Stop Words are words which do not contain important significance to be used in Search Queries. Usually these words are filtered out from search queries because they return vast amount of unnecessary information. A better definition is provided below:

“Words that do not appear in the index in a particular database because they are either insignificant (i.e., articles, prepositions) or so common that the results would be higher than the system can handle (as in the case of IUCAT where terms such as United States or Department are stop words in keyword searching.) Stop words vary from system to system. Also, some systems will merely ignore stop words where use of stop words in other systems will result in retrieving zero hits. ”

http://www.iusb.edu/~libg/instruction/helpguide/handouts/2005Boolean.shtml

Since I needed to use them in a project (Humboldt Diglital Library and Network), I am posting here a list of English stop words, and below a PHP array containing these words

Here is a list of english stop words:

a
about
above
across
after
afterwards
again
against
all
almost
alone
along
already
also
although
always
am
among
amongst
amoungst
amount
an
and
another
any
anyhow
anyone
anything
anyway
anywhere
are
around
as
at
back
be
became
because
become
becomes
becoming
been
before
beforehand
behind
being
below
beside
besides
between
beyond
bill
both
bottom
but
by
call
can
cannot
cant
co
computer
con
could
couldnt
cry
de
describe
detail
do
done
down
due
during
each
eg
eight
either
eleven
else
elsewhere
empty
enough
etc
even
ever
every
everyone
everything
everywhere
except
few
fifteen
fify
fill
find
fire
first
five
for
former
formerly
forty
found
four
from
front
full
further
get
give
go
had
has
hasnt
have
he
hence
her
here
hereafter
hereby
herein
hereupon
hers
herse"
him
himse"
his
how
however
hundred
i
ie
if
in
inc
indeed
interest
into
is
it
its
itse"
keep
last
latter
latterly
least
less
ltd
made
many
may
me
meanwhile
might
mill
mine
more
moreover
most
mostly
move
much
must
my
myse"
name
namely
neither
never
nevertheless
next
nine
no
nobody
none
noone
nor
not
nothing
now
nowhere
of
off
often
on
once
one
only
onto
or
other
others
otherwise
our
ours
ourselves
out
over
own
part
per
perhaps
please
put
rather
re
same
see
seem
seemed
seeming
seems
serious
several
she
should
show
side
since
sincere
six
sixty
so
some
somehow
someone
something
sometime
sometimes
somewhere
still
such
system
take
ten
than
that
the
their
them
themselves
then
thence
there
thereafter
thereby
therefore
therein
thereupon
these
they
thick
thin
third
this
those
though
three
through
throughout
thru
thus
to
together
too
top
toward
towards
twelve
twenty
two
un
under
until
up
upon
us
very
via
was
we
well
were
what
whatever
when
whence
whenever
where
whereafter
whereas
whereby
wherein
whereupon
wherever
whether
which
while
whither
who
whoever
whole
whom
whose
why
will
with
within
without
would
yet
you
your
yours
yourself
yourselves

