Basic English vocabulary for beginners: 10 phrases you can learn today

Have you ever thought you’d like to study English, maybe on your own, just as a hobby, but you find yourself stuck at the beginning, unsure of what are the most important words to learn? 

It’s always nice to have some basic knowledge of the language you will be using when you are going to travel, so we did some research on the best vocabulary to start out with in English. Take note. 

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10 phrases that you should learn in English

The General Service List is a set of 2000 words that were selected to be of the greatest “general service” to learners of the English language. The frequency of word use proved important in determining which words one should study. The words that are most frequent are shorter words such as “the”, “be”, “of”, “and”, etc. There are, however, some other phrases that you should learn: 

1. Hi!  

Probably the first thing you are going to say to someone who speaks to you: “Hello!” (or “Hi!” If you want to sound more casual). 

2. Thank you

You should be able to thank someone in their native tongue when visiting their country. One of our staff writers found visiting the Czech Republic incredibly frustrating because she couldn’t remember the word for thank you and kept feeling incredibly rude while out and about in shops and restaurants! 

3. I’m Sorry

It is definitely polite to learn to say you’re sorry. You never know what might happen should you spill your French wine down the waiter’s shirt and forget to say, “pardon.”

4. Can I have…

You will inevitably be needing things, especially if you are travelling. You should learn the sentence to ask for something or order in a restaurant to ensure you don’t starve!

5. How much does it cost?

Unless you are rich, chances are you will be watching your wallet. You’ll want to learn this phrase so you can haggle at the bazaar and do shopping in English.

6. My name is…

If you are going to be introducing yourself, you’ll want to know how to say this, and probably learn the phrase that traditionally goes with it, “What is your name?” Now, you’ll be making friends in no time!

Do you need the motivation to start learning English? Discover the 5 reasons to learn a second language today! 

7. Yes and No

These are clearly important when learning any language. Be sure not to get them confused!

8. Where is the…

If you’ll be travelling, you’ll need to know how to find your way. Together with this phrase, you should study directions, and words like left and right, forward and backwards, etc. in case you get lost and your smartphone suddenly becomes brain-dead!

9. Sorry, I don’t understand

Communicating in a new language is difficult and it’s perfectly natural that you might have to ask someone to repeat themselves. Learn how to politely ask that question and you’ll be fine when you encounter confusing situations.

10. Excuse me

Be sure to learn the polite way to excuse yourself from or end a conversation in English. You don’t want to seem rude by abruptly walking away from a conversation when it hasn’t been properly completed.

What are some other phrases that you find incredibly important when starting out on a new language adventure?