How to Understand 90% of English

In this lesson, you are going to learn:

  • Where to find the most important vocabulary
  • Faster ways to remember new words
  • Why you need to know these words to speak easier
  • Understand more of what native speakers say
Read the TEXT version of this lesson here

Finding the Right Vocabulary to Make Fast Progress

This chart shows that the 75 most common words are used 50% of the time! A vocabulary of 2000 to 3000 words is a very good base to understand most topics very well. Especially in spoken English.    


 In this chart, you will see the increase in the amount of vocabulary being used depending on the type of communication. (NGSL refers to percentage of words known in the English language)

This shows that you will be able to understand 95% of what is being said in a conversation with less than 2000 words! AND you will be able to explain 95% of what you want to say by learning those 2000 words. It is clear to see why TV shows, movies, and news programs are more difficult to understand. I’ve especially noticed that written articles use a more advanced level of vocabulary. The reason for this is that writers do not want to sound repetitive when they write and also, certain articles or content is written in a formal way.  

Studying Everyday English

The vocabulary that is used in everyday communication is REALLY IMPORTANT to learn. The good news is that it is actually very easy to learn and really easy to find! With just 2000 to 3000 words, you will be able to understand 90-95% of a spoken English and about 90% of what you read. AND you will have all the words you need for speaking about almost anything! (You will need practice using those words… but that comes in Lesson 3 🙂 ) Learning 2000 random words is not going to help you… You need to learn the most common words that people are using in everyday communication. This means that if you start studying real conversations, you will be exposed to the most common vocabulary, expressions, and phrases. The next activity is to show you the fastest way to discover the everyday vocabulary you might be missing with one of our conversation lessons using the transcription.

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