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Minilex

(in preparation)

 

A Basic or First List of Words for Beginners in a New Language

 

Erik V. Gunnemark
(
ed. Amorey Gethin)

 

What follows is a list of the words that are the most useful to know in any new language that you are starting to learn. The list is based on many years of research, but any such list is bound to be subjective to some extent. This particular version of the list was made with translation into Italian in mind; the list will vary slightly according to the language it is intended to be translated into.

 

At the very beginning, the only practical way to learn quickly is to translate. But as soon as possible you should try to forget your own language, and connect the words in the new language directly to concepts in real life. Your own language should disappear from your mind. Avoid the translation mentality at all costs!

 

You may find it useful to study this list in combination with the page on learning vocabulary at www.lingua.org.uk/voc , particularly section II, First Steps.

 

 

 

about, circa

about (be)

above, over

according to

address

advertisement

afraid of

after, afterwards

again

against

ago

agree

air

alive

all; whole

almost

alone

along

already

also; too

always

and

angry

angry, be/get

another - see other

answer (v.)

any (adj.)

any (pron.)

any of (it, them)

anybody

anything

arrive

as; such as; like

as...as

ask

ask for

at

 

back, come/go;

return

bad - food,

character

bad - weather

bag

bathroom; toilet

be

beautiful

because

before

begin

beginning

behind, back

believe

see also Miniphrase T

below; under

between; among

big

book

boring

borrow

both

bottom

boy

bread

break

bring

brother

busy

but

buy

by - agent

by - time

by - transport: air, bus, etc.

 

call

can; be able; be

allowed; may

cancel

car

cash

century

certain; sure

change (v.)

change, small

cheap

check

cheque

child

city

clean

close; shut

clothes

collect

colour

come

comfortable

common

completely

continue; go on

cook

could; was able

country; nation

country - not town

course, of

crime

cry; weep

cut

 

damage (n.)

damage (v.)

dangerous

dark

daughter

day

dead

decide

dictionary

different

difficult

dirty

disappointed

do

doctor

down; downstairs

drink (n.)

drink (v.)

drop

dry

during

 

early

earth, world

easy

eat

empty

end

enough

environment

especially

even

every

everybody

everything

everywhere

exactly

example

examine

example

except

exercise

expensive

 

fall

family

famous

far

father

fetch

few, a

finally

find

finish

first

flat, apartment

flight

food

for ('purpose')

for (time)

foreign

forget

forwards

free, unrestricted

free, gratis

friend

from

from

front of, in

full (of)

funny; comic

future

 

game

garage

get, become

get, obtain, fetch

get, receive

get in

get out

get up

get used to .

girl

give

go

go in(to)

go out

going to, have the intention

going to, about to, on the point

of

good (better, best) z and s

good, skilful, clever

gradually

great z and s

ground, earth

grow

 

had better

half ?a. & n.

happen

happy (about)

hard (opposite of soft)

hard (work)

have (as auxiliary)

have (eat)

have (possess)

have got

have to

hear

heavy

here

high

hit

hold

holiday

hope

hot

hour

house

how

husband

 

if

ill

immediately, at once

important

impossible

in (position)

in (time)

in (after)

-ing

injury

instructions

intelligent

interesting

into, go

invite

 

joke (n. & vb)

journey

just (time)

see also only

 

keep

key

kill

kiss (n.)

know (facts)

know (people etc.)

 

lady - see woman

land

language

last, latest, final

last, just passed

late (adv.)

laugh

learn

least, at

leave, depart

eave, let remain

lend

let (allow)

let (hire)

letter

lie (not stand)

lie down

life

light, not dark

light, not heavy

like, similar

listen to

little, a

live, reside

live, be alive

long

look after

look at, watch

look for

look forward to -

look well etc.

look up

lose

(a) lot -

loud -

love

?low

luggage

 

magazine

make

man

many

many?, how

many, so

map

married (to)

may (permission)

may (possibility)

mean -

meaning

measure -

mistake

much (adv).

must

 

near

 

necessary

 

need vb.

 

never

 

new

 

news

 

newspaper

 

next

next time.

 

nice

 

night

last night, tonight

no adv.

 

 

nobody

 

noise

 

none

north

 

not

 

note, make a

 

nothing

 

now

 

 

of

 

off

often

 

old

 

on

once

 

 

 

one (impers.) - you

 

only

 

open adj.

 

open vb.

 

opposite

 

 

opposite, contrary

 

 

or

 

other, another

 

 

otherwise

 

ought to; should

 

out, outside

 

 

out, go

 

over - see "above"

 

 

 

page

 

pain n. - P

 

paper

 

part (fraction)

 

party pol.

 

party soc.

 

pay

 

peace

peaceful

 

pen

 

pen, ball point

 

pencil

 

people imper

 

people the people

 

perhaps

 

person

 

picture

piece

 

 

place

 

play

 

 

pleased (with)

 

poor

 

possible

 

 

postcard

 

 

 

probably

 

problem

 

pull

 

put

 

 

quarter

 

question

 

 

quickly

 

quiet

quite

 

 

read

 

ready

 

?real

 

really

 

reason (for)

receipt

 

relative

 

remember

 

remind

 

rest (remainder

 

rest (have a)

 

rich

 

right - see Miniphrase

 

road

 

room

 

room (space)

 

 

sad

 

safe

 

 

same

 

say

 

school

 

see

 

sell

 

send

 

serious - P

 

several n. & adj.

 

shall

 

shop

 

short

 

should - see ought to

 

should aux.

 

show vb.

 

?shut ?or is

 

sick, feel

 

side

 

since

sing

 

sister

 

sit

see also Miniphrase S

 

sleep - see Miniphrase

 

small

 

smile

 

so not so bad a

 

so so bad that

 

so and therefore

 

soft

 

some pron.

 

some adj.

 

somebody

 

something

 

sometimes

 

son

 

soon

 

 

sort

 

sound (n.)

 

sound vb. -

 

south

 

speak

 

spend mone

 

spend time

 

spring

 

?stand

 

?stand up

 

stay reside

stay remain

 

steal

 

still Do you still live in..?

 

stop cease

 

stop prevent

 

 

strange

 

street

 

strong

 

stupid

 

such such a

 

 

suggest

 

suitcase

 

summer

 

sun

 

surprise ?n.

 

surprised

 

 

take

 

talk (to)

 

tall

 

tax

teach

 

teacher

 

tell

 

terrible

 

than

 

that, those dem.

 

that rel.

 

that con.

 

the

 

then after

 

then before

 

there

There are

 

think believe

 

think (about)

 

thirsty

 

this, these

 

through

ticket

time (clock)

time occasion

 

tired

 

to direction +

to I've never b

to infin.

 

today

 

tomorrow

too (excessive)

 

 

top

 

towards

 

town

 

 

true

 

try

 

 

under

 

understand

 

unfortunately

 

until

 

up

 

upstairs

 

use vb.

used to (adj. accustomed)

used to emphatic past

 

useful

usually

 

 

very

 

visit

 

 

wait (for)

walk

wallet

want

 

war

wash

 

wash up

water

 

way method

 

weather

week

 

well - health

 

well adv. better bes

 

west

 

wet

what

when

 

where? position

 

where direction

 

which?

which rel.

 

while

white

 

who?

who rel.

 

whole

 

why?

 

 

wide; broad

wife

 

will

 

winter

 

with

 

with

without

woman

wonderful

word

work (v.)

work n.

work job

work vb. function

world

worry vb.

worried (about)

would

write (down)

wrong

year

yellow

yes

yesterday

yet not yet

Young

 

 

 

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