The Basic Words
by C. K. OGDEN
Writer of "Basic English" and
Director of the Orthological Institute
A , B ,
C , D ,
E , F ,
G , H ,
I , J , K ,
L , M ,
N , O ,
P , Q ,
R , S ,
T , U ,
V , W ,
X , Y , Z Measuring Note
The letter T
table, noun. ’teibl; table; Tisch.
(e) Ordered list; tableau; Tafel, Tabelle.
tableland, s. Basic words. Level country higher than country round it.
The food is on the table; A table of weights and measures.
** They were at table when the news came.
tail, noun. teil; queue; Schwanz.
(e) Anything like a tail; extrémité.
Cats have long tails. The tail of the airplane.
tail-coat, nooun. Basic words. Man’s coat out away in front with long back
parted in the middle.
take (takes, took, taking, taken), verb. teik; prendre; nehmen.
(e) Have certain reaction to (event and so on).
T. money; the dog will not t. food; building takes time; t. a
chance; t. a look at the picture; I took down his words; t. a dog
for a run; t. 5 from 35; t. a pleasure in helping others; t. off
clothing; t. over a business; t. trouble with one’s work; t. a breath;
t. a position; t. a suggestion; t. a walk; t. a house; t. a rest after a
day of hard work; the play has taken his mind off his troubles; did
you t. in the sense of what he said? He took the bad news well.
* 1. He took up the question (painting) with great interest.
2. He did not take into account all the details.
INTERNATIONAL SECOND LANGUAGE 845
3. He said he would t. a picture but he had no camera.
4. We took him for an expert.
5. The news took us by surprise.
(T. note of; t. care of; t. part in an event; the meeting takes
place at 4:00; I took him on one side; take in hand; the tree had taken
** I take it that you are coming; take on servants (work);
he took it on himself to go; the nations took up arms;
be taken up with one’s thoughts. ((Take cover; take effect;
take fire; take to heart; take heart from my Words;
take (a person) prisoner; take turns at the wheel;
take the trouble to go).
talk (-er, -ing, —ed), n. toik; action de parler, conversation; Sprechen,Gespréich.
(e) Public talk; discours; Ansprache, Vortrag.
Hearing their t. in the train; talking about his invention. Give a
t. about the latest developments in science; an interesting t.
* (I had a t. with him about it; be talking of doing).
**(It’s no good talking),
tall, adj. tail; haut, grand; lang, gross, hoch.
(e) Measured from feet to head.
A t. person; t. buildings. He is 6 feet t.
tapioca*, taepi’ouke. International word. ,
taste (-er, —ing, -ed), n. teist; gout; Geschmack.
(e) Act of tasting: sense of taste: direction of feelings of approval: small amount of food (for tasting);
action de gouter: gorit: gout: soupgon; das Kosten: Geschmack: Geschmack: Kostprobe.
The fruit has a good t. Give the meat a t.; tasting the soup.
There is something wrong with his t. Bad t. in pictures. Give me a t. of your soup.
* The words were (not) in good t. (The music is not to my t.).
** "Put in salt to t.
tax (taxes, —er; -ing, -ed) , n. taeks; impot, taxe; Steuer.
Put a t. on beer; they say nothing is certain but death and taxes;
taxing amusements (storekeepers) .
taxi, 'taeksi. International word.
tea, ti;. International word.
346 BASIC ENGLISH
teaching (teacher), n., a. ’ti;tj'i1]; enseignement, instruction; Lehre, Unterricht.
(e) View put across by person or group (freq. tt.); doctrine; Lehre.
Be good at t. the young. The tt. of the early Christians. He is t.
in a school; a history teacher.
tea-room, n. Basic words. Restaurant for tea and small meals.
telegram (telegraph), 'teligraem (-grazf). International word.
telephone, ’telifoun. International word.
** He is on the t.
tendency (tendencies), n. ’tendansi; tendance; Ptichtung, Tendenz, Neigung.
Have a t. to be late; the development of early tendencies.
terrace, ’teras. International word.
test (-er, —ing, -ed), n. test; épreuve, essai, experience; Probe.
(s) Knowledge test; examen; Priifung.
Put a machine through a t.; testing his statement. Be given a science t.
** (Put to the t,).
than, conj. t$aen; que; als.
I am a better man t. he is; she came more readily t. her sister;
he does less work t. he might.
* (The weather is better t. ever).
that (those), a., pron., conj. iiaet; ce(tte) . . . (Za): cela: que; iene
(-r, -s), das: dass.
