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The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon™

The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon (OPAL) is a set of four word lists that together provide
an essential guide to the most important words and phrases to know in the field of English for
Academic Purposes (EAP). This list gives the 1200 most important words in academic writing,
divided into twelve sublists of 100 words each, with the most important words in Sublist 1.

Written single words


model n., v. benefit n., v. pressure n.
Sublist 1 national adj., n. care n. primary adj.
activity n. number n. category n. principle n.
affect v. occur v. characteristic n., adj. problem n.
analysis n. organization n. common adj. procedure n.
apply v. particular adj., n. complex adj., n. produce v.
approach n. policy n. component n. production n.
area n. population n. concept n. programme n.
associate v. practice n. consider v. public adj., n.
available adj. process n., v. control n., v. quality n.
based adj. product n. current adj., n. range n., v.
behaviour n. provide v. decision n. recent adj.
between prep. rate n., v. definition n. refer v.
case n. reduce v. demand n. related adj.
change n., v. region n. depend v. relative adj., n.
community n. relation n. describe v. relatively adv.
compare v. relationship n. determine v. relevant adj.
condition n. require v. discuss v. report v., n.
context n. research n. distribution n. represent v.
country n. resource n. due adj. response n.
cultural adj. result n., v. effective adj. rule n.
culture n. risk n. element n. scale n., v.
data n. role n. energy n. section n.
define v. sample n., v. evidence n. sector n.
develop v. significant adj. examine v. sequence n.
development n. social adj. exist v. show v.
difference n. specific adj. extent n. similar adj.
different adj. state n., v. finding n. site n.
economic adj. strategy n. generate v. size n.
effect n. structure n., v. however adv. solution n.
environment n. study n., v. identity n. source n.
environmental adj. such det. impact n., v. technology n.
example n. suggest v. include v. test n., v.
factor n. system n. indicate v. total adj., n.
form n., v. term n., v. intervention n. unit n.
function n., v. terms n. involve v. variation n.
global adj. theory n. key adj. whereas conj.
group n., v. therefore adv. knowledge n.
growth n. thus adv. means n. Sublist 3
high adj. treatment n. mechanism n.
above adv., adj., n.
human adj. type n. nature n.
access n., v.
identify v. use n., v. negative adj.
according to prep.
important adj. value n. network n.
achieve v.
increase v., n. variable n., adj. observe v.
action n.
individual n., adj. whether conj. often adv.
additional adj.
information n. within prep. outcome n.
address v.
interaction n. output n.
analyse v.
international adj. Sublist 2 participant n.
argument n.
issue n. pattern n.
application n. assume v.
law n. per prep.
appropriate adj. assumption n.
level n. per cent adj., n.
argue v. basic adj.
likely adj., adv. perspective n.
aspect n. central adj.
low adj. physical adj.
assess v. communication n.
may modal v. positive adj.
assessment n. conflict n., v.
measure n., v. possible adj.
basis n. consequence n.
method n. potential adj., n.

