How many vocabulary words you need to know to be fluent in English

hello naturals how are you I'm your English teacher here at go natural English and I'm so happy to be here with you awesome go natural English learners today is a beautiful day and it's about to get even more beautiful more awesome because we are going to quickly improve your English fluency I have a great question from a member of our learn a chiral English community and I am excited to answer it so I'm really happy if you're watching this live or if you're watching the recording it's all good I'd like to say welcome and also congratulations because you're here that means you're a motivated english learner working actively on your English fluency so thank you for that I really appreciate people like you who are always working to improve themselves I think the world needs more people like you people who are always trying to become a better version of themselves that will make the world a better place for everyone so the more we can learn the more we can educate ourselves the better place the world will be so thank you again I'd like to say hello to some people who are here Gustavo Yousef soo Shama Yahya so Anju do do on Thai sir John Reggie - fried Sandra Maria Elio so nice to see everyone who is here thank you so much for your positive kind wonderful comments you guys are so motivated to improve your English I love it so I have a great question today how many vocabulary words you need to know to be fluent in English what an interesting question let me share my screen with you and you can take a look at the question with me if I want to be fluent in English how many words must I have in English how many words some people told me 600,000 up to 10 million 250,000 this is from Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim what an interesting question I think you must be a mathematician or you must be a numbers person you must like numbers yes I think you do this is an interesting question I'm gonna share my answer with you and at first when I saw this question oh I don't want to answer that this is not my kind of question but it really is an interesting question because when we count the number of words that we need to know it gives us a reference point it gives us some context and maybe it would even motivate you to continue to learn and improve your vocabulary however these are big numbers so it may also be demotivating you might feel like wow I'll never learn 600,000 words so why should I try but that's not a good way to think we should always be hopeful and motivated but let me answer your question and then I'll tell you a bit more about my opinion so first the facts a native English speaker or native English speaker adults have an active vocabulary of about 20,000 words a lot less than you thought our passive vocabulary is about twice that what's the difference between active and passive vocabulary well active vocabulary are the words that you use often or often as we said yesterday a passive vocabulary are the words that you would understand if you heard them or saw them but you don't necessarily use them very often English has 170 1476 words in current use how precise I don't think that that can be an accurate number because there's always words being created slang and just words that you don't even know about that people are creating right now but these are this number these words are the number of words in the dictionary and 400 sorry 47,000 156 obsolete words this means that many words used to be used in the past in English but they're not used anymore they're historic words and we have six hundred and fifteen thousand one hundred definitions so that means for each word we might have multiple uses you might have one word that means more than one thing but here's something interesting a vocabulary of just three thousand words provides coverage for around 95 percent of common texts such as news items blobs etc and probably for much conversation I think for most conversations the number would be a lot smaller maybe 500 words that's my guess because in everyday conversation we tend to use the same words over and over and over so if you want to be generally fluent in English you could have a goal of learning 1,000 words that would be enough but which words well that depends on what you want to do with your English so this is where the answer changes depending on who you are and what you want to do for general English I would recommend learning high frequency vocabulary words and there are lists online of high frequency vocabulary words the most common most used vocabulary words but even with about 500 words you would have a pretty good level of fluency now let me come back to you before I ask you a question I want to share a little bit of my opinion about this question I didn't like it at first because I don't think it is a good use of your time to count how many vocabulary words you know what is the point the point of learning English is to be able to communicate with each other not to have a long list of words that you've memorized if you know six hundred thousand words but you can't make a sentence and you can't have a conversation what's the point great you know six hundred thousand words congratulations but if you can't talk to an English speaker why are you learning the words just to learn the words okay that's great that's great but I would strongly recommend to forget about how many words you know forget about your vocabulary lists stop learning individual words you need to learn phrases you need to learn how to speak in a conversation how to listen how to understand how to respond we need to learn more than just individual vocabulary words on a list that's the way that a lot of teachers teach in a classroom that's the way a lot of textbooks teach they give you a list of vocabulary words and then what you know the words but you don't know how to use them in conversation you have told me this many times Oh Gaby I know so many vocabulary words but I can't have a conversation why is because you learned in the wrong way you didn't learn conversational English your teacher taught you to memorize the number of words so you know a number of words but then what what then you're lost when it comes to conversation so now we know how many words you need to know now you can have that as a reference point but don't bother counting your vocabulary words just learn fraises fraises are two words three words four words five words together that you can use in situations where you want to use them maybe making new friends or an interview at work social situations etc so let's focus on how we're communicating how we're expressing ourselves and not just oh I know this many words okay that's great for a test but not for actual fluency so I I say this with all respect for you for for the person who asked the question and I'm sharing my opinion because I want to motivate you to focus on fluency not just on the number of words it's kind of a change in your mindsets so now I have a question for you I'm gonna share my screen again [Music] do you count how many vocabulary words you know so it's okay if you do I'm just curious is this the way that you learned to learn vocabulary words by counting them and if so how many vocabulary words do you know today tell me in the comments I would love to know and you can sign up for free English lesson tips and premium course information I go natural English calm if you like these YouTube quick English tips and you will love what we have at go natural English calm so come over and learn more with me there all right I'd like to say thank you for watching and I see some comments a lot of people do not count their vocabulary words some people do okay that's interesting wonderful well thank you so much for watching I really appreciate your great vibes here today and I wish you the best for the rest of your day I'll see you here tomorrow thanks so much bye for now