The Commonest 2-Syllable Words

Today’s Mental Floss Brain Game notes that the 25 most commonly used verbs in English are all one-syllable words and asks what #26 is, the most common two-syllable verb in the language.

And the answer is… (Go ahead and guess as you scroll down!)

become.

The number 27 verb is also a two-syllable word: include. However, you only have to go seven words down the list of commonest adjectives to find one that’s multi-syllabic: little. And only two nouns down to find person.

Of these, it’s interesting that only person makes the overall list of 100 commonest words. (Or people as it happens to be listed.) Bumping so many two-syllable nouns, verbs, and adjectives down the ranks are a slew of single-syllable conjunctions, articles, and other function words.

(Mental Floss’s Brain Game source, and mine, is “Facts About the Language” at Oxford Dictionaries.)

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