© Oxford University Press 1/5


contain v. service n. majority n. complexity n.
content n. set n. modern adj. conclude v.
contrast n., v. significantly adv. moreover adv. conclusion n.
criterion n. society n. most det. construct v., n.
critical adj. standard n., adj. natural adj. core n.
cycle n. status n. notion n. debate n.
decrease v., n. survey n. object n. degree n.
demonstrate v. technique n. objective n., adj. design n., v.
derive v. tend v. observation n. directly adv.
differ v. text n. operate v. distinct adj.
direct adj., v. traditional adj. operation n. distinction n.
discussion n. understanding n. opportunity n. distinguish v.
domain n. useful adj. origin n. dominant adj.
education n. vary v. particularly adv. efficiency n.
ensure v. perceive v. emerge v.
estimate v., n. Sublist 4 phenomenon n. emphasis n.
event n. point n. emphasize v.
account n., v.
experience n., v. possibility n. empirical adj.
alternative adj., n.
express v. power n. enable v.
among prep.
external adj. predict v. enhance v.
amount n., v.
feature n., v. proportion n. establish v.
arise v.
flow n., v. protection n. evaluation n.
association n.
focus v., n. purpose n. exchange n.
average adj., n., v
framework n. rather adv. exclude v.
belief n.
gender n. regard v., n. expectation n.
capacity n.
general adj., n. regional adj. explanation n.
century n.
generally adv. regulation n. facilitate v.
certain adj.
government n. representation n. fact n.
challenge n., v.
hence adv. respect n. failure n.
characterize v.
imply v. respectively adv. female n., adj.
claim n., v.
importance n. rise n. financial adj.
climate n.
improve v. select v. further adj.
comparison n.
influence v., n. selection n. future adj., n.
competition n.
input n. sexual adj. highly adv.
concern v., n.
internal adj. similarly adv. implementation n.
conduct v., n.
interpretation n. situation n. impose v.
consideration n.
interview n., v. stage n. index n.
consist v.
language n. target n., v. indicator n.
consistent adj.
legal adj. theoretical adj. interest n.
constitute v.
less adv., det., pron. tool n. investigate v.
consumption n.
limit v., n. transition n. investigation n.
create v.
literature n. trend n. judgement n.
difficult adj.
local adj. typically adv. lack n., v.
dimension n.
major adj. underlying adj. limitation n.
equal adj., v.
material n., adj. variety n. limited adj.
error n.
meaning n. various adj. link v., n.
essential adj.
media n. view n., v. location n.
ethnic adj.
multiple adj. main adj.
evaluate v.
necessary adj.
evolution n.
Sublist 5 maintain v.
need n. male n., adj.
experiment n. ability n.
note v. many det.
explore v. actual adj.
obtain v. mental adj.
field n. adopt v.
order n. mode n.
formation n. advantage n.
overall adj., adv. movement n.
functional adj. age n.
perform v. necessarily adv.
fundamental adj. agreement n.
performance n. norm n.
goal n. allow v.
period n. other adj.
history n. although conj.
phase n. participation n.
hypothesis n. article n.
present adj., v., n. perception n.
illustrate v. attitude n.
probability n. prevent v.
implement v. authority n.
project n., v. prior adj.
indeed adv. bias n., v.
question n. propose v.
independent adj. broad adj.
ratio n. regime n.
initial adj. can modal v.
reaction n. relate v.
integration n. choice n.
reduction n. rely v.
interpret v. circumstance n.
reference n. resistance n.
item n. clear adj.
reflect v. secondary adj.
large adj. combination n.
requirement n. seek v.
learning n. combine v.
researcher n. simple adj.
loss n. commonly adv.
right n. single adj.

© Oxford University Press The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon™ 2/5


specifically adv. might modal v. description n. unique adj.
specify v. migration n. device n. universal adj.
stress n., v. minority n. duration n. validity n.
subject adj., n., v. modify v. dynamic n., adj. visual adj.
supply n., v. must modal v. encourage v. working n., adj.
support n., v, new adj. entity n. yield v., n.
task n. offer v. equivalent adj., n.
transfer n., v. option n. especially adv. Sublist 8
urban adj. part n. essentially adv.
absolute adj.
via prep. participate v. evolutionary adj.
academic adj., n.
percentage n. examination n.
adapt v.
Sublist 6 potentially adv. exception n.
adequate adj.
preference n. exercise n., v.
absence n. agricultural adj.
presence n. expression n.
agent n. anxiety n.
previous adj. facility n.
approximately adv. apparent adj.
previously adv. federal adj.
below adv., prep. arrangement n.
primarily adv. formula n.
cause v., n. background n.
psychological adj. frequently adv.
chain n. beyond prep.
qualitative adj. gap n.
channel n. burden n.
quantity n. incorporate v.
clearly adv. causal adj.
reasonable adj. increasingly adv.
code n., v. centre n., v.
responsibility n. instrument n.
conception n. classification n.
restrict v. intensity n.
constant adj., n. classify v.
restriction n. interact v.
constraint n. column n.
science n. interval n.
contribute v. compete v.
scope n. justify v.
contribution n. comprehensive adj.
sense n. largely adv.
correlation n. comprise v.
shift n. located adj.
correspond v. confirm v.
should modal v. logic n.
decade n. connect v.
significance n. medical adj.
decline n., v. consensus n.
space n. monitor v.
dependent adj. consent n.
spatial adj. motivation n.
detail n. correct adj.
stability n. namely adv.
detailed adj. creation n.
stable adj. online adj.
difficulty n. currently adv.
statement n. orientation n.
discrimination n. desire n., v.
statistical adj. original adj.
diverse adj. discipline n.
structural adj. position n., v.
diversity n. distribute v.
sufficient adj. poverty n.
divide v. document n., v.
technological adj. prevention n.
early adj. dominate v.
treat v. private adj.
educational adj. during prep.
violence n. professional n., adj.
effectively adv. efficient adj.
welfare n. profile n.
effectiveness n. eliminate v.
world n. rapid adj.
effort n. emotional adj.
rational adj.
employ v. engage v.
entry n.
Sublist 7 reality n.
equally adv.
recently adv.
ethical adj. act n., v. exceed v.
recognition n.
evolve v. adaptation n. excess n.
recognize v.
existence n. aim n., v. explain v.
rural adj.
expand v. alter v. govern v.
scenario n.
expansion n. animal n. identical adj.
second adv.
experimental adj. author n. introduction n.
security n.
extend v. availability n. involvement n.
segment n.
force n. awareness n. isolated adj.
sex n.
formal adj. balance n., v. latter n.
share v., n.
furthermore adv. barrier n. line n.
skill n.
gain n., v. base n., v. list v., n.
software n.
generation n. capability n. maximize v.
subsequent adj.
highlight v. commercial adj. medium n.
summarize v.
identification n. commitment n. member n.
survival n.
image n. composition n. minimize v.
systematic adj.
improvement n. consequently adv. minimum adj., n.
theme n.
including prep. construction n. nevertheless adv.
thereby adv.
induce v. contemporary adj. normal adj.
topic n.
inequality n. continuous adj. organize v.
training n.
insight n. conventional adj. outline v.
transformation n.
instance n. cooperation n. partial adj.
transport n., v.
integrate v. correlate v. permit v.
typical adj.
introduce v. corresponding adj. personal adj.
uncertainty n.
maximum adj., n. crucial adj. practical adj.
undergo v.

