Basic English

How do you start to learn English? Beginners often feel like there’s too much information and too little help. Fortunately, you can quickly learn basic skills with the right instruction.


Start with the alphabet and simple sounds. After that, find out if you learn better from seeing or hearing English. Try to develop reading and listening skills first. Say every new word out loud to improve your memory and pronunciation. Practice daily to make learning a life-long adventure. Promova can help you succeed by providing helpful tools on your way to success.

Find all the basic English learning resources you need in one place:

Nerd Glasses And A Library Book For Reading

What are the basics of English?

Firstly, basic English can be confusing because not everyone agrees on what it means. Many people refer to the 1925 “British American International and Commercial English,” simplified language created by Charles Ogden. However, we’re more interested in language learning than history. So for us, it’s more useful to talk about it as elementary and pre-intermediate English (A0/A1/A2). In other words, basics are the fundamental English words and skills that beginners need to learn the language.

Basic English learners practice:

Starting vocabulary to help you talk about topics such as people and places.

Common grammar rules that help you build short sentences.

Pronunciation rules and sounds to help you use the alphabet and syllables.

Listening and speaking skills to help you understand speech and ask questions.

English basics reference guide

Learn English grammar with these helpful references:


The original 1925 Basic English course suggests 850 core words for beginners. This is also true for language learners today, although we no longer use exact word lists. Instead, we break words down into topics for easier learning.


Words you can use to talk about family, friends, colleagues, or people in general.


Words you can use to describe rooms in your house, streets in your hometown, places in your country, and so on.


Words you can use to talk about cooking, healthy eating, different meals in your culture, and so on.


Words you can use to talk about where you work, money, office life, and professions in general.


Words you can use to talk about what you do in your free time, such as sports, travel, shopping, and so on.


Words you can use to describe different seasons, talk about the weather, and seasonal clothing.


Basic English classes often include simplified grammar. However, it’s better for new learners to take more time and learn the rules. In general, it’s harder to correct your habits if you don’t learn proper grammar from the start.

Parts of Speech

Covers nouns, pronouns, articles, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.


Covers the rules of forming sentences. They can be simple, complex, compound, and compound-complex.

Word order

Covers the correct word placement in a sentence. You can change the meaning of sentences by changing word order.


Covers the right way of writing words. There are a few common spelling rules in English that can help you write correctly.


Covers the correct forms of verbs to talk about different events in the past, future, and present.


Covers using punctuation symbols and periods to divide words into sentences and clauses.

3Language Use

Your ability to use the language in different situations. For basic learning, English tends to be easier because there are a lot of materials and media. As you complete exercises, you will improve your all-around skills and increase your fluency.


Covers your ability to understand written English. Basic skills include simple sentences and short texts.


Covers your ability to understand speech. Basic listening includes standard slow-paced speech in an American or British accent.


Covers your ability to write texts. Basic writing skills include simple sentences and short messages.


Covers your ability to communicate. Basic speaking skills include familiar topics and asking or answering simple questions.


Covers your ability to speak clearly. Basic pronunciation skills include sounds, syllables, and simple rules.

Test your English skills

Not sure how to start learning English? Find out how much you still remember from school and early life before you take a course. Test different language skills such as reading, listening, and language use. See your mistakes and find out how you can improve.

Test my skills

4 Ways to learn basic English with Promova

Native English Tutor
Promova App
Woman Says
English People

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People often ask

What are the fundamentals of English?

You can divide basic English into Grammar, Vocabulary, and Language Use skills. It takes roughly 120-200 hours of practice to develop a fundament. English beginners need to start with the alphabet and simple sounds, then learn basic grammar and word order to form sentences.

Practice is the best way to learn the basics. If you can use every core skill in your daily life, remembering rules and words become easier. You can use the many tools and resources on this page to find the best learning materials to develop your all-around skills.

What level is basic English?

In the modern CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference), basic English would start at A0 (beginner) and include A1 (elementary) and A2 (pre-intermediate). We include different levels because the term “basic English” often refers to a lot of different things. The most common definition is a simplified version of the language developed by linguist Charles Ogden in 1925. However, it's outdated and not very helpful for modern language learners.

You can think of basic English today as a list of 800-1500 common words and the core grammar rules you need to understand the language. However, even then, there’s no one specific thing that makes you go from “basic” to “advanced” or “fluent” English. Instead, it’s about meeting a series of language standards that determine your exact level.

What’s the best basic English course?

The Promova language learning app offers many lessons for English beginners. The best part about the course is that it teaches you English through images and associations. You don’t need to translate anything from your native language and learn intuitively, only using English to complete the exercises. Many learners find this incredibly helpful for general skill development.