Wordle: How to Play and Win

Learning vocabulary in English isn't always fun. Luckily, there's a new way to do it: Wordle.

Wordle is a guessing game that has become popular all around the world. And for English language learners, it's a fun way to put your vocabulary to the test.

Today we'll go over the rules of the game and introduce six tips to help you win as you learn!

How to Play Wordle

The point of Wordle is to guess a five-letter word: e.g. "crook," "apple," "horse," etc. There's a new word every day, and you have six tries to guess it correctly. Each guess must be a real word in English.

After each guess, the game tells you which letters you got right.

  • Green means that the letter is in the word and it's in the right spot.
  • Yellow means that the letter is in the word but it's in the wrong spot.
  • Dark gray means the letter is not in the word.

Then, keep guessing until you get the right answer – or run out of guesses!

Tip #1: In Your First Two Tries, Guess 10 Letters

In your first two guesses, choose words that use 10 different letters in total. This way, you'll have used almost half the alphabet.

To get you started, here are some pairs of words you can try.

  • party mouse
  • brown acids
  • spicy tower
  • proud twigs
  • snowy baker

Feel free to come up with your own. Just make sure you don't use words that repeat letters: e.g. "puppy" or "floor." If you need more ideas, check out this list of common five-letter words.

Tip #2: Pay Attention to Letter Frequencies

If you want to raise your chances of winning even more, make sure your first two guesses use letters that lots of other words use too. According to editors at Oxford English Dictionary, these are the letters of the alphabet in order of how often they appear in words:

1. E
2. A
3. R
4. I
5. O
6. T
7. N
8. S
9. L
10. C

11. U
12. D
13. P
14. M
15. H
16. G
17. B
18. F
19. Y
20. W

21. K
22. V
23. X
24. Z
25. Y
26. Q

So you'll want to start with words that use E's and S's more than ones that use Q's and Z's. For example, you might want to start with some word pairs that use the top 10 letters.

Then, if you still can't figure out the answer, refer to the list of letters above to make your next guess.

Tip #3: Remember Letters Can Appear More Than Once

When players see a green letter, they often think that the letter only appears in that place. However, letters do repeat themselves. For example, the answer to this Wordle was "rupee" (the currency of India).

So if you get stuck, remember that letters can appear more than once.

Tip #4: To Find the Right Spot for a Letter, Guess a Word that Uses It More Than Once

Often, you'll guess the right letter but in the wrong place. For example, the colors in the grid below tell you there's an O in the word but it's not where it should be.

To figure out where the O goes, you'll want to guess:

  • a word that uses the letter O in another spot, e.g. "broke" or "canoe"
  • a word that uses the letter O more than once, e.g. "flood" or "ebook"

If you need help thinking of words (and don't want to take a random guess), google "five-letter words that have two O's." This might sound like cheating, but as an English learner, you deserve some extra help!

Tip #5: Type Out the Word with Blanks

At some point, you may feel confused by all the letters and colors on the screen. To give your brain a break, type the letters you're sure about and use X's in the remaining spots. This will give you a better idea of what the word looks like.

Tip #6: Think About Word Endings

Focusing on the last two letters of a word can help you figure it out more quickly. This is because there are a lot fewer letter combinations at the end of a word than those at the beginning. For example, here are some common endings for five-letter words.

-AL

  • final
  • metal
  • total
  • equal
  • moral

-CH

  • couch
  • lunch
  • pitch
  • touch
  • watch

-ER

  • anger
  • cover
  • layer
  • owner
  • paper

-SE

  • cause
  • horse
  • noise
  • whose
  • false

-SS

  • class
  • dress
  • glass
  • press
  • guess

-TH

  • death
  • earth
  • faith
  • month
  • north

And don't forget that the answer can also be an adverb that ends in -LY: e.g. "sadly," "truly," "madly," etc. So when you're struggling, try to figure out the end of the word first!

Bonus Tip: Don't Know Some Words? Ask a Tutor!

Ask an Engoo tutor about any words you don't know and they'll tell you how they're used. Together, you can also search for real sentences that use the word and come up with your own example sentences. Join Engoo!