© Oxford University Press The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon™ 3/5


practitioner n. division n. volume n. presentation n.
priority n. ecological adj. widespread adj. problematic adj.
promote v. emergence n. proportional adj.
promotion n. ethic n. Sublist 10 protocol n.
quantitative adj. expect v. rapidly adv.
accordingly adv.
random adj. expert n., adj. readily adv.
accumulation n.
reason n. explicit adj. recovery n.
acknowledge v.
reasoning n. explicitly adj. regardless of prep.
acquisition n.
reject v. extension n. reinforce v.
administrative adj.
responsible adj. extensive adj. release n.
alternatively adv.
reveal v. extreme adj., n. relevance n.
analytical adj.
root n. fail v. reliability n.
annual adj.
sampling n. flexibility n. reliable adj.
applicable adj.
satisfy v. flexible adj. removal n.
assert v.
scheme n. fully adv. representative adj., n.
assign v.
separate adj., v. fund n., v. resident n.
attribute n., v.
separation n. funding n. selective adj.
beneficial adj.
shape v., n. ideal adj., n. sensitive adj.
conservation n.
similarity n. immediate adj. simultaneously adv.
continuity n.
simply adv. inclusion n. socially adv.
convention n.
so-called adj. indirect adj. specialized adj.
convert v.
solve v. initially adv. specification n.
coordination n.
substance n. initiate v. sphere n.
dependence n.
sum n. initiative n. stimulate v.
deviation n.
sustain v. instruction n. stock n.
disadvantage n., v.
technical adj. intention n. subjective adj.
distinctive adj.
tendency n. label v., n. substitution n.
donor n.
transform v. leadership n. sufficiently adv.
elevate v.
transmission n. margin n. tension n.
elsewhere adv.
transmit v. matter n. territory n.
encode v.
ultimately adv. methodology n. traditionally adv.
encounter v., n.
utility n. mix v. undertake v.
ethnicity n.
utilize v. mobility n. upper adj.
evident adj.
variance n. net adj. voluntary adj.
exclusion n.
version n. ongoing adj. wealth n.
exploit v.
website n. optimal adj.
expose v.
weight n. ordinary adj.
favour v.
Sublist 11
whole n. parallel adj., n.
formulation n. abnormal adj.
widely adv. precise adj.
generalize v. abnormality n.
precisely adv.
geographical adj. absent adj.
Sublist 9 prediction n.
guidance n. accept v.
progress n.
acceptable adj. harm n. accessible adj.
proposition n.
acceptance n. hierarchy n. accountability n.
protect v.
accuracy n. horizontal adj. achievement n.
race n.
accurate adj. independently adv. actively adv.
recommend v.
active adj. indication n. additionally adv.
record v., n.
addition n. infer v. analyst n.
replace v.
adjust v. inference n. appear v.
resolution n.
adjustment n. inherent adj. appropriately adv.
resolve v.
agenda n. integrated adj. arguably adv.
review n.
avoid v. intermediate adj. behave v.
safety n.
cite v. interviewer n. beneficiary n.
scientific adj.
classical adj. intrinsic adj. broadly adv.
series n.
commit v. justification n. categorize v.
specialist n.
communicate v. meaningful adj. character n.
statistic n.
comparable adj. mediate v. characterization n.
statistically adv.
comparative adj. methodological adj. conceive v.
store v.
conceptual adj. modelling n. conceptualize v.
strongly adv.
connection n. motivate v. conditional adj.
substantial adj.
considerable adj. neutral adj. consistency n.
substantially adv.
contact n. novel adj. consistently adv.
successful adj.
coverage n. observer n. consume v.
suitable adj.
deal v. occupation n. creative adj.
summary n.
denote v. occurrence n. culturally adv.
threat n.
determinant n. otherwise adv. descriptive adj.
threshold n.
differentiate v. overlap v., n. determination n.
unlikely adj.
differentiation n. overview n. differently adv.
valid adj.
digital adj. pose v. direction n.
versus prep.
distance n. precede v. dominance n.
vertical adj.

