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In So Many Words

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Steve Wiles

on 2 October 2017

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Transcript of In So Many Words

In So Many Words
English Language Use
Spread of English
250 words constitute the essential core of a language, those without which you cannot construct any sentence.

750 words constitute those that are used every single day by every person who speaks the language.

2500 words constitute those that should enable you to express everything you could possibly want to say, albeit often by awkward circumlocutions.

5000 words constitute the active vocabulary of native speakers without higher education.

10,000 words constitute the active vocabulary of native speakers with higher education.

20,000 words constitute what you need to recognize passively in order to read, understand, and enjoy a work of literature such as a novel by a notable author.”
How many words are there in the English language?
How many words do I need to know?
Reverse Dictionary
Language Corpus
Word Frequency
Word Clouds
Strategies for Dealing with Unknown Words

1. Ignore the unknown word and try to understand the sentence without it.
2.Try to replace the word with one that you think might make sense in the sentence. (from context)
3.Guess at the meaning of the word by attempting to understand its form and function in the sentence (verb/noun...) or if it is negative or positive...
4. Look for definitions of the word in the text or repeated references to it.
5. Look it up in a dictionary.

How Many Second Language speakers of English?
Estimated at anywhere between
500 million and 1800 million
How many First Language speakers of English?
Upwards of 300 million
Full transcript