I'd like to have a list of English words sorted by popularity together with their pronunciations. I need it to learn the words I can't pronounce in popularity order. Is there anything like that I can find online?

  • 2
    List of B1 words cambridgeenglish.org/images/84669-pet-vocabulary-list.pdf for their pronunciations look each one up in an online dictionary.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 24, 2017 at 2:05
  • There are lots of lists online of words in order of frequency. Use those, then go to forvo.com to hear how people pronounce them.
    – Mitch
    Oct 24, 2017 at 2:32
  • A good search string is "2000 common English words". Also 1000 or 3000 turn up some interesting results.
    – Xanne
    Oct 24, 2017 at 9:01

2 Answers 2



Online, yes. Free, no. But you may be able to get in via your library or another institution. (In my case, I don't pay for my subscription; my college does.)

The OED is a historical dictionary, meaning that there's a lot of information about the etymology. It has a really nice Advanced Search, which lets you sort by frequency:

Sort by: Entry | Frequency | Date

Frequency is based off eight "frequency bands", which may or may not be granular enough for your needs:

Each non-obsolete word is assigned to a frequency band based on its overall frequency score. Bands run from 8 (very high-frequency words) to 1 (very low-frequency). The scale is logarithmic: words in Band 8 are around ten times more frequent than words in Band 7, which in turn are around ten times more frequent than words in Band 6.

And as a dictionary, it does indeed have pronunciations in each non-obsolete entry (some have more than others):

  • This is excellent, but I'm not sure how the search works. DO you have to know the word you want first? Can you just ask OED for a list of the top 100 most frequent words? The top 200 of band 4?
    – Mitch
    Oct 24, 2017 at 16:35
  • 1
    @Mitch You can do an empty search. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a way to search specific frequency bands. I'm not entirely sure how granular the search is, either.
    – Laurel Mod
    Oct 24, 2017 at 16:48


It has many lists under https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/


  1. 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know

    American Heritage Dictionaries normally feature about 70,000 entries. From that multitude, the editors have chosen 100 words that are neither obscure nor outlandish that could give middle schoolers more aplomb and aptitude in their verbal encounters. If you're not sure whether that is something you need, study this list. Words selected by the Editors of the American Heritage® Dictionaries. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  2. The Vocabulary.com Top 1000

    The top 1,000 vocabulary words have been carefully chosen to represent difficult but common words that appear in everyday academic and business writing. These words are also the most likely to appear on the SAT, ACT, GRE, and ToEFL. To create this list, we started with the words that give our users the most trouble and then ranked them by how frequently they appear in our corpus of billions of words from edited sources. If you only have time to study one list of words, this is the list.

I have picked one at random for illustration purposes:

GRE High Frequency Words

Barron's GRE 17th Edition High Freq Words

GRE High Frequency Words

If you click on a word, say abate, it will take you to a page with definitions, examples, possible origins, and pronunciation (if you click the small speaker icon).

_abate_ definition page

  • Most likely, the OP is looking for frequent words overall not frequent for the GRE vocab test. These rarer words usually have easier to determine pronunciations from their spelling.
    – Mitch
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:00
  • @Mitch That point is invalid. I listed one at random. My answer is that that site has all sorts of lists, and some are worth checking out.
    – NVZ Mod
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:01
  • @Mitch added snippets for some other lists, which I think is closer to what OP asked for. Your thoughts on the edit?
    – NVZ Mod
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:10
  • 1) The point about the GRE vocab list is entirely valid. Why would you give that as an example when it is most likely not at all an example the OP would care about (of course they very well may, but that's not what his question sounds like). 2) Oh, I didn't realize that that site has lists of words sorted by frequency from most to least; you should say that. 3) I didn't downvote. I commented because your answer just seemed way off from what I expected the OP wanted.
    – Mitch
    Oct 24, 2017 at 14:38
  • @Mitch I see. Would you prefer I remove the GRE thing entirely? Would it be improved if I replaced the illustration with another list? Would you suggest a better list? :)
    – NVZ Mod
    Oct 24, 2017 at 15:43

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