These are the most common words in English, ranked in frequency order. The first 100 are said to make up about half of all written material.
The first 25 make up about one-third of all printed material in English and the first 300 make up about sixty-five percent of all written material in English: the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, word, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if, will, up, there, about, out, many, then, them, these, so, some, her, would, make, like, him, into, time, has, look, two, more, write, go, see, number, no, way, could, people, my, than, first, water, been, call, who, oil, its, now, find, long, down, day, did, get, come, made, may, part. (Source: Fry, Edward Bernard et. al., The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, 4th Edition. Paramus, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000.)
Another study, The Brown Corpus Standard Sample of Present-Day American English (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1979), cites: the, of, and, to, a, in, that, is, was, he, for, it, with, as, his, on, be, at, by, I, this, had, not, are, but, from, or, have, an, they, which, one, you, were, all, her, she, there, would, their, we, him, been, has, when, who, will, no, more, if, out, so, up, said, what, its, about, than, into, them, can, only, other, time, new, some, could, these, two, may, first, then, do, any, like, my, now, over, such, our, man, me, even, most, made, after, also, did, many, off, before, must, well, back, through, years, much, where, your, way.