A Quick Lesson About English Words

Here is a quick lesson about words in the English language.

The New General Service List (2013)

This is a list of about 2800 words. All ESL students need to learn these words. These are the most important words in the English language when you measure how often they are used in daily life. These words represent about 90% of all words that ESL students will find in books.

Get the General Service List from that link.

Sight Words

These are the words children will find in books as they learn to read English. Sight words are sometimes called high frequency words because they are so common and so important, such as A, THE and AND. These words represent 75% of all words in kid books.

Children need to understand these words without much conscious thinking in order to read well.

There are several sight word lists. The Dolch list, which contains 220 nouns and non-nouns which kids need to know be sight.

Dr. Seuss


This is the 110th birthday of a great writer. He is better known around the world as Dr. Seuss.

He is famous and respected because he wrote clever books that helped children read. And helped kids enjoy reading.

Cat in the Hat is a children’s classic. It has only 223 different words. Of that total 221 words have one syllable.


Green Eggs and Ham, which is more popular than the Harry Potter series, has only 50 different words.


I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham.

Would you like them Here or there?

I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am


For more reading, here is an article in the New York Times about Dr. Seuss.

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