This maximum Basic English word list must not be confused with the definition of Basic English as 850 words plus 150 specialty words. This maximum list is simply what the advanced student, with an interest in all general areas - not specialties - will know when transiting from the Basic English language to standard English language. It actually contains well over two thousand words. In fact, the student is expected to know one specialty (science, business, verse, etc.) topic with an additional 50 words that are not of interest to the general audience (chemistry, geology, economics, Bible, etc.).
VOA Special English has a 1,500 word vocabulary -- expanded with prefix and suffix and an addendum of science words. VOA Special English is used every day in international news broadcasts -- thus proving that a simple vocabulary is effective. As such, VOA Special English would be considered by Ogden to be a specialty area of international news. Ogden sought the advice of Radio Committees in different countries for a radio specialty word list and a preliminary list is included here. It consists of 248 words of general interest, not limited to news.
It will be interesting to compare VOA Special English with an approximately same sized lists of Basic English. Selection from the various Basic English lists to limit to 1,500 words will be somewhat arbitrary. Basic English 1500 will consist of the 850, the general topic areas, news parts of the radio specialty list, and enough of the Basic English "next step" list to make the 1,500 number. Direct comparison may not be totally appropriate, but it will be interesting to see what two lists of a 1,500 word level vocabulary (nominal) looks like. This page is preparatory to making a side by side listing.
Basic: a , able, about, account, acid, across, act, addition, adjustment, advertisement, agreement, after, again, against, air, all, almost, am, among, amount, amusement, an, and, angry, angle, animal, answer, ant, any, apparatus, apple, approval, arch, argument, arm, army, art, as, association, at, attack, attempt, attention, attitude, attraction, authority, automatic, awake .
Intl: alcohol , Algebra , aluminum , ammonia , anesthetic , April , Arithmetic , asbestos , August , autobus , automobile .
Next: absence , absorption , acceleration , acceptance , accessory , accident , active , address , adjacent , adventure , advice , age , agent , agency , ago , allowance , along , also , alternative , always , ambition , amplitude , anchor , ankle , appendage , application , approximation , arbitration , arbitrary , arc , area , arrangement , ash , asset , assistant , average , awkward , axis .
Compound: aftereffect, afftertaste, afterthought, aircushion, airman, airmen, airplane, airtight, another, anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anywhere, away .
Endings: actor, acting .
Basic: baby, back, bad, bag, balance, ball, band, base, basin, basket, bath, be, beautiful, because, bed, bee, been, before, behavior, belief, bell, bent, berry, best, better, between, bird, birth, bit, bite, bitter, black, blade, blood, blow, blue, board, boat, body, bone, book, boot, boiling, bottle, box, boy, brain, brake, branch, brass, bread, breath, brick, bridge, bright, broken, brother, brown, brush, bucket, building, bulb, button, burn, burst, business, but, butter, by.
Intl: ballet , Bang , bank , bar , beef , beer , Biology , bomb .
Next: balcony , bale , bankrupt , bark , barrel , beak , beaker , beard , beat , behind , belt , bet , bill , birefringence , blame , blanket , both , bottom , brave , break, breakfast , breast , broker , bubble , bud , budget , buoyancy , bunch , burial , busy .
Compound: backbone, backwoods, become, became, bedroom, beeswax, birthday, birthright, blackberry, blackbird, blackboard, bloodvessel, bluebell, bookkeeper, brushwood, buttercup .
Endings: basing, based , builder , burner, burned, burning .
Basic: cake, camera, canvas, card, care, carriage, cart, cat, cause, certain, chain, chalk, chance, change, cheap, cheese, chemical, chest, chief, chin, church, circle, class, clean, clear, clock, cloth, cloud, coal, coat, cold, collar, color, comb, come, comfort, committee, community, common, company, comparison, competition, complete, complex, computer, condition, connection, conscious, control, cook, copper, copy, cord, cork, cotton, cough, country, cover, cow, crack, credit, crime, cruel, crush, cry, culture, cup, custom, current, curtain, curve, cushion, cut.
