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 how many words are there in english

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تاريخ التسجيل : 26/11/2008

مُساهمةموضوع: how many words are there in english   الجمعة نوفمبر 28, 2008 1:05 am

How many words are there in English? It's difficult to calculate accurately. We know that the Oxford English Dictionary is the biggest of any language. This suggests that English probably has the biggest vocabulary of all the European languages.





The Oxford English Dictionary has over 500,000 words.

A similar German dictionary offers around 180,000 words,

A Russian language dictionary has around 160,000 words

A French edition has less than 150,000.

Why are there more words in English?







The linguist Richard Lederer believes that the language is the most 'democratic' in history. By this he means that the users of English help change and improve it. This is because English:





easily imports words from other languages, cultures and traditions.

"the relative simplicity of its grammar and syntax.”

How many words do we use in everyday speech?





There are different opinions on this question. Lederer has suggested that a typical English speaker has a vocabulary of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. Steven Pinker talks of 60,000 ‘by high school’.







There is, of course, a difference between our passive and active language. Passive language is the language we know but perhaps do not use.

There are many words we recognise but perhaps do not say or write. Active language is those word we use.

The best writers expand our personal vocabularies. They teach us new words or use old words in new ways.





What have been the biggest influences on English?





The two best example of this is Shakespeare. He used over 20,000 words when average vocabulary was less than 1,000. The early versions of the bible also had an important role in expanding vocabulary
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how many words are there in english
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