Old English/Vocabulary/100 Keywords

< Old English

This list is intended to help you prioritize 100 very important words to learn in Old English, but you'll certainly need to go beyond it to get a good understanding of Old English.


Abbreviations used here: 1st per. - first person; 2nd per. - second person; 3rd per. - 3rd person; acc. - accusative; art. - article; av. - adverb; conj. - conjunction; dat. - dative; dem. - demonstrative; fem. - feminine; gen. - gentive; hv. - helping verb; imp. - imperative; ind. - indicative; lv. - linking verb; masc. - masculine; neut. - neuter; nom. - nominative; pl. - plural; prep. - prepositionl; pres. - present; pron. - pronoun; pt. - participle; sg. - singular; subj. - subjunctive; vi. - intransitive verb; vt. - transitive verb.


Note that the numbers of this numbered list do not signify any kind of priority over other words in the list, rather they to help keep track of how many words there are and make sure there are only 100.

  1. cuman sIV - to come
  2. dōn (pres. ind.: 1st per. dō; 2nd per. dēst; 3rd per. dēþ; pl. dōþ; pres. sub.: sg. dō; pl. dōn; past ind.: sg. dyde; pl. dydon; past subj. formed off past ind. pl.; past pt.: dōn; pres. pt.: dōnde; imp.: sg. dō; pl. dōþ) - vt. to do, to make
  3. for prep. +dat. - for, for the benefit of; because of
  4. fram prep. +dat - out of, from; away from; by (person/agent)
  5. gān (pres. ind.: 1st per. gā; 2nd per. gǣst; 3rd per. gǣþ; pl. gāþ; pres. sub.: sg. gā; pl. gān; past ind.: sg. ēode; pl. ēodon; past subj. formed off past ind. pl.; past pt.: gān; pres. pt.: gānde; imp.: sg. gā; pl. gāþ) - to go, to travel
  6. ġē (acc. ēowiċ, ēow; dat. ēow; gen. ēower) - you (plural), you guys, you all
  7. ġit (acc. inċit, inċ; dat. inċ; gen. inċer) - you two, you both
  8. (acc. hine; dat. him; gen. his) - he
  9. hēo (acc. hīe; dat. and gen. hire) - she
  10. hēr - av. here, at this place
  11. hider - av. here, hither, to this place
  12. hit (acc. hit; dat. him; gen. his) - it
  13. hwā (acc. hwone; dat. hwǣm, hwām; gen. hwæs) - who?
  14. hwæt (acc. hwæt; dat. hwǣm, hwām; gen. hwæs) - what?
  15. hwider - av. where?, whither?, to what place?
  16. (acc. meċ, mē; dat. mē; gen. mīn) - I
  17. macian w2 - to make
  18. man pron. (used usually only in nominative) - one, "you", someone (as in "one/you might say")
  19. nāht pron. (acc. nāht; dat. nāhte; gen. nāhtes) - nothing
  20. nā/nō av. - never, (emphatic) not (when used with verbs); not (when used with adjectives)
  21. ne av. - not (used with verbs only) (comes before the verb in Old English, unlike in Modern English - so "Iċ ne cume" - "I am not coming", and not "Iċ cume ne")
  22. prep. +acc. - up to, until, so far as (of time or space)
  23. se (masc.: nom. se; acc. þone; dat. þǣm, þām; gen. þæs; neuter: nom and acc. þæt; dat. þǣm, þām; gen. þæs; feminine: nom. sēo; acc. þā: gen. and dat. þǣre; plural all genders: nom. and acc. þā; dat. þǣm, þām; gen. þāra) - art. the; dem. that; pron. that (one)
  24. seċġan (pres. ind.: 1st per. seċġe; 2nd per. sæġst, sagast; 3rd per. sæġþ, sagaþ; pl. seċġaþ; pres. sub.: sg. seċġe; pl. seċġen; past ind.: sg. sæġde, sagode; pl. sæġdon, sagodon; past subj. formed off past ind. pl.; past pt.: sæġd; pres. pt.: seċġende; imp.: sg. saga; pl. sagaþ) w3 - vt. to say, to tell
  25. prep. +dat. - to, towards
  26. þanne/þonne - av. then, at that time, during that time; conj. when, during which time; than (in comparative clauses)
  27. þǣr - av. there, at that place; then, at that time; conj. when, at which time
  28. þider - av. - there, thither, to that place
  29. þes (masculine: nom.. þes; acc. þisne; dat. þissum; gen. þisses; neut.: nom. and acc. þis; dat. þissum; gen. þisses; fem.: nom. þēos; acc. þās; dat. and gen. þisre, þisse; pl. all genders: nom. and acc. þās; dat. þissum; gen. þisra) - dem. this; pron. this (one)
  30. þū (acc. þeċ, þē; dat. þē; gen. þīn) - you (talking to only one person), thou
  31. (acc. ūsiċ, ūs; dat. ūs; gen. ūre) - we
  32. weorðan sIIIc - lv. to become, to turn into
  33. wesan/bēon (pres. ind.: 1st per. eom, bēo, bēom; 2nd per. eart, bist; 3rd per. is, biþ; pl. sind, sindon, bēoþ; pres. sub.: sg. sīe, bēo; pl. sīen, bēon; past ind.: sg. wæs; pl. wǣron; past subj. formed off past ind. pl.; past pt.: bēon (only ever used once - use usually instead past pt. of "weorðan" or simple past of "wesan"); pres. pt.: wesende, bēonde; imp.: sg. wes, bēo; pl. wesaþ, bēoþ) (note that the "bēon" forms can actually have an explicitly future sense) - lv. to be; vi. to exist
  34. willan (pres. ind.: 1st per. wille; 2nd per. wilt; 3rd per. wile; pl. willaþ; pres. sub.: sg. wille; pl. willen; past ind.: sg. wolde; pl. woldon; past subj. formed off past ind. pl.; past pt. not recorded to ahve existed; pres. willende; imp. forms not recorded to have existed) - hv. to want, to desire (note that this verb never takes a nominal object)
  35. wit (acc. uncit, unc; dat. unc; gen. uncer) - we two, we both