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The Most Common English Adjectives

Are you wondering where to start studying English vocabulary? Adjectives are a really important part of speech. An adjective is a word used to describe a noun.

It is a good idea to focus on the most common ones in the language. Below are lists of the 50 most common words in both American and British English.

50 Most Common Adjectives
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ in American English πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
No. Adjective
1 OTHER
2 NEW
3 GOOD
4 AMERICAN
5 GREAT
6 BIG
7 HIGH
8 OLD
9 DIFFERENT
10 NATIONAL
11 SMALL
12 LITTLE
13 BLACK
14 IMPORTANT
15 POLITICAL
16 SOCIAL
17 LONG
18 YOUNG
19 RIGHT
20 BEST
21 REAL
22 WHITE
23 PUBLIC
24 SURE
25 ONLY
26 LARGE
27 ABLE
28 HUMAN
29 LOCAL
30 EARLY
31 BAD
32 BETTER
33 ECONOMIC
34 FREE
35 POSSIBLE
36 WHOLE
37 MAJOR
38 MILITARY
39 FEDERAL
40 INTERNATIONAL
41 TRUE
42 FULL
43 HARD
44 SPECIAL
45 RECENT
46 RED
47 OPEN
48 PERSONAL
49 GENERAL
50 CLEAR
50 Most Common Adjectives
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ in British English πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§
No.Adjective
1 OTHER
2 NEW
3 GOOD
4 OLD
5 DIFFERENT
6 LOCAL
7 GREAT
8 SMALL
9 SOCIAL
10 IMPORTANT
11 NATIONAL
12 HIGH
13 BRITISH
14 POSSIBLE
15 LARGE
16 RIGHT
17 LONG
18 LITTLE
19 YOUNG
20 POLITICAL
21 ABLE
22 GENERAL
23 ONLY
24 PUBLIC
25 AVAILABLE
26 FULL
27 EARLY
28 BEST
29 BIG
30 MAIN
31 MAJOR
32 ECONOMIC
33 SURE
34 REAL
35 LIKELY
36 BLACK
37 PARTICULAR
38 INTERNATIONAL
39 SPECIAL
40 DIFFICULT
41 CERTAIN
42 CLEAR
43 WHOLE
44 FURTHER
45 WHITE
46 OPEN
47 EUROPEAN
48 FREE
49 CENTRAL
50 SIMILAR

Most of the most common adjectives are the same in the US and the UK (78% of the top 50 and 92% of the top 25 words appear in both lists). Notice that American is the 4th most common adjective in American English and British is the 13th most common adjective in British English. We shouldn't read too much into these simple lists, but it is interesting to note that militaryfederal, and personal all appear in the American list. Do you notice any other patterns?

That's all for now! Start studying!

If you're looking for something similar, check out the most common verbs in English.


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Basic Geometry Vocabulary

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Basic Geometry Vocabulary

Basic geometry vocabulary

Rob from Ginseng English recently took a trip to Shanghai and recorded a lesson on geographβ€”err, geometry vocabulary. Take a moment and have a look!

Geometry Vocabulary List

Vertical (adj.) - positioned up and down rather than from side to side; going straight up

Horizontal (adj.) - positioned from side to side rather than up and down; parallel to the ground

Diagonal (adj.) - not going straight across or up and down

Beam (n.) - a long and heavy piece of wood or metal that is used as a support in a building

Post (n.) - a piece of wood or metal that is set in a vertical position, especially as a support or marker

Narrow (adj.) - long and not wide

Wide (adj.) - extending a great distance from one side to the other; not narrow

Free Vocabulary Resources

If you're trying to improve your English vocabulary online, check out these other free vocabulary resources from the Ginseng English Blog:
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Collocates with Summer

Collocates with summer

It's summer in Boston! β˜€οΈπŸ˜ŽπŸ–

Let's take a look at some of the words that are most common after summer. Remember, a collocate is a word that is often used with another word.  Focusing on collocation is a very good way to learn common English phrases and expressions. 

Here are some of the most common words after summer that we hope you find useful as you learn English!


If this was helpful, check out these other English collocates!

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3 Types of -ing Verb

Ready for some challenging academic grammar?

English grammar can be difficult because sometimes the same word works differently in different situations. This is true for -ing verbs, which can do three different things.  

Let's look at the 3 types:

Three types of -ing verb

Three types of -ing verb

CONTINUOUS VERBS

The man is walking

This is the most basic one: a present continuous verb. The subject in the sentence is "man" and "is walking" tells us what he is doing right now. If you see an -ing verb after a be verb (am, is, are, was, were), it is probably a continuous verb.

Another name for continuous verbs is progressive   verbs.  Continuous and progressive are the same. 


PARTICIPIAL ADJECTIVES

The walking man lives with my friend Paul.   

or 

The man walking across the street lives with my friend Paul.  

In both of these sentences, walking  works like an adjective, not a verb. Walking describes the man, and the verb in the sentence is lives. When an -ing verb describes a noun, we call it a participial adjectiveParticipial adjectives can come before or after the noun, but it is more common to put them after the noun. 

Read a little more about participial adjectives here.


GERUNDS

The man likes walking.  

In this sentence, we have a subject: the man. We have a verb: likes . What is the -ing verb here? It's the thing that the man likes. What does he like? Walking. Walking is the object of like. What are some other things you can like? Sports, travel, English. All nouns. Object of verbs are nouns, so walking is acting as a noun here. That's what a gerund is: an -ing verb that works like a noun. 


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