T. man there. T. is a tree; t. is not true; who was t.? He was so
angry t. he gave me a blow; I said t. he was wise.
* T. is to say. (S0 t.).
** (For all t.).
the, adj. oi:; le, la, les; der, die, das.
T. man in the black coat; t. gold question; t. one thing needed;
t. poor are ever here; London is on t. River Thames.
** T. quicker he goes t. better for him.
theater, ’6iata*‘. International word.
themselves, n. Basic words. They, them (not any other persons).
then, adv., conj. ben; alors: donc; damals: also, folglich.
(e) After that; puis; clann.
It was different t.; he was t. 10 years old. T. I will see you tomorrow.
T. he got angry; we came first to a field and t. to a wood.
* Do it, t.
INTERNATIONAL SECOND LANGUAGE 347
theory (theories), n. ’9iori; théorie; Theorie.
Put forward a t. of how the crime was done; a t. of values;
Einstein's two theories.
* (In t.).
there, adv. oaf; Za, y; da, dart, dahin.
He was not t. at the time of the smash; t. is the place; are you t.?
I am in agreement with you t.
* T. is time for a meal. (Here and t. you come across a man with money).
** There !
these. See this.
they (them, their). See he.
thick (—ly), a. Gik; épais, gros; dick.
(e) Measured from front to back or from top to under side;
having great number of units in a small space; (of liquid and so on)
not clear, thick in substance; Jépaisseur: épais: trouble; dick: dicht, dick.
Building a t. wall. The board is 2 inches t. Your hair is very t.;
country thickly covered with trees. A t. mist; t. soup.
thin (—ly), a. 0in; maigre, mince; diinn.
(s) (Of person, animal) without much fat.
(e) Widely spaced: thin in substance; clair, semé: clair.
A t. book. A t. person. The grass is t. T. blood; thinly clothed.
thing, n. 0ing; chose; Ding, Sache.
It is quite a small t.; a t. for making holes; get tt. for the house;
do a number of tt.; the t. is on my mind; how are tt. going?; take
control of tt.
** The great t. is to be healthy; poor t.!
this (these), a., pron. tiiis; ce(tte) . . . (ei): ceci; diese(-r, —s).
T. house here is mine; t. time we will go together; come t. week.
T. is my room; who is t.?; t. makes us equal; my point is t.
those. See that.
though, conj. oou; quoique; obgleich.
The road is wet t. it is not raining; t. old, he is strong.
thought, n. Bait; pensée; Gedanke.
(e) Act of thought; action de penser; Denken.
Put tt. into words; have no t. of going; t1·oubled by the t. of death.
Give t. to the question; be deep in t.
** On second thoughts, I will not go.
348 BASIC ENGLISH
thread (—er, -ing, -ed), noun. 0red; fil; Faden.
(e) Line of connection.
There is a t. on your coat; get some red t.; threading a needle;
threading one’s way through the trees. The t. ofthe argument.
throat, n. ’0rout; gorge; Kehle. V
Have a dry t.; take food down one’s t.; he put his hands round her throat.
through, prep., adv. Grux; ci trcwers, par; dutch.
(e) With the help of; par Fintermécliaire de.
Go t. the hole; come t. the door; all t. the day; breathing t.
one's nose; a hole t. the wall; see t. a trick; get t. money (work).
Do it t. ·a representative. Get t.
thumb (—er, —ing, -ed), n. 0Am; pouce; Daumen.
Gripping it between his finger and t.; thumbing the pages.
thunder (-er, -ing, -ed), n. ’9Anda’*; tonnerre; Donner.
(e) Loud noise.
There is t. about; it is thundering. The t. of the guns; the police
were thundering on the door.
ticket (-er, -ing, -ed), n. ’tikit; billet, etiquette; (Fehr-)Karte, Zettel.
Get a t. for the journey (theater); the price t.; ticketing the books.
ticket-office, s. Basic words. Place where one gets tickets.
tight (-ly), a. tait; serré, ferme, étmit; fest, eng, straf.
In a t. grip; his hands were chained tightly together; a t. dress;
a t. knot. Get the cord pulled t.
till, prep., conj. til; jusqifd; bis.
Waiting t. tomorrow; she did not come back t. I0. He was unhappy t. they came.
time (-er, —ing, —ed), n. taim; fois, temps; Mal, Zeit.
(s) A point of time (as by the clock); heme, fois; Uhr, Mal.
(e) One taking place of an event: music time; temps; Tempo.
