There's an interesting exercise in the book Keep Talking by Friederike Klippel (Cambridge) called 'word wizard'. Each student is to choose the four words they consider to be the most important if no other words could be used. Which four words would you choose? The aim of the exercise is to try have a conversation with other students, thereby learning their four words a building a vocabulary of up to sixty-four words, assuming that there are sixteen students and no-one chooses the same words.
In reality, people have very similar ideas about which words they would choose. Verbs are very popular. So time and again we get choices like be, have, go, want. If had to choose four verbs, maybe eat, drink, sleep, do would be the best for basic survival.
Are these really the most useful words? Which ones would you choose?
In my next post, I'll tell you why I don't think choosing verbs as your most important words is a good idea.