Intl: cafe , calendar , catarrh , cent , centi- , champagne , chauffeur , chemist , Chemistry , check , chocolate , chorus , cigarette , circus , citron , club , coffee , cocktail , cognac , College , colony .
Next: calculation , call , came , capacity , capital , carpet , cartilage , case , cast , cave , cavity , cell , ceremony , certificate , chair , character, charge , child , chimney , china , choice , circulation , circuit , circumference , civilization , clay , claim , claw , cleavage , clever , client , climber, clip , code , coil , collision , collection , column , combination , combine , communications , complaint , component , compound , concept , concrete , conductor , congruent , conservation , consignment , constant , consumer , continuous , contour , convenient , conversion , cool , corner , correlation , corrosion , cost , court , creeper , crop , cross , cunning , cusp , customs .
Compound: cardboard, carefree, caretaker, clockwork, commonsense, copyright, cupboard .
Endings: carter, clothier, clothing , cooker, cooked, cooking , crying.
Basic: damage, danger, dark, daughter, day, dead, dear, death, debt, decision, deep, degree, delicate, dependent, design, desire, destruction, detail, development, did , different, digestion, direction, dirty, discovery, discussion, disease, disgust, distance, distribution, division, do , does , dog, done , door, down, doubt, drain, drawer, dress, drink, driving, drop, dry, dust.
Intl: dance , December , deci- , degree , dollar , Dominion , dynamite .
Next: damping , date , debit , deck , decrease , defect , deficiency , deflation, degenerate , delivery , demand , denominator , department , desert , density , deposit , determining, dew , diameter , difference , difficulty , drift, dike , dilution, dinner , dip , direct, disappearance , discharge, discount, disgrace , dislike , dissipation, disturbance, ditch , dive , divisor , divorce , doll , domesticating , dreadful , dream , duct , dull , duty .
Compound: daylight, downfall .
Endings: daily, dancer, dancing (to) , designer, dressing (up), driver , dropped, dropper , duster.
Basic: ear, early, earth, east, edge, education, effect, egg, elastic, electric, end, engine, enough, environment, equal, error, even, event, ever, every, example, exchange, existence, expansion, experience, expert, eye.
Intl: eight , electricity , eleven , Embassy , Empire , encyclopedia , engineer , euro .
Next: each , easy , economy , efficiency , effort , either , elimination , employer , employment , empty , enemy , envelope , environment, envy , equation , erosion, eruption , evaporation , evening , exact , excitement , experiment, exercise , explanation , explosion , export , expression , extinction , eyebrow , eyelash .
Compound: ear-ring, earthwork, evergreen, everybody, everyday, everyone, everything, everywhere, eyeball .
Basic: face , fact , fall , false , family , far , farm , farther , fat , father , fear , feather , feeble , feeling , female , fertile , fiction , field , fight , finger , fire , first , fish , fixed , flag , flame , flat , flight , floor , flower , fly , fold , food , foolish , foot , for , force , fork , form , forward , fowl , frame , free , frequent , friend , from , front , fruit , full , further , future .
Intl: February , fifteen , fifth , fifty , five , four , fourteen , fourth , forty , Friday .
Next: factor , failure , fair , famous , fan , fastening , fault, ferment, fertilizing , fever , fiber , figure , fin , financial , flash , flask , flesh , flood , flour , focus , forecast , forehead , foreign , forgiveness , fraction , fracture , fresh , friction , flint , flood , flow , foliation , frost , frozen , fume , funnel , funny , fur , furnace , furniture , fusion .
Compound: fatherland, fingerprint, firearm, fire-engine, firefly, fireman, fireplace, firework, first-rate, football, footlights, footman, footnote, footprint, footstep .
Endings: farmer , fisher(man) , folder , fired, firing.
Basic: gave , garden , general , get , girl , give , glass , glove , go , goat , goes , gold , gone , good , got , gat , government , grain , grass , great , green , grey/gray , grip , group , growth , guide , gun .
Intl: gas , Geography , Geology , Geometry , gram , glycerin .
