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Common English Phrases

A list of the most common English phrases ordered by their frequency of use. Normally these phrases have meanings that are more than the sum of their parts, more than their component words would indicate, so they are good to learn even if you know their individual words.

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Rank Phrase Meanings
 
1 have to 1. phrase. Must, need to, to be required to. Indicates obligation
2. phrase. (with be) Must (logical conclusion)
2 out of 1. prep. From the inside to the outside of , having emerged from.
2. prep. Not part of.
3. prep. With the motivation of.
4. prep. Without, no longer in possession of, not having more, divested of.
5. prep. Not in a customary or desired state.
3 a little 1. adv. To a small extent or degree.
2. pron. a small amount
4 kind of 1. adv. (idiomatic, colloquial) Slightly, somewhat, sort of.
5 a lot 1. n. A large amount.
2. n. Many things, much.
3. adv. very much, a great deal, to a large extent.
4. adv. often, frequently
6 a few 1. pron. A small number of
2. pron. A small number of things
7 had to 1. v. past of have to
8 a lot of 1.
9 at least 1. phrase. (focus) At the least, at a minimum or lower limit.
2. phrase. In any event, anyway.
10 of course 1. adv. Indicates enthusiastic agreement.
2. adv. Acknowledges the validity of the associated phrase.
3. adv. Asserts that the associated phrase should not be argued, particularly if it is obvious or there is no choice in the matter.
11 look at 1. vt. to observe or watch (something)
2. vt. to study (something) visually
3. vt. to consider
12 as if 1. conj. As though, in a manner suggesting.
2. conj. In mimicry of.
3. interj. n-g, Refers to something that the speaker deems highly unlikely.
13 got to 1. v. simple past of get to
2. v. UK past participle of get to
3. v. (informal) have to
14 so much 1. n. A particular amount, often a large or excessive amount.
2. n. A demonstrated amount.
3. adv. To a certain degree or extent
4. adj. Great in quantity, degree etc.
15 do it 1. v. (colloquial) To be appealing to.
2. v. (slang) To have sex.
16 no one 1. pron. Not one person, nobody.
2. pron. The logical negation of someone.
17 at all 1. adv. Indicating degree, quantity or frequency greater than zero: to the slightest degree, in any way, somewhat, rather.
18 each other 1. pron. (reciprocal pronoun) to one another, one to the other, signifies that a verb applies to two or more entities both as subjects and as direct objects:
19 most of 1.
20 as well 1. adv. (focus idiomatic) In addition, also.
2. adv. To the same effect
21 has to 1. v. third-person singular of have to
22 and all 1. phrase. Including every object, attribute, or process associated with preceding item or series of items.
2. phrase. (idiomatic, informal) Used to suggest certain unstated relevant implications or what has been stated.
3. phrase. (dialectal) Used to add emphasis.
23 sort of 1. adv. (idiomatic, colloquial) Approximately, in a way, partially, not quite, somewhat.
24 get to 1. v. To affect adversely, to upset or annoy.
2. v. To track down and intimidate.
25 because of 1. prep. On account of, by reason of, for sake of, for the purpose of, by dent of, on the force of, by way of
26 how many 1. adv. What number.
27 be able to 1. v. can, to have the ability to
28 see you 1. phrase. (informal) see you later
2. phrase. Used as a farewell, stating the next time the speaker and interlocutor(s) will see each other
29 likely to 1.
30 after all 1. adv. Anyway, in any case, indicates a statement is true regardless of other considerations, used to reinforce or explain a point.
2. adv. In the end, however, used in referring to something that was believed to be the case, but is not, or to an outcome that is not what was expected or predicted.
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary