600+ Essential Vocab to Know for Learning Any Language

According to FSI, it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in an “easy” foreign language. That is 1h a day for almost a year and a half.

But nowadays, we hear more and more often of questions like how can I learn a language fast? How to expand my vocabulary fast? 

While learning any language takes a lot of time and effort, there are some helpful techniques you can use to accelerate your learning. For example: prioritizing high-frequency words.

Actually, studies have shown that knowing the most frequently used 100 words in any language can help you understand a considerable part of any text in that language. Of course, with a basic understanding of grammar, sentence structure, etc.

vocab frequency and language comprehension

So here we found 600+ high-frequency words that are commonly used in most languages across the world. No matter which language you are learning, you can use this list as a reference for expanding your vocabulary or creating your vocab learning plans.

How to use this list?

Simply memorize these basic words and combine them with grammar learning and reading. You’ll understand a lot more in your target language right from the start and speed up your learning process!

You can also create a frequency-based vocab list of your own by choosing a piece of text in your target language and put it in a tool like this.

600+ High-Frequency Vocabulary List


Pronouns (conjugation) I, you (formal & informal), he, she, it, we, you (plural), they

everything, nothing, something

everyone, someone…

Articles a, an, the
Question words what, how, where from, where to, why, who, which, when…
Social hello, hi, how are you, please, sorry, goodbye, good morning, good afternoon, good evening…
Linking words and, but, so, because, for example, that, which, also, further, then, similarly, although…
Prepositions on, in, out, below, under, above, through, from, of…
Frequency always, sometimes, often, rarely, never…
Numbers 0 to 100, hundred, thousand, million, billion, 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th…
Misc yes, no, not, can, can’t, am, is, are, other, again, same, every, …


be, want, like, hate, have, use, help, work, play, take, feel, allow, forbid, walk, enjoy, run, drive, fly, swim, go, stop, follow, think, read, speak/say, eat, drink, die, smile, laugh, cry, buy, pay, sell, learn, jump. smell, hear, listen, taste, touch, see, watch, kiss, burn, melt, dig, explode, sit, stand, love, pass by, cut, fight, lie down, dance, sleep, wake up, sing, count, marry, pray, win, lose, wash, cook, open, close, write, call, turn, build, teach, grow, draw, feed, catch, throw, clean, find, fall, push, pull, carry, break, wear, hang, shake, sign, beat, lift, smoke


long, short (long), tall, short (vs tall), wide, narrow, big/large, small/little, slow, fast, hot, cold, warm, cool, new, old (new), young, old (young), beautiful, ugly, interesting, boring, healthy, unhealthy, dangerous, safe, delicious, comfortable, weak, dead, alive, heavy, light (heavy), dark, light (dark), famous, happy, sad, calm, nervous, angry, excited, bored…


Animal dog, cat, fish, bird, cow, pig, mouse, horse, animal
Transportation train, plane, car, truck, bicycle, bus, boat, ship, tire, gasoline, engine, (train) ticket, transportation
Location here, there, left, right, center, north, south, east, west, city, house, apartment, street/road, airport, train station, bridge, hotel, restaurant, farm, court, school, office, room, town, university, club, bar, park, camp, store/shop, theater, library, hospital, church, market, country names (USA, France, etc.), building, ground, space (outer space), bank, location
Clothing hat, dress, suit, skirt, shirt, T-shirt, pants, shoes, pocket, coat, stain, clothing
Color red, green, blue (light/dark), yellow, brown, pink, orange, black, white, gray, color
People son, daughter, mother, father, parent, baby, man, woman, brother, sister, family, grandfather, grandmother, husband, wife, king, queen, president, neighbor, boy, girl, child, adult, human, friend (Add a friend’s name), victim, player, fan, crowd. person
Jobs teacher, student, lawyer, doctor, patient, waiter, secretary, priest, police, army, soldier, artist, author, manager, reporter, actor, job
Society medicine, money, marriage, wedding, team, race, technology, energy, war, peace, election, magazine, newspaper, poison, gun, sport, race, exercise, ball, game, price, contract, drug, sign, science, God
Art band, song, instrument, music, movie, art
Food breakfast, lunch, dinner, knife, spoon, fork, plate, cup, sugar, salt, bottle, food, egg, cheese, bread, soup, cake, chicken, pork, beef, apple, banana, orange, lemon, corn, rice, oil, seed, 
Beverages coffee, tea, wine, beer, juice, water, milk
Home table, chair, bed, dream, window, door, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, pencil, pen, photograph, soap, book, page, key, paint, letter, note, wall, paper, floor, ceiling, roof, pool, lock, telephone, garden, yard, needle, bag, box, gift, card, ring, tool
Electronics clock, lamp, fan, cell phone, network, computer, program (computer), laptop, screen, camera, television, radio
Body head, neck, face, beard, hair, eye, mouth, lip, nose, tooth, ear, tear, tongue, back, toe, finger, foot, hand, leg, arm, shoulder, heart, blood, brain, knee, sweat, disease, bone, voice, skin, body
Nature sea, ocean, river, mountain, rain, snow, tree, sun, moon, world, Earth, forest, sky, plant, wind, soil/earth, flower, valley, root, lake, star, grass, leaf, air, sand, beach, wave, fire, ice, island, hill, heat, nature
Weather temperature, sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, storm, wind, fog…
Materials glass, metal, plastic, wood, stone, diamond, clay, dust, gold, copper, silver, material
Math/Measurements meter, centimeter, kilogram, inch, foot, pound, half, circle, square, temperature, date, weight, edge, corner
Misc Nouns map, dot, consonant, vowel, light, sound, yes, no, piece, pain, injury, hole, image, pattern, noun, verb, adjective
Directions top, bottom, side, front, back, outside, inside, up, down, left, right, straight, north, south, east, west, direction
Time January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second, morning, afternoon, evening, night, time, Summer, Spring, Winter, Fall, season

I hope you find this list helpful!

Remember that memorizing vocabulary does not equal learning a language, nor should it be your ultimate goal. Try only using high-frequency words in your native language and you’ll see how uncomfortable it is when explaining any complicated concepts.

To truly learn a foreign language, consider using learning tools like LingoDeer to aid you throughout the journey with comprehensive courses, not just vocabulary. Give it a try for FREE today!


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3 months ago

Love it