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Exactly 245 Basic English Words for Beginners

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A: “Have you seen Clara today?”
B: “Yeah! She was at the…uhm…the…the community center.”

Have you ever had this happen to you during a conversation? 

Forgetting the word for something is common enough in one’s native language, but it can become a real struggle when speaking a foreign language. 

Vocabulary is the most essential element in being able to communicate with others. Knowing just a couple hundred words can help you express your needs and wants and allow you to talk with others.

In this article, we’ll introduce 245 basic English words for beginners. These are words that you should know at the beginner level (levels A1 and A2 of the CEFR scale). You will hear and use the words on this list every day!

Many of these words may be familiar to you already, and some of them may be new to you. We recommend taking note of any words you don’t recognize and adding them to a flashcard deck. 

Let’s get started.

Three Women Chatting in the Kitchen

A good vocabulary will help you communicate effectively in English and make friends!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Numerals
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Pronouns

The first set of words you should add to your English vocabulary are pronouns. Many learners struggle to learn them, but they serve a few important functions. Pronouns are the words we use in place of nouns to make sentences smoother and to avoid redundancy of proper nouns. 

Personal

#1

II make soup.

#2

You [s]You make soup.

#3

He / She / ItHe makes soup.

#4

WeWe make soup.

#5

You [p]You make soup.

#6

TheyThey make soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup

I make soup.

Demonstrative

#7

ThisWhat is this?

#8

ThatWhat is that?

#9

TheseWhat are these?

#10

ThoseWhat are those?
A Little Boy Pointing at Something at a Carnival

What is that?

Interrogative

#11

WhatWhat does it mean?

#12

WhoWho are you?

#13

WhereWhere is the bathroom?

#14

WhenWhen is the meeting?

#15

WhyWhy did you leave early?

#16

HowHow do you feel?
A Question Mark Written in Chalk

Interrogative pronouns help you ask questions.

Reflexive

#17

MyselfI ate the pizza myself.

#18

YourselfWhere do you see yourself in ten years?

#19

HimselfHe needs to take better care of himself.

#20

HerselfShe went to the mall by herself.

#21

OurselvesWe were ashamed of ourselves.

#22

YourselvesWhat will you do with yourselves?

#23

ThemselvesThey ate the whole pie themselves.
A Stack of Pumpkin Pies

They ate the whole pie themselves.

2. Numerals

Numbers are everywhere, so it’s important that you know how to read numbers and talk about numbers out loud.

    → You can find a few more numbers in our Numbers vocabulary list and learn how to use them in our article Numbers in English

#24

One (1)I’ll have one cookie, please.

#25

Two (2)I’ll have two cookies, please.

#26

Three (3)I’ll have three cookies, please.

#27

Four (4)I’ll have four cookies, please.

#28

Five (5)I’ll have five cookies, please.

#29

Six (6)I’ll have six cookies, please.

#30

Seven (7)I’ll have seven cookies, please.

#31

Eight (8)I’ll have eight cookies, please.

#32

Nine (9)I’ll have nine cookies, please.

#33

Ten (10)I’ll have ten cookies, please.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Beside and Inside a Brown Paper Bag

I’ll have seven cookies, please.

3. Nouns

Nouns are the most important English words for beginners to learn. Even if you have a limited vocabulary, nouns can help you get your point across. 

In English, there are common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns simply label an object or idea (boy, park, month). Proper nouns give a specific name to a common noun (Jim, Eisenhower Park, October). As you will notice, proper nouns are capitalized in English. 

You will see both types of nouns on this list.

People

#34

PeopleWho are those people?

#35

ManThat man is wearing a hat.

#36

WomanThat woman is wearing a scarf.

#37

ChildThat child is playing a game.

#38

HusbandThis is my husband, Roger.

#39

WifeThis is my wife, Ellen.

#40

SonHere is our son, Thomas.

#41

DaughterHere is our daughter, Susan.

#42

GrandmotherIs Grandmother doing well?

#43

GrandfatherIs Grandfather doing well?

#44

BrotherI have a younger brother.

#45

SisterI also have a younger sister.

#46

SiblingsThey are my siblings.
Neighbors Greeting Each Other

This is my wife, Ellen.

Occupations

#47

WorkThat was hard work.

#48

JobDo you have a job?

#49

OccupationWhat is your occupation?

#50

LawyerSteve is a lawyer.

#51

FarmerSue is a farmer.

#52

EngineerHe is an engineer.

#53

MechanicShe is a mechanic.

#54

ElectricianHe wants to be an electrician.

#55

DesignerShe wants to be a designer.

#56

GardenerHer mother is a gardener.

#57

DoctorHis father was a doctor.

#58

PharmacistPolly works as a pharmacist.

#59

PlumberDavid works as a plumber.

#60

BarberDavid’s brother is a barber.

#61

SalespersonPolly’s sister is a salesperson.

#62

ClerkYou are a good clerk.
A Doctor Examining a Pill Bottle

His father was a doctor.

Time

#63

TimeWhat time is it?

#64

SecondA second is a very short unit of time.

#65

MinuteA minute is sixty seconds.

#66

HourAn hour is sixty minutes.

