Knowing high frequency sight words can greatly improve reading fluency.
High frequency sight words are the words that are most commonly used in English. It is not surprising that words like: a, an, the, of, said, etc. would be at the top of the list of high frequency words.
It helps to teach these words alongside phonics because of the sheer amount of times a child/student will encounter them when reading a passage. Phonics should be used for less familiar words. Knowing irregular words by sight is even more beneficial as they are difficult to sound out using the traditional phonics patterns.
Here is a list of the 100 most common words used in English (Fry’s List):
the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, words, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if, will, up, other, about, out, many, then, them, these, so, some, her, would, make, like, him, into, time, has, look, two, more, write, go, see, number, no, way, could, people, my, than, first, water, been, called, who, oil, sit, now, find, long, down, day, did, get, come, made, may, part
(Click on my Reading Navbar for the first 300 words plus the Dolch’s word list.)