© Oxford University Press The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon™ 4/5


economically adv. originate v. classic adj. naturally adv.
efficacy n. positively adv. conservative adj. occupy v.
efficiently adv. predominantly adv. conserve v. orient v.
essence n. procedural adj. considerably adv. partially adv.
estimation n. productive adj. constrain v. partly adv.
exclusive adj. projection n. constructive adj. precision n.
exclusively adv. proposal n. conversion n. progression n.
explanatory adj. reconstruct v. cooperative adj. progressive adj.
exploration n. reconstruction n. coordinate n., v. quantify v.
fundamentally adv. recording n. correction n. randomize v.
generalization n. reflection n. correctly adv. randomly adv.
governmental adj. remove v. critically adv. rating n.
historically adv. reporting n. criticize v. rationale n.
hypothesize v. respond v. cumulative adj. rationality n.
hypothetical adj. secondly adv. desirable adj. reasonably adv.
implicit adj. sexuality n. empirically adv. rejection n.
implicitly adv. simplify v. empower v. reliance n.
importantly adv. societal adj. equivalence n. replacement n.
inappropriate adj. systematically adv. establishment n. resistant adj.
inconsistent adj. terminology n. excessive adj. restrictive adj.
independence n. usage n. exemplify v. satisfaction n.
indirectly adv. valuable adj. expertise n. sensory adj.
inform v. varied adj. exploitation n. separately adv.
informed adj. viewer n. favourable adj. simultaneous adj.
insufficient adj. wide adj. formulate v. stabilize v.
integral adj. frequent adj. stimulation n.
interactive adj. Sublist 12 harmful adj. strength n.
intervene v. hierarchical adj. strengthen v.
accumulate v.
interviewee n. ideally adv. substantive adj.
accurately adv.
investigator n. inability n. substitute v.
acquire v.
leader n. inadequate adj. successfully adv.
adaptive adj.
legally adv. individually adv. theoretically adv.
adequately adv.
localized adj. induction n. transportation n.
administer v.
locally adv. initiation n. ultimate adj.
administration n.
mobile adj. instability n. unclear adj.
alteration n.
mobilize v. intend v. undertaking n.
approximation n.
modernity n. intensive adj. unrelated adj.
assertion n.
modernization n. irrelevant adj. unstable adj.
aware adj.
necessity n. isolation n. utilization n.
capable adj.
negatively adv. logical adj. validate v.
causation n.
normally adv. migrate v. validation n.
centralize v.
operational adj. minimal adj. visible adj.
certainty n.
originally adv. minor adj.

OPAL has been created with reference to the following corpora: the Oxford Corpus of Academic English (OCAE),
the fiction subcorpus of the Oxford English Corpus (OEC), the spoken element of the British National Corpus (BNC)
and a subset of the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus, developed within the University of Warwick
and for which relevant permissions have been obtained. BASE was developed at the Universities of Warwick and
Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi and Paul Thompson. Corpus development of BASE was assisted by
funding from BALEAP, EURALEX, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

© Oxford University Press The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon™ 5/5