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Exactly 245 Basic English Words for Beginners

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. 



II make soup.


You [s]You make soup.


He / She / ItHe makes soup.


WeWe make soup.


You [p]You make soup.


TheyThey make soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup

I make soup.



ThisWhat is this?


ThatWhat is that?


TheseWhat are these?


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

What is that?



WhatWhat does it mean?


WhoWho are you?


WhereWhere is the bathroom?


WhenWhen is the meeting?


WhyWhy did you leave early?


HowHow do you feel?
A Question Mark Written in Chalk

Interrogative pronouns help you ask questions.



MyselfI ate the pizza myself.


YourselfWhere do you see yourself in ten years?


HimselfHe needs to take better care of himself.


HerselfShe went to the mall by herself.


OurselvesWe were ashamed of ourselves.


YourselvesWhat will you do with yourselves?


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


One (1)I’ll have one cookie, please.


Two (2)I’ll have two cookies, please.


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


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


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


Six (6)I’ll have six cookies, please.


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


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


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


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.



PeopleWho are those people?


ManThat man is wearing a hat.


WomanThat woman is wearing a scarf.


ChildThat child is playing a game.


HusbandThis is my husband, Roger.


WifeThis is my wife, Ellen.


SonHere is our son, Thomas.


DaughterHere is our daughter, Susan.


GrandmotherIs Grandmother doing well?


GrandfatherIs Grandfather doing well?


BrotherI have a younger brother.


SisterI also have a younger sister.


SiblingsThey are my siblings.
Neighbors Greeting Each Other

This is my wife, Ellen.



WorkThat was hard work.


JobDo you have a job?


OccupationWhat is your occupation?


LawyerSteve is a lawyer.


FarmerSue is a farmer.


EngineerHe is an engineer.


MechanicShe is a mechanic.


ElectricianHe wants to be an electrician.


DesignerShe wants to be a designer.


GardenerHer mother is a gardener.


DoctorHis father was a doctor.


PharmacistPolly works as a pharmacist.


PlumberDavid works as a plumber.


BarberDavid’s brother is a barber.


SalespersonPolly’s sister is a salesperson.


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

His father was a doctor.



TimeWhat time is it?


SecondA second is a very short unit of time.


MinuteA minute is sixty seconds.


HourAn hour is sixty minutes.


DayWhat day is this?


WeekI made cookies last week.


MonthWhat are you doing next month?


YearNext year is full of opportunities.


MondayMonday is the first day of the work week.


TuesdayTuesday is the second day of the work week.


WednesdayWednesday is the third day of the work week.


ThursdayThursday is the fourth day of the work week.


FridayFriday is the fifth day of the work week.


SaturdaySaturday is the first day of the weekend.


SundaySunday is the second day of the weekend.


JanuaryJanuary is the first month.


FebruaryFebruary is the second month.


MarchMarch is the third month.


AprilApril is the fourth month.


MayMay is the fifth month.


JuneJune is the sixth month.


JulyJuly is the seventh month.


AugustAugust is the eighth month.


SeptemberSeptember is the ninth month.


OctoberOctober is the tenth month.


November November is the eleventh month.


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

Body Parts


HeadMy head hurts.


FaceYou have a pretty face.


NeckHer neck is sore.


ShoulderShe dislocated her shoulder.


ChestAre you having chest pains?


ArmWhat happened to his arm?


HandLet me see your hand.


FingerI cut my finger chopping vegetables.


LegDon’t put pressure on your leg.


FootWhich foot did you hurt?


ToeI stubbed my toe.


StomachMy stomach is rumbling.


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

Her neck is sore.



VegetableBroccoli is my favorite vegetable.


FruitAvocado is my favorite fruit.


GrainQuinoa is a healthy grain.


MeatShe doesn’t eat meat.


DairyMilk and cheese are dairy products.


EggCrack the egg in the bowl.


OilPut oil in the pan.


ButterMelt the butter in the microwave.


SaltAdd salt to taste.


PepperAdd pepper to taste.
A Chef Seasoning a Dish

Add salt to taste.

Around Town


HospitalHe is sick in the hospital.


SupermarketCan you pick up milk at the supermarket?


SchoolI don’t want to go to school.


DowntownWe can meet up downtown.


Movie theaterWe saw a film at the movie theater.


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


LibraryYou must be quiet in the library.


Community centerOur community center has a pool.


ParkShe took her son to the park.


Restaurant The food at the restaurant was wonderful!


MallWe can buy clothes at the mall.


CarYou must travel there by car.