We have no t. for a meal; give t. to work; the process takes a long t.;
at one t. the sea came up here; in the t. of Caesar;
the meeting is timed for 10; timing an event. The t. is 4.30. I went
three tt.; four tt. three is 12. The band’s t. was wrong.
* In t. his wound became serious. (At tt. he seemed quite well).
** He came in t. for the meeting; they came three at a t.; at the
same t. this may be said; keep t. (with). (T. off).
INTERNATIONAL SECOND LANGUAGE 349
time-table, noun. Basic words. Ordered list giving times of trains or doings.
tin (—ner, -ning, —ned), s. tin; étain, fer blanc; Zinn, Blech.
(e) Tin box or pot; boite [en fer blanc]; Blechbiichse.
A flat bit of t.; a t. plate. Keep cake in a t.; tinning fish; tinned milk.
tin—opener; noun. Basic words. Instrument for opening tins.
tired (un-, -ly), a. ’taiad; fatigué: miide.
(e) Having had more than enough of; lassé.
He gets t. quickly; after dancing till 2, she was quite untired; they
were walking tiredly down the road. The music makes me t.
*I get t. of his talk.
** She was t. out after the walk.
to, prep. tu:; a, vers; zu, an, nach, fur
Go t. the theater; an addition t. the family; give it t. me; give
attention t. details; he has a right t. the property; an answer t. a
question; a help t. the memory; the street is parallel t. the river;
that is equal t. this; a danger t. the public; in debt t.; she is married
t. an American; be kind t. animals; a wound t. one’s feelings.
* 1. That music is not to my taste.
2. They are dancing to the radio.
3. The question is not open to argument.
4. They have 2 machines face to face (back to back).
5. Your answer is not to the point.
6. To my surprise and regret, it is still going on.
7. Bad music is dear to the public.
8. The chances are IO to I that it will be better in the future.
9. Most of us are slow to get used to new forms of art.
10. I was able to make this last use clear earlier.
(They came t. an agreement; the train came t. a stop; facts came
t. light; he got into bad ways; she gave birth t. a son; newspapers
are given t. printing wrong facts; she had gone t. sleep; I am going
t. come; I have t. go; I have nothing t. do with her; she let us into
her secret; I made the material into a dress; she said that in answer
t. his question; this may be of use t. you; he’s about t. go; it was
changing from day t. day; that is t. say; so as t. get it right; in
addition t. this; his coat had come t. bits; it was t. his credit; have
350 BASIC ENGLISH
a good mind t. say so; he made ships t. scale; I put a stop t. it; he
gave way t. his feelings; I kept my word t. him; the boxes were at
right angles t. one another; he had the face t. say; the flowers had
gone t. seed; as t. that).
** Here’s t. him! (They came t. blows about it; come t. grips; she
came t. her senses again; it comes t. this; get t. work on; he kept
the secret t. himself; she put the words into my mouth; they were
put t. the test (t. flight); I will see t. the food; he was tricked into
doing it; she was walking up t. him; a person answering t. your
account; you have no business t. do it; put the design into effect;
he said it t. my face; 5s. t. the good; the horse was put out t. grass;
have ready t. hand; have the heart t.; take it t. heart; t. my knowl-
edge it was not so; I am looking forward t. the meeting; looking
up t. authority is right; these boots were made t. order; I came
in order t. see you; I gave place t. a younger man; it was all t. no
purpose; I have reason t. say so; put in salt t. taste; soft t. the touch;
put it down t.).
toast*, toust. International word.
tobacco, tdbaekou. International word.
today, noun., adv. Basic words. (On or in the space of) this day.
toe, n. tou; orteil; Zehe.
(e) Toe-part; bout; [Fuss-]Spitze.
His tt. have come through the sock. The t. of his shoe.
together, adv. to’getSo"*; ensemble; zusammen.
We went out t.; they all did it t.; put things t.; let us get t.; this
t. with that is very surprising.
tomorrow, adv., s. to’morou; demain; morgen.
I will go t. T. is the day of the test; the day after t.
tongue, n. trng; langue; Zunge.
(e) Language; long t.-like bit; Sprache: Zunge.
Put out your t. Talking a strange t. The t. of the shoe has come off;
they are out on that t. of land; tt. of flame.
tonight, noun., adv. Basic words. (On or in the space of) this night.
tooth (teeth), noun. tu;0; dent; Zahn.
(e) Toothlike form; denté, a dents.
