Basic Vocabulary List by Category

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday weekend weekday
January February March April May June July August September October November December
winter spring summer fall autumn season

time moment millisecond second minute hour day week month quarter year decade century millenium eternity
a.m. p.m. day night evening morning yesterday morning noon afternoon evening midnight night tomorrow
after afterwards already before during not yet now still then until while

left right far near north south east west down up next to straight ahead between behind around across
avenue bank bathroom coffee shop church hospital highway hotel movie museum neighborhood park parking pharmacy police postoffice restaurant school street corner pool theater village city place
river lake sea ocean hill mountain map address kilometer mile meter

black blue brown clear cream dark gold golden gray green light lilac multicolored navy orange pink purple red silver tan transparent turquoise violet white yellow

clear cloudy cold cool dry foggy freezing frozen hail hailing heat hot humidity hurricane ice iced lighting mist rain slip slippery smoggy snow snowing storm sun sunny thunder tornado wet wind

weatheralcohol appetizer bar bill bottle bread breakfast cafe condiments course cup customer dessert drink fish fork fruit glass knife lunch main meal meat menu plate portion reservation restaurant salad seafood snack soup spoon starter supper table tip toilets toothpick vegetables waiter waitress

beef butter cheese chicken cod crab eggs fish grilled ham hot lamb lobster mutton oil omelette pepper pork prawns rice salami salmon salt sandwich sardine sausage seafood spicy squid steak sugar trout tuna veal vinegar

apple apricot artichoke asparagus avocado banana beans broccoli cabbage carrot cauliflower celery cherry coconut cucumber fruit garlic grapefruit grapes lemon lettuce mango melon onion orange papaya peach pear peas pepper pineapple potato pumpkin radish raspberry spinach strawberry tomato vegetables watermelon

ancestor relatives family grandfather grandmother grandparents parents mom mother dad father husband wife aunt uncle brother sister child children cousin daughter son granddaughter grandson nephew niece stepchild stepfather stepmother
people adult teenager baby boy girl female male man woman married single divorced widow widower orphan
boss colleague employee friend partner person boyfriend girlfriend

actor actress architect artist baker banker chemist cook correspondent dancer dentist doctor driver economist editor electrician employee engineer expert farmer firefighter fisherman florist gardener teacher hairdresser interpreter journalist judge lawyer librarian linguist mechanic musician notary nurse optician painter pensioner pharmacist photographer pilot plumber poet postman priest psychologist sailor scientist sculptor secretary shoemaker singer soldier tailor teacher translator unemployed veterinarian waiter worker writer

body skeleton spine bone organ brain heart lung kidney liver bladder intestines back backbone stomach waist muscle nerve chest skin head face beard moustache mouth eyebrow skull neck tooth forehead throat lips tongue cheek nose eye ear hair eyelash arm shoulder elbow hand armpit wrist palm thumb finger forefinger hips leg knee ankle thigh heel foot toe
earache headache stomachache backache sore throat

dining room yard garage laundry room bedroom pool apartment house living room kitchen bathroom front door elevator balcony gate roof sidewalk air conditioning porch
bed night table dresser bookcase chair coffee table curtains lamp plant painting sofa television refrigerator stove sink

answer ask listen point read say spell type watch write
class student teacher backpack book chair clock eraser notebook paper pen pencil table
teacher principal librarian janitor school library classroom cafeteria office hallway bathroom

belt blouse boots cap coat dress gloves hat jacket jeans pajamas pants raincoat scarf shirt shoes skirt slacks slippers socks stockings suit sweater sweatshirt tie trousers t-shirt underclothes underpants undershirt

alligator bear bird camel cat chicken chimpanzee cow crocodile deer dog dolphin duck eagle elephant fish fox frog giraffe goat hamster hippopotamus horse kangaroo kitten lion lobster monkey owl panda pig puppy rabbit rat seal shark sheep snail snake spider squirrel tiger turtle wolf zebra

add addition sum plus total equals subtract subtraction minus less difference deduct multiply times multiplication product divide division fraction quotient dividend divisor remainder square root mathematics

metric micron millimeter centimeter decimeter meter kilometer
inch foot yard rod mile
tonne kilotonne centner kilogram carat gram centigram milligram microgram
ton pound ounce dram grain
hectoliter decaliter liter deciliter centiliter milliliter microliter
barrel gallon quart pint ounce
terabyte gigabyte megabyte kilobyte byte bit
Celsius Fahrenheit Kelvin temperature scale degrees

Distance, dimension, Size in people and things


The most common way of asking about distance is probably:

  • How far is it? Is it a long way? Is it a long way? Is it very far? Is it very far?
  • No, just round the corner. / a couple of minutes’ walk (= very near).
  • No, not far. / No, about five or ten minutes’ walk (= quite near).
  • Yeah quite a long way. / Yeah, over a mile.
  • Yes it’s a long way. / Yes it’s miles. / Yes it’s too far to walk.


  • We can use far in a question or negative but not in a positive statement on its own
  • We don’t say ‘it’s far’, we say ‘it’s a long way’. But we can say ‘it’s too far to walk’.

Size and dimension

We can describe size using the nouns above or the adjectives formed from them, like this:

  • What’s the length/width/height/depth/size of …?
  • How long/wide/high/tall/deep/big is …?


• We generally use tall to describe people, trees and buildings; and high to describe mountains. We also say high-rise buildings.

• Notice also that in the answer to these questions, an adjective follows the measurement: The garden is about ten metres wide. (= The width is about ten metres.)

Size in people and things

We use different words to describe the size of people and things:

  • a tall girl     (not a short girl)
  • a fat person    (not a thin person)
  • a long book (= many pages)    (not a short book)
  • a deep lake (= many metres)   (not a shallow lake)
  • a thick book (not a thin book)
  • a wide road    (not a narrow road)


  • We can use big or large to describe size in English, but not great.
  • For English speaking people, great (infml) = fantastic.
  • But we can use great before big to say that something is very big, e.g. I saw a great big dog in the park.
  • If you want to ask about size in clothes, you say: What size are you? or What size (shoes) do you take? If you don’t know, then you need someone to measure you.