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: memorizing the high-frequency words.

According to BBC, native speakers typically know about 15,000 to 20,000 lemmas (root words), but language learners often learn no more than 2,000 to 3,000 after years of study. You probably never need to know “Zyzzyva” to communicate in English.

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 listed 600+ high-frequency words in most languages across the world. No matter which language you are learning, you can use this list as a reference when creating your vocab learning plans. 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. Simply choose a piece of text in your target language and put it in a tool like this.

Before we move on, remember that memorizing vocabulary does not equal learning a language. Knowing these high-frequency words may help you understand more at the beginning of your language-learning journey, it should not 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, use comprehensive tools like LingoDeer to aid you throughout the journey with comprehensive courses, not just vocabulary!

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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


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