12 Fun English Vocabulary Facts
There are many interesting English vocabulary facts. Vocabulary building is lifelong requirement not only of English language learners of English as a Second Language but also native English speakers. What makes it a fascinating pursuit is when you know some fun English vocabulary facts.
A Few Fun English Vocabulary Facts
- There are roughly 100,000 word families in the English language.
- A native English speaking person knows between 10,000 (uneducated) to 20,000 (educated) word families.
- A person needs to know 8,000-9,000 word families to enjoy reading a book.
- Studying heritage language learners reveal that a person with a vocabulary size of 2,500 passive word-families and 2,000 active word-families can speak a language fluently.
- GOOD NEWS – If your goal is to speak English fluently, you are not required to study 10,000 words. 2,000 is enough to get you started.
- The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
- The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
- The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
- One of the amazing English vocabulary facts: of all the languages in the world, English has the largest vocabulary about 800,000 words
- Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters mt.
- Naturally the literary experts are greater “language consumers.” It has been determined that an average American journalist uses but 6,000 words in his newspaper articles, or 4% of the available arsenal.
- However, at a higher literary level, it has been determined that Victor Hugo used an active vocabulary of 38,000 words; Shakespeare, 24,000; and Homer, 8,500. But Horace, with 4,600 words, came significantly below the American journalist, and Xenophon, with 3,200, was about equal to the present-day “average citizen.”
These few and significant English vocabulary facts show us how interesting and vast the English vocabulary is. But if it makes us feel a little better, we can get by on just a few thousand words!