is; what has; what does
what’ve what have
where’s where is; where has
who’d who had; who would
who’ll who will; who shall
who’re who are
who’s who is; who has
who’ve who have
won’t will not
wouldn’t would not
you’d you had; you would
you’ll you will; you shall
you’re you are
you’ve you have

 

This list and many more valuable grammar articles can be found at http://grammar.about.com/ 

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Confusing Words in English and How to Use Them Correctly

Confusing words that sound the same? Do you keep using ‘through’ instead of ‘threw’, and mixing your ‘too’, ‘to’, and ‘two’? Have no fear – Ginger’s spelling book is here!
Ginger’s spelling book contains a broad collection of the most frequent word-pairs that people tend to confuse. Browse it by clicking on a specific letter to see how to remember which word is witch…or…which!
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English Verb Tenses

Do you know about the verb tenses? What’s the difference between the present perfect and the past simple? Are you sure? How about the past perfect? 
 
Many students have problems with verb tenses. But they aren’t really very difficult, I promise. Here you’ll find really clear examples and explanations, so you can easily review all the English tenses – firstly how to make them (the ‘form’), secondly, how to use them (the ‘use’)
Click to learn more about the tenses below:
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Using WHOM properly

WHO and WHOM are two very commonly confused words.  To be honest, most native speakers don’t even know how to use them properly 😀   I think this is a great info/comic explaining the proper usage of WHOM (and WHO).  > http://theoatmeal.com/comics/who_vs_whom  Enjoy and laugh a little!

 

 

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Greetings

There are different ways to greet people:

Greeting means welcoming someone with particular words or a particular action.

When meeting people formally for the first time, we greet by shaking hands and saying “How do you do?” or “Pleased to meet you.”

“How do you do?” isn’t really a question, it just means “Hello”.

When young people meet informally they sometimes greet and say “Give me five!” and slap their hands together (high five).

Generally we do not greet by shaking hands with people we know well. We greet by just saying ‘hi’ or ‘hello’

Here are some expressions you can use to greet people.

Greeting

  • greetingHi, hello.
  • Good morning, good afternoon, good evening.
  • How are you?
  • How are you doing?
  • How do you do?

Responding to greeting

  • Hi, hello.
  • Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening.
  • I’m fine thank you (thanks)/Okey! Thank you (thanks)/Can’t complain/Not bad.
  • How about you?/And you?
  • How do you do?

Things to remember about greeting:

When you greet someone and say:

How do you do?

this isn’t really a question, it just means “Hello”.

 

My English Pages

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What are Pronouns?

Pronouns are words which replace a noun: I, me, she, we, they, who, that, yours, his, her,etc.
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Pronouns should only be used if the name of the person (or group of people), place (or places), or thing (or things) has been previously mentioned in the paragraph. If it’s not clear which thing the pronoun is modifying, the reader can get quite confused.
 
Uses of Pronouns
We use pronouns so we don’t have to repeat the noun; it makes it sound a little better when we’re talking about one subject for several sentences.
  • When Michael first started Michael’s new job, Michael was a little apprehensive. After all, Michael had just finished Michael’s post-secondary education, and Michael suddenly felt Michael hadn’t learned anything about the real world.
  • When Michael first started his new job, he was a little apprehensive. After all, he had just finished his post-secondary education, and he suddenly felt he hadn’t learned anything about the real world.
You can see how the use of pronouns makes the paragraph sound less repetitive. Notice, though, that Michael’s name has to be mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph; otherwise, we wouldn’t know which man was being discussed.
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Pronouns can be subjects or objects, or show possession.
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Pronouns can also be used to name something unknown or unspecified: someone, something, anyone, anything, etc.
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Someone is up to something here; I just know it.
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Good / Well

Good” and “well” are often misused. “Good” is an adjective (and a noun in some cases); “well” is used as an adverb unless used as an adjective meaning “healthy“. If we need a word to describe noun or pronoun we use “good“. If we need a word to describe verb (or sometimes adjective or other adverb) we use “well“. For example:Kate is a good piano player. (correct)
Kate is a well piano player. (incorrect!)Kate plays the piano well. (correct)
Kate plays the piano good. (incorrect!)

Brian speaks good English, but he doesn’t speak Spanish very well. (correct)
Brian speaks well English, but he doesn’t speak Spanish very good. (incorrect)

My brother did well on the English test. (correct)
My brother did good on the English test. (incorrect!)

Do you think I’m doing well at school? (correct)
Do you think I’m doing good at school? (incorrect!)

After linking verbs such as betastesoundsmelllookseemappear we use the adjective “good” as we are describing the subject of the sentence, not the action of the verb:

The concert last night wasn’t very good.
If the food tastes good, children will eat it.
Your idea sounds good and if it works would be great.
It always smells good after the rain.
The house looks good outside.

After the linking verbs “be“, “feel“, “look” we can also use “well” as an adjective meaning “healthy“:

am well. / I feel well. / I’m feeling well. (refers to physical state, health)
am good. / I feel good. / I’m feeling good. (refers rather to emotional than physical state)
Jane didn’t look well last night. (well = refers to heath)
The new dress looks really good on you. (good = refers to appearance)

Note: In the USA (conversational English) you can hear a lot of people answer “I’m good.” in response to “How are you?” and it is very popular among young generation.

 
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