English words you need to know to build your English vocabulary

How does a new English word enter a dictionary?

  • What do ‘LOL’, ‘selfie’ and ‘UFO’ have in common? All three were just recently added to the dictionary.

  • Have you ever wondered how do words get added to the dictionary or who decides which words should be added? Keep reading to find out.

Although the process may not seem complex, dictionaries have several criteria when deciding which words to add, reject, monitor or remove. To put it simply, if a new English word is used by a lot of people for a long period of time, it starts to be considered for inclusion in the dictionary. Then, the dictionary editors or lexicographers will assess this word and finally add it to the dictionary if they see fit.
Improving your English vocabulary is crucial to learning English. The more words you’ll know, the closer you’ll be to fluency. But keep in mind that it’s not all about how many words you know. It’s about knowing the right English words. Studies have shown that knowing just 100 words can help you understand up to 50% of any English text. Likewise, knowing 1,000 words will give you a high coverage of 75% of any text. Additionally, each new word you learn will help you guess the meaning of up to 125 words you have never seen before. Amazing, isn’t it? And now, thanks to the Mondly English lessons, you can start learning the most used English words from day 1.

English flag
Common English words

When you know the most common 100 English words

You can understand 50% of the texts written in English

Top 10 cool and common English words pronounced by fluent English speakers

  1. 1. Hello

    Hello there! It’s nice to be properly greeted, isn’t it? ‘Hello’ is probably the most powerful word in any language because it is the simplest way to sound like a native:


  2. 2. Love

    Ah, love! Such a magical and refreshing feeling. No wonder it makes us smile so broadly. How can you not smile when you have butterflies in your stomach? They surely tickle at some point.


  3. 3. Happiness

    The Dalai Lama once said: “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions”. Now listen closely and you might just get some ‘happiness’ in your life today:


  4. 4. Cat

    How did cats take over the internet? At this point, they seem to be ruling over everything and everyone. Listen to the correct pronunciation of the word ‘cat’. It only takes a meowment.


  5. 5. Dog

    Here’s one more reason to love dogs: petting a puppy can lower your blood pressure. Considering they are our most loyal companions, it may come in handy to know how to say ‘dog’:


  6. 6. Smile

    Did you know that smiling relieves stress, elevates your mood and helps you live longer? Here’s how an English speaker pronounces the word ‘smile’:


  7. 7. English

    One language, over one billion speakers and countless ways to speak it. You guessed it: we’re talking about the fascinating English language. Here’s how a native speaker would pronounce its name:


  8. 8. Yes

    Everyone loves a positive answer. Show your support or agreement with a simple ‘yes’ and everything should work smoothly.


  9. 9. Thank you

    A single ‘thank you’ is all you need to receive dozens of smiles everywhere you go. Here’s a native speaker thanking you in English:

    Thank you

  10. 10. Goodbye

    At the end of a meeting, it’s always nice to say ‘goodbye’ so as to maintain the good first impression you managed to make with your flawless English. Let’s see how you can do that:


Easy ways to learn English words

Speaking English

  1. Read about your passion. It’s much more captivating when you read about something that excites you. If you are into interior design, read interior design blogs or magazines. If you want to learn more about art, there are countless resources in English you can access online. There are no limitations. Any English text can help you perfect your vocabulary.
  2. Use an English dictionary. As you progress through your learning journey, you may encounter words you do not understand. When you do, use an English dictionary to look up their meaning. Reading their definition in English will help you comprehend what those words mean and boost your lexicon as a bonus.
  3. Learn using flashcards. This is one of the most effective methods to memorize words. Write an English word on one side and its definition on the other. Then pick a card at random and try to figure what’s the word’s translation in your native language.
  4. Make word lists. Besides flashcards, you can also make lists of all the English words you want to learn. Make sure to write down the word and its meaning, then try to create a sentence. While it may seem tedious, it’s a very effective way of remembering new words.
  5. Organize words by category. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of listing all the words, you can divide them into categories or themes. For example, if you’re planning your summer holiday, it’s a good idea to enrich your vocabulary with words related to it: hotel, sea, sun, reservation, suitcase, etc.
  6. Practice everything you’ve learned. It’s a known fact that practice makes perfect. However, it’s sometimes tricky to find a conversation partner to practice your English. Lucky for you, Mondly has you covered with real-life conversations that will take your English to the next level.

Speaking English

The most beautiful English words

People speaking English

  • Mellifluous (adj.): A sound that is sweet and smooth.

  • Ephemeral (noun): Lasting for a very short time.

  • Petrichor (noun): A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

  • Ineffable (adj.): Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

  • Serendipity (noun): The faculty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

  • Bombinate (verb): Make a sustained deep murmuring, humming, or buzzing sound.

  • Euphoria (noun): An intense feeling of happiness or elation.

All the words and their meanings are from Merriem-Webster.

People speaking English

Did you know?

Top English words

The longest word in the English dictionary is “pneu­mon­oultra­mic­ro­scop­ic­silicov­ol­cano­coni­os­is” and has an incredible 45 characters. Don’t bother trying to spell it because it’s almost impossible. The word refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling dust or small particles of sand.

On a more down to Earth note, the longest word that does not repeat any letters is “subdermatoglyphic” and has only 17 characters. This word refers to the skin under your fingertips.

Another interesting word is “bookkeeper” which is unique because it’s the only word in the English language with 3 consecutive double letters.

The good news is that you don’t have to learn such words to be able to be fluent in English. With Mondly, you will only learn the most important English words, the ones you really need to know to speak English.

Top English words

The benefits of learning the most common English words first

Make English learning fun and easier

Starting with the English basics means you will begin by learning the easiest words first and gradually increase difficulty. This way you will feel great while learning and see how your language knowledge broadens.

Have basic English conversations in no time

You'll be able to speak to someone from London or New York about regular topics like weather, politics or family. This will make you confident in your English skills and eager to learn more.

Become fluent in English faster

By learning the most common English words first you are learning the smart way. Why learn the most unusual words in English when you might never use them in real life?

Improve your English vocabulary

Each new English word you learn piles up until your vocabulary builds stronger and stronger. Each lesson gets you one step closer to fluency.

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