RoadHe walked up the road.


StreetMake a left on the next street.


TrainYou must travel there by train.


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


DeskRyan sat at his desk.


ChairLily bought a new chair yesterday.


PencilI need to sharpen this pencil.


PenThat pen is out of ink.


NotebookThe notebook is full.


BookTurn to page 228 in your book.


PaperclipMay I have a paperclip?


StaplerUse the stapler to keep the pages in order.


DrawerPut your sack lunch in the drawer.


CabinetThere’s more glue in the cabinet.


FolderPlace the assignment in your folder.


FileWhich computer file do I open?


ComputerThis computer isn’t working.


KeyboardThis keyboard is missing a letter.


MouseI use an ergonomic mouse every day.


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


Get upI get up at six every morning.


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


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


Get cleaned upI should get cleaned up before dinner.


BatheDoes Emma bathe often?


ShowerI shower after a workout.


EatLacy doesn’t eat much.


DrinkI drink black tea in the morning.


Go to workWhat time do you go to work?


Go to schoolDo you still go to school?


WorkI don’t like to work on the weekend.


StudyDan wants to study nutrition.


DriveCan Wendy drive yet?


RideMay I ride with you to work?


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

You should brush your teeth every day.

Other Common Verbs


GiveLet me give you this present.


GetCan you get the remote for me?


BringDid you bring her the flowers?


ReturnEric forgot to return the library book.


DoDoes Sherri do yoga?


UseHow do you use that device?


MakeTori makes dinner every night.


CanI can speak a little Spanish.


PutWhere did you put the scissors?


LetWhy won’t he let me help?


LeaveThe angry man was asked to leave.


AskMay I ask you a question?


TellShe promised not to tell the secret.


TalkHarry and Helen need to talk.


FindDid you find your cell phone yet?


GreetHe didn’t greet me.


SmileYou should smile more.


RunThey run together every morning.


SitWhere can I sit?


Lie downHe is sick and needs to lie down.


RestAfter the hike, she needed to rest.


CookDo you know how to cook?


ReadI like to read books sometimes.


WriteIt is hard to write a book.


Go outI need to go out to the grocery store.


Shop Lucy shops at the mall often.


BuyWe need to buy more clothing.


WatchThey watch movies at night.


ListenI listen to music while I work.


FeelShe feels sad today.


ThinkThey think it’s a bad idea.


AgreeDo you agree with them?


DisagreeI disagree with them.


OpenWhat time does the coffee shop open?


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


BigArizona has big spiders.


SmallOur neighbor’s dog is small.


LongThis is a long list of words.


ShortHe read a short book.


RoundThe basketball is round.


FlatThe ground here is flat.


NarrowHe made a narrow escape from prison.


WideThat road is very wide.


HardMy desk is hard.


SoftThe blanket is soft.


LightThe sky is light blue.


DarkIt will be dark outside soon.


CheapThese pencils are cheap.


ExpensiveThat sofa is expensive.

A Man About to Throw a Basketball into a Hoop

The basketball is round.

Describing People


GoodHe is a good person.


BadShe is a bad person.


PrettySarah looks very pretty.


HandsomeRichard looks very handsome.


TallThat boy is tall.


ShortThe other boy is short.


ThinKaren is too thin; she should eat more.


FatMike is too fat; he should exercise more.


KindLinda is a kind person.


MeanQuinten is a mean person.


PoliteMary is always polite to others.


RudeElliot is rude to his mother.

A Woman Holding an Older Woman’s Hands

Linda is a kind person.

Describing Emotions


HappyEating good food makes me happy.


SadKelly is sad after her breakup.


AngryLouis becomes angry too easily.


TiredThey were tired after work.


UpsetI was upset when I spilled the soup.


ExcitedCecilia was excited for the camping trip.

A Woman Sadly Staring Out the Window

Kelly is sad after her breakup.

Describing Weather


SunnyToday it was sunny.


CloudyWashington is always cloudy.


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


FoggyIt was too foggy to drive.


WindyThe trees bend when it’s windy.


HotThe desert is very hot.


ColdIt gets cold in the winter.


WarmIt is warm where I live.


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.


AndI love chocolate and red wine.


ButHe likes fruit, but not bananas.


OrDo you want Chinese food or Mexican food?


IfIf he says yes, then I will be happy.


ThenIf he says yes, then I will be happy.


BecauseWe left early because of an appointment.


SoMark lied so he wouldn’t get in trouble.


BeforeI eat breakfast before work.


AfterI make dinner after work.


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 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.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English