I have a hole in a t.; she has very white teeth. The t. of a wheel.
toothbrush, noun. Basic words. Brush for cleaning the teeth.
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toothpaste, noun. Basic words. Paste for cleaning the teeth.
top (-per, -ping, -ped), n. top; haut, sommet; Spitze, oherer Teil.
(s) Cover; couvercle; Deckel.
(e) Best position; sommet; Spitze, Hohepunkt.
Go to the t. of the mountain; the t. of the table; the t. card; there
is a church topping the slope; a snow-topped wall. Put the t. on
the bottle. He is at the t. of the business; topping a list.
torpedo*, to:;’pi;dou. International word.
touch (—er, —ing, -ed), n. ’tAt_[; touche(r), contact; Beruhrung, Tasten.
(s) Way of touching; touche(r); Anschlag.
(e) Quality experienced by touch; toucher; Beriihrung.
touching, (e) Moving the softer feelings; émouvant; riihrend.
She gave her hair a t.; learning by t.; touching the Howers; the
wires are touching. A good t. on the piano. The smooth t. of the
polished wood. A touching story.
* He was out of (not in) t. with the authorities. (The camera picture was touched up).
** A cat is soft to the t. (A t. of the hat).
town, noun. taun; ville; Stadt.
Have a house in the t.
trade (-er, —ing, —ed), n. treid; commerce; Handel.
(e) Industry: way of making a living; industries métier; Industrie: Gewerhe.
Taxes are bad for t.; do t. with a country; trading with one an other.
The linen t. His t. is making shoes.
** He does t. in horses; he was trading on his name.
trade-mark, noun. Basic words. Special mark of maker on goods.
tradesman, noun. Basic words. Storekeeper.
train (-er, -ing, -ed), noun. trein; train; [Eisenbahn—]Zug.
(e) Line of things; suite; Zug.
training (e) Education; entrainement, practique, éducation; Ausbildung.
Take the t. to Durban; go by t. A t. of carriages. Give him a good
training as a builder; training a horse; a trained secretary; he is an
transport (—er, -ing, -ed), noun. ’trmnspo:t; transport; Transport.
A ship for the transport of goods; the transport business; damaged in transport;
transporting machines from Birmingham to India.
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tray, noun. trei; plateau; Tablett.
tree, noun. trix; arbre; Baum.
(e) Family tree or other such map; arbre gériéalogique: Stammbaum.
The t. gives shade; an apple t. Make a t. of the family.
trick (-er, -ing, —ed), n. trik; tour, mariiere de faire; Knit}.
(s) Stage-trick; artifice, tour d’addresse; Kunststiick.
(e) False behavior; ruse, tricherie; Kniff.
This is the t. of opening it. He does tt. with cards; the dog does
a balancing t. He got the money by a t.; tricking his friend.
** (Tricked into; playing a t.).
trouble (-er, -ing, -ed), n. ’trAbl; troubles; Sehwierigkeit, Mdhe, Unruhe.
(s) Trouble of mind; ermuis; Sorge.
(e) Thing causing trouble; ermui; Plage.
There is t. in India; have t. with the boys; get into t. with the
authorities; he took no t. with his work; troubling the teacher with
questions. A person in great t.; troubling news. The flies are a t. to him.
** Take the t. to go.
trousers (trousers), n. ’trauzoz; pantalort; Hose.
He put on his t.; some of his trousers have holes in them.
true (un-, —ly), a. tru; vrai; wahr.
(e) With unchanging feelings; fidéle; treu.
A t. story; it is not a t. monkey; what he says is quite untrue.
Be t. to a person; have a t. heart; yours truly.
*Her fears came t.
turn (—er, -ing, -ed) , n. ’ta;n; tour, action de tourner; (Um-) Drehung, Wiendung.
(e) A person’s time to do something in order after another person or other persons; tour; Reihe.
turning (e) Changing; (se) changeant; Umwandlurig.
Give the key a t.; make a t. to the right; she is turning her face
away; his trousers are turned up; turning the wheel. Waiting for
one’s t. The milk is turning into butter; the men were turned into pigs.
* He, in his t., became ill. (The page is turned over.),
** The card was played out of t.; they took tt. at going; turning
it over in one’s mind; turning out well (badly).
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turnover, noun. Amount of business done, measured by money taken.
turn-table, noun. Basic words. Any table—like part or apparatus which
goes round, used, for example, for turning train-engines.
twist (—er, —ing, —ed), n. twist; action de tordre; Drehung.