Next: gate , generation , germ , germinating , gill, glacier , gland, god , grand , grateful , grating , gravel , grease , grief , grocery , groove , gross, ground , guard , guarantee, guess , gum .
Compound: gasworks, goldfish, goodlooking, good-morning, goodnight, gunboat, gun-carriage, gunmetal, gunpowder .
Endings: gardener .
Basic: had , hair , hammer , hand , hanging , happy , harbor , hard , harmony , has , hat , hate , hath , have , he , head , healthy , hearing , heart , heat , helicopter , help , her , here , heredity , high , him , history , hole , hollow , hook , hope , horn , horse , hospital , hour , house , how , humor .
Intl: half , hiss , hotel , hundred , hyena , hygiene , hysteria .
Next: habit , handkerchief , handle , heavy , hedge , hill , hinge, hire , hold , holiday , home , honest , honey , hoof , host , human , hunt , hurry , hurt , husband .
Compound: handbook, handwriting, headdress, headland, headstone, headway, hereafter, herewith, highlands, highway, himself, horseplay, horsepower, hourglass, houseboat, housekeeper, however .
Endings: hanger, heater, heated, heating .
Basic: I , ice , idea , if , ill , important , impulse , in , increase , industry , ink , insect , instrument , insurance , interest , invention , iron , is , island , it , its .
Intl: Imperial , inch, inferno , influenza , international .
Next: igneous , image , imagination , import , impurity , incentive, inclusion , index , individual , inflation , infinity , inheritance , innocent , institution , insulator , integer, integration, intelligent , intercept, internet, interpretation , intersection, intrusion , investigation , investment , inverse , invitation .
Compound: inasmuch, income, indoors, inland, inlet, input, inside, instep, into, itself .
Basic: jelly , jewel , join , journey , judge , jump .
Intl: January , jazz , July , June .
Next: jam , jaw , jealous , jerk , joint , jug , juice , jury , justice .
Endings: jeweler , joiner .
Basic: keep , kept , kettle , key , kick , kind , kiss , knee , knife , knot , knowledge .
Intl: kilo- , King .
Next: kennel , kidney , kitchen , knock
Endings: keeper .
Basic: land , language , last , late , laugh , law , lead , leaf , learning , least, leather , leg , left , less , let , letter , level , library , lift , light , like , limit , line , linen , lip , liquid , list , little , living , lock , long , loose , loss , loud , love , low .
Intl: latitude , lava , liter , liqueur , longitude .
Next: lace , lag , lake , lame , lamp , large , latitude, lawyer , layer, lazy , lecture , legal , length, lens , lesson , lever , lever , liability , license , lid , life , lime , limestone, link, liver , load , local , load , loan, locus , look , longitude , luck , lump , lunch , lung .
Compound: landmark, landslip, lighthouse, looking-glass .
Endings: laughing (at), learner ,likely, locker, locking (up).
Basic: machine , made , man , manager , make , male , map , mark , market , married , match , material , mass , may , me , meal , measure , meat , medical , meeting , memory , metal , middle , might , military , milk , mind , mine , minute , mist , mixed , money , monkey , month , moon , more, morning , most , mother , motion , mountain , mouth , move , much , muscle , music , my , .
Intl: macaroni , madam , magnetic , malaria , mania , March , Mathematics , May , meter , meow , micro- , microscope , mile , milli- , million , minute , Monday , Museum .
Next: magic , magnitude, manner , many , marble , margin , marriage , mast , mattress , mature , mean , meaning , medicine , medium, melt , member , mess , message , metabolism , mill , mineral , mixture , model , modern , modest , momentum , monopoly , mood , moral , moustache , mud , multiple , multiplication , murder .
Compound: manhole, maybe , myself .
Endings: marked , miner .
Basic: nail , name , narrow , nation , natural , near , necessary , neck , need , needle , nerve , net , never , new , news , night , no , noise , normal , north , nose , not , note , now , number , nut .
Intl: neutron , nickel , nicotine , nine , November .