#67

DayWhat day is this?

#68

WeekI made cookies last week.

#69

MonthWhat are you doing next month?

#70

YearNext year is full of opportunities.

#71

MondayMonday is the first day of the work week.

#72

TuesdayTuesday is the second day of the work week.

#73

WednesdayWednesday is the third day of the work week.

#74

ThursdayThursday is the fourth day of the work week.

#75

FridayFriday is the fifth day of the work week.

#76

SaturdaySaturday is the first day of the weekend.

#77

SundaySunday is the second day of the weekend.

#78

JanuaryJanuary is the first month.

#79

FebruaryFebruary is the second month.

#80

MarchMarch is the third month.

#81

AprilApril is the fourth month.

#82

MayMay is the fifth month.

#83

JuneJune is the sixth month.

#84

JulyJuly is the seventh month.

#85

AugustAugust is the eighth month.

#86

SeptemberSeptember is the ninth month.

#87

OctoberOctober is the tenth month.

#88

November November is the eleventh month.

#89

DecemberDecember is the twelfth month.
An Image of All Twelve Months

Body Parts

#90

HeadMy head hurts.

#91

FaceYou have a pretty face.

#92

NeckHer neck is sore.

#93

ShoulderShe dislocated her shoulder.

#94

ChestAre you having chest pains?

#95

ArmWhat happened to his arm?

#96

HandLet me see your hand.

#97

FingerI cut my finger chopping vegetables.

#98

LegDon’t put pressure on your leg.

#99

FootWhich foot did you hurt?

#100

ToeI stubbed my toe.

#101

StomachMy stomach is rumbling.

#102

BackSitting too much is bad for your back.
A Woman Rubbing Her Neck

Her neck is sore.

Food

#103

VegetableBroccoli is my favorite vegetable.

#104

FruitAvocado is my favorite fruit.

#105

GrainQuinoa is a healthy grain.

#106

MeatShe doesn’t eat meat.

#107

DairyMilk and cheese are dairy products.

#108

EggCrack the egg in the bowl.

#109

OilPut oil in the pan.

#110

ButterMelt the butter in the microwave.

#111

SaltAdd salt to taste.

#112

PepperAdd pepper to taste.
A Chef Seasoning a Dish

Add salt to taste.

Around Town

#113

HospitalHe is sick in the hospital.

#114

SupermarketCan you pick up milk at the supermarket?

#115

SchoolI don’t want to go to school.

#116

DowntownWe can meet up downtown.

#117

Movie theaterWe saw a film at the movie theater.

#118

Jail / PrisonShe was taken to jail yesterday for a crime.

#119

LibraryYou must be quiet in the library.

#120

Community centerOur community center has a pool.

#121

ParkShe took her son to the park.

#122

Restaurant The food at the restaurant was wonderful!

#123

MallWe can buy clothes at the mall.

#124

CarYou must travel there by car.

#125

RoadHe walked up the road.

#126

StreetMake a left on the next street.

#127

TrainYou must travel there by train.

#128

BusYou must travel there by bus.

A Woman Reading the Label on a Milk Jug

Can you pick up milk at the supermarket?

School and Office

#129

DeskRyan sat at his desk.

#130

ChairLily bought a new chair yesterday.

#131

PencilI need to sharpen this pencil.

#132

PenThat pen is out of ink.

#133

NotebookThe notebook is full.

#134

BookTurn to page 228 in your book.

#135

PaperclipMay I have a paperclip?

#136

StaplerUse the stapler to keep the pages in order.

#137

DrawerPut your sack lunch in the drawer.

#138

CabinetThere’s more glue in the cabinet.

#139

FolderPlace the assignment in your folder.

#140

FileWhich computer file do I open?

#141

ComputerThis computer isn’t working.

#142

KeyboardThis keyboard is missing a letter.

#143

MouseI use an ergonomic mouse every day.

#144

EmailHave you received my email?

A Man Frustrated with His Computer Work

This computer isn’t working.

4. Verbs

When you use verbs and nouns together, you can form a complete sentence. Here are some of the most common English beginner verbs. 

    → We list plenty of verbs here, but if you want to learn more, read our article on 100+ Verbs in English!

Daily Routine

#145

Get upI get up at six every morning.

#146

Brush (one’s) teethYou should brush your teeth every day.

#147

Comb (one’s) hairDid Peter comb his hair today?

#148

Get cleaned upI should get cleaned up before dinner.

#149

BatheDoes Emma bathe often?

#150

ShowerI shower after a workout.

#151

EatLacy doesn’t eat much.

#152

DrinkI drink black tea in the morning.

#153

Go to workWhat time do you go to work?

#154

Go to schoolDo you still go to school?

#155

WorkI don’t like to work on the weekend.

#156

StudyDan wants to study nutrition.

#157

DriveCan Wendy drive yet?

#158

RideMay I ride with you to work?

#159

SleepShe needs to sleep more.
A Little Girl Brushing Her Teeth

You should brush your teeth every day.

Other Common Verbs

#160

GiveLet me give you this present.

#161

GetCan you get the remote for me?

#162

BringDid you bring her the flowers?

