Do the Math
We have seen that the Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words in current use, whereas a vocabulary of just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts. If you do the math, that’s 1.75% of the total number of words in use! That’s right, by knowing 1.75% of the English dictionary, you’ll be able to understand 95% of what you read. That’s still just 7.5% of the average passive vocabulary of a native speaker (3000 vs. 40,000 words). Isn’t that great news?