Next: nasty , nature , navy , neat , neglect , neighbor , nest , next , nice , node , nostril , nuclear, nucleus , numerator , nurse .
Compound: network, newspaper, nobody, nothing, nowhere .
Endings: nearer , noted .
Basic: observation , of , off , offer , office , oil , old , on , one ,only , open , operation , opinion , opposite , or , orange , order , organization , ornament , other , our , out , oven , over , owner.
Intl: October , olive , once , omelet , one , opera , opium , orchestra , organism .
Next: obedient , officer , orchestra , ore , organ , origin , outcrop , outlier , overlap , oval , own , oxidation .
Compound: offspring, oncoming, oneself, onlooker, onto, outburst, outcome, outcry, outdoor, outgoing, outhouse, outlaw, outlet, outline, outlook, output, outside, outskirts, outstretched, overacting, overall overbalancing, overbearing, overcoat, overcome, overdo, overdressed, overfull, overhanging, overhead, overland, overleaf, overloud, overseas, overseer, overshoe, overstatement, overtake, overtaxed, overtime overturned, overuse, overvalued, overweight, overworking .
Basic: page , pain , paint , paper , parallel , parcel , part , past , paste , payment , peace , pen , pencil , person , physical , picture , pig , pin , pipe , place , plane , plant , plate , play , please , pleasure , plough/plow , pocket , point , poison , polish , political , poor , porter , position , possible , pot , potato , powder , power , present , price , print , prison , private , probable , process , produce , profit , property , prose , protest , public , pull , pump , punishment , purpose , push , put .
Intl: pajamas , paraffin , paradise , park , passport , patent , pence, penny, penguin , petroleum , phonograph , Physics , Physiology , piano , platinum , police , post , potash , pound , President , Prince , Princess , program , propaganda , Psychology , Purr , pyramid .
Next: packing , pad , pair , pan , paragraph , parent , particle , partner , party , passage , path , patience , pedal , pendulum , pension , people , perfect , petal , piston , plain, plan, plaster , plug , poetry , pollen , pool , population , porcelain , practice , praise , prayer , pressure , prick , priest, prime , probability , product , progress , projectile , projection , promise , proof , proud , pulley , pupil , purchase , pure .
Compound: pincushion, plaything , policeman, postman, postmark, postmaster, postoffice.
Endings: painter, painting , parting , playing, played , pleased (with) , pointer, pointing (at) , potter , printer , prisoner , producer,
Basic: quality , question , quick , quiet , quite .
Intl: Quack , quarter , Queen , quinine .
Next: quantity , quotient.
Basic: rail , rain , range , rat , rate , ray , reaction , red , reading , ready , reason , receipt , record , regret , regular , relation , religion , representative , request , respect , responsible , rest , reward , rhythm , rice , right , ring , river , road , rod , roll , roof , room , root , rough , round , rub , rule , run .
Intl: radio , radium , referendum , restaurant , rheumatism , Royal , rum .
Next: race , radiation, ratio, reagent , real , receiver , reciprocal , rectangle , recurring , reference , reflux , reinforcement , relative , remark , remedy , rent , repair , reproduction , repulsion , resistance , residue , resolution , result , retail , revenge , reversible , rich , rigidity , rise, rival , rock , rot , rotation , rude , rust .
Compound: reasonable , runaway .
Endings: raining, reader, reading , roller , ruler , rubber
Basic: sad , said , safe , sail , salt , same , sand , saw , say , scale , school , science , scissors , screw , sea , seat , second , secret , secretary , see , seed , seen . seem , selection , self , send , sense , sent , separate , serious , servant , sex , shade , shake , shame , sharp , she , sheep , shelf , ship , shirt , shock , shoe , short , shut , side , sign , silk , silver , simple , sister , size , skin , skirt , sky , sleep , slip , slope , slow , small , smash , smell , smile , smoke , smooth , snake , sneeze , snow , so , soap , society , sock , soft , solid , some , son , song , sort , sound , soup , south , space , spade , special , sponge , spoon , spring , square , stage , standard , stamp , star , start , statement , station , steam , steel , stem , step , stick , sticky , stiff , still , stitch , stocking , stomach , stone , stop , store , story , straight , strange , street , strong , structure , substance , such , sudden , sugar , suggestion , summer , sun , support , surprise , sweet , swim , system .
