New General Service List

What is the relationship between CEFR and NGSL?

We all know that we should learn first that which is most common and frequent.  Indeed, Scholars have made a living out of it.

Browne (2014) compares a number of sources when discussing how to break up the New General Service List (NGSL) against proficiency levels.  Basically, beginners to pre-intermediate or A1 to A2 should focus on the first one thousand words.  Those NGSL lemma are not however broken up into categories as neatly as the “English Profile” differentiates them.  Still, the advice is that for this lower proficiency, they should focus on those.  Likewise, elementary or A2 to upper-intermediate or B2 should be focusing on the next one thousand words or in total, the first 2000 words.  Above B2 the learners should be studying above these two thousand words.

In their study they show that most the publishers are not getting this quite right though.


Browne, C. (2014). A new general service list: The better mousetrap we’ve been looking for. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction3(2), 1-10.

These should be the first 700 verbs you learn

Although it would be better to know which form of these words is for sure the most frequent, it won’t be a bad idea to learn the main “head” words.  What is meant by this is that many of these words may get their high frequency not just from being verbs, but from being used as other parts of speech too.  For example, “act” could be a noun as in “he was putting on an act” or “I saw the final act.”

abandon| abuse| accompany| accomplish| accuse| achieve| acknowledge| acquire| act| adapt| add| adjust| admire| admit| adopt| advance| advertise| advise| advocate| affect| afford| agree| aid| allege| allow| alter| amaze| analyze| anger| announce| anticipate| apologize| appeal| appear| apply| appoint| appreciate| approach| approve| argue| arise| arrange| arrest| arrive| ask| assess| assign| assist| assume| assure| attach| attack| attempt| attend| attract| avoid| award| balance| ban| bar| be| beat| become| begin| behave| believe| belong| bend| bet| bid| bind| bite| blame| bless| block| blow| bomb| bond| boom| boost| borrow| bother| break| breathe| breed| bring| broadcast| build| burden| burn| burst| bury| buy| calculate| call| campaign| cancel| capture| care| carry| catch| cause| celebrate| change| characterize| charge| chase| chat| check| chip| choose| cite| claim| climb| cluster| collapse| collect| combine| come| command| commit| communicate| compare| compete| complain| complete| 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relax| release| rely| remain| remark| remember| remind| remove| rent| repair| repeat| replace| represent| request| require| rescue| research| reserve| resign| resist| resolve| respect| respond| restore| restrict| result| retain| retire| return| reveal| reverse| review| revise| reward| rid| ride| ring| rise| risk| roll| row| ruin| run| rush| sail| sample| satisfy| save| say| scan| scare| schedule| score| scream| seal| search| seat| secure| see| seek| seem| select| sell| send| sense| serve| service| settle| shake| shift| shine| shoot| shot| shout| show| shut| sigh| sign| sing| sit| situate| sleep| slide| slip| smell| smile| smoke| snap| solve| speak| specialize| specify| spell| spend| spin| split| sponsor| spread| stain| stake| stand| stare| stay| steal| stimulate| stir| stop| strain| strengthen| stress| stretch| strike| strip| stroke| struggle| study| submit| succeed| suffer| suggest| suit| summarize| supply| support| suppose| surprise| surround| survey| survive| suspect| suspend| sustain| swear| sweep| swim| take| talk| tap| tape| teach| tell| tend| thank| think| threaten| throw| tie| touch| trace| track| trade| transfer| transform| translate| transport| travel| treat| trick| trust| try| turn| twist| undergo| underlie| understand| undertake| unite| update| urge| use| value| vary| very| visit| volunteer| vote| wait| wake| walk| wander| want| warn| wash| waste| watch| wave| wear| wed| weigh| whisper| win| wipe| wish| withdraw| worry| wrap| write| yield

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