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2012-05-31 12:08:09
2012-05-31 12:08:09


Good question. Here are some interesting numbers based on my limited knowledge. Please note, these numbers are just estimates.

Vocabulary Count

Grade 1 Student = 1,000+ words

Normal Person (Graduate) = 5,000 to 6,000+ words

University Professor = 15,000+ words

Spelling Bee Winners = 30,000+ (as claimed by them)

College Dictionary (Abridged) = 50,000 - 70,000

Total Words in English Language = 250,000+ (Growing)

Dictionary (Un-abridged) with derivatives = 450,000+

Shakespeare used 60,000 words

The above claims must be wrong. While English has hundreds of thousands of words, many are obsolete. Scientific words enter the language faster than obsolete ones die. I know a great many words, but surely not all. My guess: maybe 8,000 or 9,000 tops. Personal judgement keeps me from ever using the 2,000 or 3,000 oddballs. My education includes six years of Classics in prep school, four years at no mean college, a year of law school, and grad school at the US's supposedly top university. A working English vocabulary uses the 2,000 commonest words over and over. Shakespeare is our language's acknowledged master. An exact count of all words from works published using Shakespeare's name, totals 17,300-plus, not 60,000! Some of his as yet undiscovered works might yield a few hundred new ones, but doubtful. An English professor at a top university with a word-collecting proclivity might know 11,000 to 14,000 English words--half or more oddball words. Anyone with the basic 2,000 plus 4,000 more in a range of the more everyday specialties can read, hear, write, or speak very broadly. Claims that an accomplished master of English knows 12,000 or even 20,000 words needlessly scare any trying to master English at a higher level. [The imagined professor is an extreme word-collector not a word-user.] Knowing 6,000 words is challenge enough. The estimated extra words I know over 6,000 are just for my personal amusement. People would justifiably either shun me or throw things at me for using those oddities. I urge all to quit hyperventilating like Chicken Little and unthinkingly repeating others' claim. So if I said "The sky is falling!" would you repeat it? If that question still has intuitive appeal, try this instead: "Your retrievable vocabulary needs not over 6,000 words to make you a master of the English language."


Related Questions

Over millions of words. A Kindergartener has about 50,000 words in their vocabulary and a Mental Issued person has 34,999 words.

The vocabulary of an average person consists of 5,000 to 6,000 words.

His vocabulary was larger than the average person. An average person's vocabulary is 10,000 words-15,000 words if you are really smart. William Shakespeare's vocabulary was over 29,000 words!!!!

Generally, most people have a vocabulary of about 10,000 words, and this has not changed much. Shakespeare used about 30,000 wprds. The King James Bible, written at about the same time, used about 8,000.

According to the Harpers Index, the average vocabulary used by 6- to 14-year-old American children in their writing has fallen from 25,000 words in 1945 to 10,000 words today.

vocabulary is how many words that you know and use.

Vocabulary has five syllables (vo-cab-u-lar-y).

auxiliary, ancillary, subsidiary or secondary vocabulary ancillary vocabulary

The average graduated (educated) person has a vocabulary count of about 23000 words! So unless you are a Genius and know a FEW languages NO one person could know that many words.

In the days of Shakespeare, the average vocabulary was around 300 words for common laborers, 3,500 for educated people, and 10,000 for eloquent speakers. However, Shakespeare's vocabulary is estimated between 17,000 and 29,000 words.

Cats have a little over 100 words in their vocabulary.

The vocabulary is the set of words used in the book Things Fall Apart. Most of the words are English, but many are from the Igbo language.

Slang words are not in my vocabulary.

The average 2 year old has a vocabulary of around 100 words. The number does vary from child to child though so don't worry.

What are your vocabulary words? you are so dum if u dont know this

a word is one part of a vocabulary. vocabulary is all the words in a language.

make flash cards of the vocabulary words

vocabulary games is some of words game that used by people especially children for learning vocabulary. the exaple of the game is cross words game.

The larger your vocabulary, the more you understand, so learning vocabulary words does sharpen your mind by increasing your smarts!

"Study your vocabulary words for Friday," said the teacher. Building a variation of words in your vocabulary is needed. When first learning English, students are asked to build upon their vocabulary steadily.

Various sources suggest that the average person has a vocabulary of about 4000 words, whereas Shakespeare used between 17000 and 29000 different words in his works (it depends on what you consider to be different words). Any way you cut it, Shakespeare uses a lot more words than people now know or his audience then had heard of.

The best way to improve your vocabulary is to learn one or two words every day and use them in conversation!

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