(s) Twist damaging muscle; entorse; (Ver—)Zerrung.
(e) Turn of sense: deformation; Verdrehung.
twister, (e) Person who is not straightforward; escroc; Verdreher, Gauner.
The pig’s tail has a t. in it; twisting the threads together;
a twisted mouth. Give one's leg a t. You give a t. to everything I say.
The man is a twister and full of tricks.
The letter U
umbrella, noun. Am’brela; parapluie; (Regen-) Schirm.
She put her umbrella up in the rain.
under, prep, ’Anda*"; sous; unter.
(e) Less than.
underclothing, noun, Basic words Clothing put on under dress.
Under the table; the water under the earth; be under a cloud; he has the
machine under control; under his rule the nation became great; he is under the
head teacher. She is still under 21. ,
* An idea under discussion; an army under fire.
** (Wet under foot; the book is there under your nose; under protest;
nothing under the sun will make me different).
undercooked, adj. Basic words. Not cooked enough.
undergo, verb. Basic words. Have the experience of.
undergrowth, noun. Basic words. Low growth of plants, trees.
undermined, adj. Basic words. Damaged from the base.
undersigned, noun., adj. Basic words. (Person) whose name is signed at the foot (of the paper).
undersized, adj. Basic words. Smaller than normal.
understatement, noun. Basic words. Statement in which amounts or facts
are made to seem less, or less important, than they are.
undertake, verb. Basic words. 1. Take in hand (work). 2. Say one will do (something).
undertaking, noun. Basic words. 1. Work, business (to be) undertaken.
2. Statement that one will do something, word (e).
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undervalued, adj. Basic words. With less than the true value put on it,
viewed as of less value than it is.
undo, verb. Basic words. 1. Get open or loose (parcel, coat).
2. Do some thing to take away the efliect of what has been done.
unit (-er, -ing, -ed), noun. ’ju;nit; unite; Einheit.
united, (-ing), (e) joined together; uni; vereinigt, einig.
university, ju(;)ni’Ae;siti. International word.
A note is a unit of sound; a second is a unit of time. United by their
interest in education; a united family; make a united attempt.
up, prep., adv. ^p; en haut; hinauf, auf.
Go up a mountain; up a scale; up a river; get up a tree. Get a tree up;
go up to the top; come up to one’s hopes; building up a business;
get up from one's seat; get up in the morning.
*1. At school, dressing up was one of my greatest pleasures.
2. Now, it is hard even to get my overcoat buttoned up.
3. In a cold country, all one’s force is used up in the attempt to keep warm.
4. Bread has to be cut (broken) up for the birds.
5. Even if your house is shut (locked) up, the rain may get in.
6. Yesterday there was ice in the bath and the drains got stopped up.
7. Get the pipes yixed up again before the spring!
8. The wet places on the walls have to be touched up.
9. There is no need to get worked up about it.
10. In England, we have to put up with small troubles of this sort.
(He got up the play in a week; the manager gave up hope completely;
the actors kept up their interest; I kept up with the developments;
he made up the play himself; they took it up seriously; he was
walking up (down) the street; put up an argument).
** He saw someone walking up to him; he had been making up for a loss.
(The question came up for discussion; getting up steam;
made up of men; they did not take up arms; they were taken up with
thoughts about trade; they were cleaning up the prisons; full up;
there were men Joining up at the army-station; the army is much
looked up to; mixed up in your ideas; opening up a country; screwing up
boxes is simple; washing up).
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upkeep, noun. Basic words. (Price of) keeping in good condition.
uplift, noun. Basic words. The process of getting thoughts lifted to higher
things, or teaching and so on which does this.
upright, adj. Basic words. 1. Straight up. 2. Good (in behavior).
upside—down, a., adv. Basic words. Turned over with the under side up.
uptake, noun. Basic words. (Power of) getting the idea (point) of something.
us, See I.
use (-er, -ing, -ed), noun juzs; usage, emploi; Gebrauch, Anwendung.
(e) Use-value; utilité; Nutzen.
used, (uses) Used up; épuisé; aufgebraucht, benutzt.
Before the use. of electric power; using one’s brains. This apparatus
has an important use; make use of. A used match; all the butter has been used.
* (The machine is in use; these facts may be of use ; you will get
used to them; my force is used up).
A , B ,
C , D ,
E , F ,
G , H ,
I , J , K ,
L , M ,
N , O ,
P , Q ,
R , S ,
T , U ,
V , W ,
X , Y , Z .
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Last updated : 25Nov2012
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