Fry Words

Fry’s Instant Words are the most common words used in English, listed in order of frequency, and include all parts of speech. Also known as sight words or high frequency words, they must be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency. These words account for 50 to 75 percent of the words used in schoolbooks, library books, newspapers, and magazines, so it’s important for children to learn the correct spelling and to recognize the words instantly by sight. This allows the child to concentrate on reading comprehension without having to stop and decode each word.

In 1996, Dr. Edward Fry expanded on the Dolch sight word lists and published the book Fry 1000 Instant Words.

Fry’s research found:

  • 25 words make up approximately one-third of all published text.
  • 100 words comprise approximately 50 percent of all of the words found in publications.
  • 300 words make up approximately 65 percent of all written material.

It is recommended that:

  • The first 100 words, considered the most frequently occurring in the English language, should be mastered in Grade 1.
  • The second 100 words should be mastered in Grade 2.
  • The third 100 words should be mastered in Grade 3.
  • The remaining lists (words 301-1000) should be mastered in Grades 4-5.

Learn more about Sight Words

Spelling TeachMe helps students know and memorize spelling and vocabulary words.

Play Spelling TeachMe with a word list for Fry words.

Word Unscramble provides practice rearranging letters to correctly spell words.

Play Word Unscramble with a word list for Fry words.

Missing Letter provides practice recognizing letters to complete a word.

Play Missing Letter with a word list for Fry words.