Click on the following link to find a list of the 1,000 commonest words in English (I bet you know a lot of them already):
1000common english words - Google Search
Good luck with that.
(You don't need to learn them all at once.)
I have read that the millionth word has entered the English language. Surely no one knows all these words. But from this comes my question. About how many words should I know to speak English fluently? (in twenty years perhaps ). And another question, which are these words? Can I find somewhere a list of such words? I mean the list of words most commonly used by ordinary people in their everyday life?
I think the million figure would be counting inflected words, ie. “walk, walked, walking, walks” count as different words. That brings it down to a few hundred thousand discrete words.
“David Crystal described a simple research project ... He concludes that a better average for a college graduate might be 60,000 active words and 75,000 passive ones”.
50,000 passive words is a round number that you occasionally see for the average native speaker. No one really knows, of course. You need to be able to actively use far fewer words than you understand.
It's worth looking here (and the links from there), for word frequencies in English:
Crystal, David (2003) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of rhe English Language, Second Edition, Cambridge: CUP
There are more word lists here. However, it's not just a simple question of how many words someone knows, and remember that a single word can have many different meanings. Set has over a hundred, but the person who knows all of them only knows one word looking at it from the perspective of a word list,. For learners, it can often be more economical and useful to learn the different forms and meanings of a word than to try to learn a huge number of words.
Thanks! I've been wanting to know the answer as well.