Intl: salad , sardine , Saturday , second , September , serum , seven , sir , six , sixteen , sport , Sunday .
Next: sac , sale , sample , satisfaction , saturated , saucer , saving, scale , scarp , schist , scratch , screen , seal , search , security , secretion , section, sedimentary , selfish , sensitivity , sentence , sepal , service , set , shadow , shale, share, shave , shear, sheet , shell , shore , shoulder , show , sight , sill , similarity , since , skull , slate , sleeve , slide , social , soil, soldier , solution , solvent , sorry , spark , specialization, specimen , speculation , spirit , spit , splash , spot , stable , stain , stair , stalk , stamen , statistics , steady , stimulus, storm , strain , straw , stream , strength , stress , strike , string , study , subject , substitution , subtraction, success , successive, sucker , sum , supply , surface , surgeon , suspension, suspicious , swelling, swing , switch , sympathetic .
Compound: seaman, secondhand, shorthand, sideboard, sidewalk, somebody, someday, somehow, someone, something, sometime, somewhat, somewhere, suchlike, sunburn, sunlight, sunshade, sweetheart .
Endings: sailor , shocking, shocked, snowing , steamer, stopper, stopping (up) , stretcher,.
Basic: table , tail , take , talk , tall , taste , tax , teaching , technology, tendency , test , than , that , the , their , them , then , theory , there , these , they , thick , thin , thing , this , those , though , thought , thread , throat , through , thumb , thunder , ticket , tight , tired , till , time , tin , to , toe , together , tomorrow , tongue , took, tooth , top , touch , town , trade , train , transport , tray , tree , trick , trousers , true , trouble , turn , twist .
Intl: tapioca , taxi , tea , telegram , telephone , television, ten , terrace , theater , thermometer , third , thirteen , thirty , thousand , three , Thursday , toast , tobacco , torpedo , Tuesday , turbine , twenty-one , twelve , twenty , twice , two .
Next: tailor , tame , tap , tear , tent , term, texture , thickness , thief , thimble , thorax , threat , thrust , tide , tie , tissue , tongs , too , total , towel , tower , traffic , tragedy , transmission , transparent , trap , travel , treatment , triangle , truck , tube , tune , tunnel , twin , typist .
Compound: today, tonight, tradesman .
Endings: talking (of), teacher , touching (up) , trader , trainer , training, troubling, troubled , turning (over) .
Basic: umbrella , under , unit , up, us , use .
Intl: university .
Next: ugly , unconformity , understanding , universe , unknown .
Compound: underclothing, undercooked, undergo, undergrowth, undermined, undersigned, undersized, understatement, undertake, undervalued, undo, upkeep, uplift, upon, upright, uproot, uptake .
Endings: used (to) .
Basic: value , verse , very , vessel , view , violent , voice .
Intl: vanilla , violin , visa , vitamin , vodka , volt .
Next: valency , valley , valve , vapor , variable, vascular, vegetable , velocity , vestigial , victim , victory , volume , vortex, vote .
Compound: viewpoint .
Basic: walk , wall , waiting , war , warm , was , wash , waste , watch , water , wave , wax , way , we , weather , week , weight , well , went, were , west , wet , what , wheel , when , where , which , while , whip , whistle , white , who , whom , whose , why , wide , will , wind , window , wine , wing , winter , wire , wise , with , woman , wood , wool , word , work , worm , would , wound , writing , wrong .
Intl: Wednesday , whisky .
Next: weak , wedge , welcome , whether , wholesale , widow , wife , wild , world , wreck , wrist .
Compound: waterfall, weekend, well-being, well-off, whatever, whenever, whereas, whereby, wherever, whichever, whitewash, whoever, windpipe, within, without, woodwork, workhouse .
Endings: waiter , worker , working (on, out, up) , writer , waiting, wasted .