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Name two of the four most frequently occurring words in English writing?




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Answer: the, of, and, to

According to John Allen Paulos in The formula for 'success' ( The Guardian, Thursday July 22, 2004):

"In English, for example, the word the appears most frequently and is said to have rank order 1; the words of rank 2, 3, and 4 are of, and, and to, respectively.

Zipf's Law relates the frequency of a word to its rank order k and states that a word's frequency in a written text is proportional to 1/k^1; that is, inversely proportional to the first power of k. (Thus of occurs half as frequently as the, and a third as frequently as the - and synecdoche hardly at all.)"

Note: Top Twenty Written English Words (in order of most to least used): the of and to in a for was is that on at he with by be it an as his

Top Twenty Spoken English Words (in order of most to least used): the and I to of a you that in it is yes was this but on well he have for

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