#163

ReturnEric forgot to return the library book.

#164

DoDoes Sherri do yoga?

#165

UseHow do you use that device?

#166

MakeTori makes dinner every night.

#167

CanI can speak a little Spanish.

#168

PutWhere did you put the scissors?

#169

LetWhy won’t he let me help?

#170

LeaveThe angry man was asked to leave.

#171

AskMay I ask you a question?

#172

TellShe promised not to tell the secret.

#173

TalkHarry and Helen need to talk.

#174

FindDid you find your cell phone yet?

#175

GreetHe didn’t greet me.

#176

SmileYou should smile more.

#177

RunThey run together every morning.

#178

SitWhere can I sit?

#179

Lie downHe is sick and needs to lie down.

#180

RestAfter the hike, she needed to rest.

#181

CookDo you know how to cook?

#182

ReadI like to read books sometimes.

#183

WriteIt is hard to write a book.

#184

Go outI need to go out to the grocery store.

#185

Shop Lucy shops at the mall often.

#186

BuyWe need to buy more clothing.

#187

WatchThey watch movies at night.

#188

ListenI listen to music while I work.

#189

FeelShe feels sad today.

#190

ThinkThey think it’s a bad idea.

#191

AgreeDo you agree with them?

#192

DisagreeI disagree with them.

#193

OpenWhat time does the coffee shop open?

#194

ClosePlease close the door.

A Couple Jogging Together

They run together every morning.

5. Adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. Here are the most useful English beginner adjectives.


Describing Objects

#195

BigArizona has big spiders.

#196

SmallOur neighbor’s dog is small.

#197

LongThis is a long list of words.

#198

ShortHe read a short book.

#199

RoundThe basketball is round.

#200

FlatThe ground here is flat.

#201

NarrowHe made a narrow escape from prison.

#202

WideThat road is very wide.

#203

HardMy desk is hard.

#204

SoftThe blanket is soft.

#205

LightThe sky is light blue.

#206

DarkIt will be dark outside soon.

#207

CheapThese pencils are cheap.

#208

ExpensiveThat sofa is expensive.

A Man About to Throw a Basketball into a Hoop

The basketball is round.

Describing People

#209

GoodHe is a good person.

#210

BadShe is a bad person.

#211

PrettySarah looks very pretty.

#212

HandsomeRichard looks very handsome.

#213

TallThat boy is tall.

#214

ShortThe other boy is short.

#215

ThinKaren is too thin; she should eat more.

#216

FatMike is too fat; he should exercise more.

#217

KindLinda is a kind person.

#218

MeanQuinten is a mean person.

#219

PoliteMary is always polite to others.

#220

RudeElliot is rude to his mother.

A Woman Holding an Older Woman’s Hands

Linda is a kind person.

Describing Emotions

#221

HappyEating good food makes me happy.

#222

SadKelly is sad after her breakup.

#223

AngryLouis becomes angry too easily.

#224

TiredThey were tired after work.

#225

UpsetI was upset when I spilled the soup.

#226

ExcitedCecilia was excited for the camping trip.

A Woman Sadly Staring Out the Window

Kelly is sad after her breakup.

Describing Weather

#227

SunnyToday it was sunny.

#228

CloudyWashington is always cloudy.

#229

RainyI don’t go outside when it’s rainy.

#230

FoggyIt was too foggy to drive.

#231

WindyThe trees bend when it’s windy.

#232

HotThe desert is very hot.

#233

ColdIt gets cold in the winter.

#234

WarmIt is warm where I live.

#235

CoolThe autumn air is cool.

Cars Driving in Fog

It was too foggy to drive.

6. Conjunctions

Conjunctions are small words that allow you to connect two or more clauses to each other. Due to their essential role in language, they’re among the most important words every English beginner must know. Here are a few common ones.

#236

AndI love chocolate and red wine.

#237

ButHe likes fruit, but not bananas.

#238

OrDo you want Chinese food or Mexican food?

#239

IfIf he says yes, then I will be happy.

#240

ThenIf he says yes, then I will be happy.

#241

BecauseWe left early because of an appointment.

#242

SoMark lied so he wouldn’t get in trouble.

#243

BeforeI eat breakfast before work.

#244

AfterI make dinner after work.

#245

ThanShe likes cake more than Nina does.

A Variety of Fruits and Berries Against a White Background

He likes fruit, but not bananas.

7. Final Thoughts

You just read 245 simple English words for beginners and saw them used in sentences. What are your thoughts? Were any of these words new to you?

The best way to memorize them is to create your free lifetime account with EnglishClass101.com and add them to your Flashcards. Our spaced repetition flashcard system is a proven method for easily memorizing new words. You can also create your own flashcards using index cards or another online system. 

Alternatively, you can write these words on sticky notes and place them around your house on the object they identify or describe. This will help you quickly start to associate the word with its definition because you’ll see the words all day long! 

We know that learning new vocabulary can be hard. But we encourage you not to give up! EnglishClass101 will be here with you every step of the way with help and useful resources.

Keep studying and practicing so that you’ll be ready for our upcoming articles on Intermediate Words and Advanced Words!

Happy learning and stay safe out there.

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