How many words do a native English speaker who graduated from university know?

Hello everybody. I want to speak many languages like native speakers and become a conference interpreter. Some people believe that native English speakers who graduated from university can use 60.000 words actively and understand 80.000 more. According to these people, an 'educated' native speaker knows roughly 140.000 words. As far as I know, Shakespeare could use 30.000 words actively and he understood 35.000 more. Many people, included native speakers, say that educated native speakers know 20.000-40.000 words. These 20.000-40.000 words contain active vocabulary and passive vocabulary. I am kind of confused. I don't think that anybody's active vocabulary could be 60.000 words. The size of

passive

vocabulary is always bigger than that of active vocabulary.  How many words do a native English speaker who graduated from university know?

2 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    How many words doES a native English speaker who graduated from university know?  

    It depends on the university and what they studied.  If you mean something in Liberal Arts, around 20,000.

  • 1 month ago

    Usually about 20,000 at most.  "Basic" English is 850 words, but,  90% of what we speak, and read are in that group.  Most people know 3-5,000, and only really educated people know 15-20,000.  People like Shakespeare know about 60,000, but, these people are exceptional.

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