Based on the evidence of the billion-word Oxford English Corpus, it is possible to identify the hundred commonest English words found in writing around the world.
It is noticeable that many of the most frequently used words are short ones whose main purpose is to join other longer words rather than determine the meaning of a sentence. These are known as Function Words. It could be said that the more interesting facts about word frequency are to be found a little further down the list and we explore this below.
Interestingly, the analysis reveals that most of the words we use most frequently are from Old English: the basic elements of nearly any sentence that any of us utters were in place before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.