And here is a php array with stop words:
$stopwords = array("a", "about", "above", "above", "across", "after", "afterwards", "again", "against", "all", "almost", "alone", "along", "already", "also","although","always","am","among", "amongst", "amoungst", "amount",  "an", "and", "another", "any","anyhow","anyone","anything","anyway", "anywhere", "are", "around", "as",  "at", "back","be","became", "because","become","becomes", "becoming", "been", "before", "beforehand", "behind", "being", "below", "beside", "besides", "between", "beyond", "bill", "both", "bottom","but", "by", "call", "can", "cannot", "cant", "co", "con", "could", "couldnt", "cry", "de", "describe", "detail", "do", "done", "down", "due", "during", "each", "eg", "eight", "either", "eleven","else", "elsewhere", "empty", "enough", "etc", "even", "ever", "every", "everyone", "everything", "everywhere", "except", "few", "fifteen", "fify", "fill", "find", "fire", "first", "five", "for", "former", "formerly", "forty", "found", "four", "from", "front", "full", "further", "get", "give", "go", "had", "has", "hasnt", "have", "he", "hence", "her", "here", "hereafter", "hereby", "herein", "hereupon", "hers", "herself", "him", "himself", "his", "how", "however", "hundred", "ie", "if", "in", "inc", "indeed", "interest", "into", "is", "it", "its", "itself", "keep", "last", "latter", "latterly", "least", "less", "ltd", "made", "many", "may", "me", "meanwhile", "might", "mill", "mine", "more", "moreover", "most", "mostly", "move", "much", "must", "my", "myself", "name", "namely", "neither", "never", "nevertheless", "next", "nine", "no", "nobody", "none", "noone", "nor", "not", "nothing", "now", "nowhere", "of", "off", "often", "on", "once", "one", "only", "onto", "or", "other", "others", "otherwise", "our", "ours", "ourselves", "out", "over", "own","part", "per", "perhaps", "please", "put", "rather", "re", "same", "see", "seem", "seemed", "seeming", "seems", "serious", "several", "she", "should", "show", "side", "since", "sincere", "six", "sixty", "so", "some", "somehow", "someone", "something", "sometime", "sometimes", "somewhere", "still", "such", "system", "take", "ten", "than", "that", "the", "their", "them", "themselves", "then", "thence", "there", "thereafter", "thereby", "therefore", "therein", "thereupon", "these", "they", "thickv", "thin", "third", "this", "those", "though", "three", "through", "throughout", "thru", "thus", "to", "together", "too", "top", "toward", "towards", "twelve", "twenty", "two", "un", "under", "until", "up", "upon", "us", "very", "via", "was", "we", "well", "were", "what", "whatever", "when", "whence", "whenever", "where", "whereafter", "whereas", "whereby", "wherein", "whereupon", "wherever", "whether", "which", "while", "whither", "who", "whoever", "whole", "whom", "whose", "why", "will", "with", "within", "without", "would", "yet", "you", "your", "yours", "yourself", "yourselves", "the");

Updated October 3d, 2009.

This is the stop words list used by MySQL FullText feature

a’s, able, about, above, according, accordingly, across, actually, after, afterwards, again, against, ain’t, all, allow, allows, almost, alone, along, already, also, although, always, am, among, amongst, an, and, another, any, anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anyways, anywhere, apart, appear, appreciate, appropriate, are, aren’t, around, as, aside, ask, asking, associated, at, available, away, awfully, be, became, because, become, becomes, becoming, been, before, beforehand, behind, being, believe, below, beside, besides, best, better, between, beyond, both, brief, but, by, c’mon, c’s, came, can, can’t, cannot, cant, cause, causes, certain, certainly, changes, clearly, co, com, come, comes, concerning, consequently, consider, considering, contain, containing, contains, corresponding, could, couldn’t, course, currently, definitely, described, despite, did, didn’t, different, do, does, doesn’t, doing, don’t, done, down, downwards, during, each, edu, eg, eight, either, else, elsewhere, enough, entirely, especially, et, etc, even, ever, every, everybody, everyone, everything, everywhere, ex, exactly, example, except, far, few, fifth, first, five, followed, following, follows, for, former, formerly, forth, four, from, further, furthermore, get, gets, getting, given, gives, go, goes, going, gone, got, gotten, greetings, had, hadn’t, happens, hardly, has, hasn’t, have, haven’t, having, he, he’s, hello, help, hence, her, here, here’s, hereafter, hereby, herein, hereupon, hers, herself, hi, him, himself, his, hither, hopefully, how, howbeit, however, i’d, i’ll, i’m, i’ve, ie, if, ignored, immediate, in, inasmuch, inc, indeed, indicate, indicated, indicates, inner, insofar, instead, into, inward, is, isn’t, it, it’d, it’ll, it’s, its, itself, just, keep, keeps, kept, know, knows, known, last, lately, later, latter, latterly, least, less, lest, let, let’s, like, liked, likely, little, look, looking, looks, ltd, mainly, many, may, maybe, me, mean, meanwhile, merely, might, more, moreover, most, mostly, much, must, my, myself, name, namely, nd, near, nearly, necessary, need, needs, neither, never, nevertheless, new, next, nine, no, nobody, non, none, noone, nor, normally, not, nothing, novel, now, nowhere, obviously, of, off, often, oh, ok, okay, old, on, once, one, ones, only, onto, or, other, others, otherwise, ought, our, ours, ourselves, out, outside, over, overall, own, particular, particularly, per, perhaps, placed, please, plus, possible, presumably, probably, provides, que, quite, qv, rather, rd, re, really, reasonably, regarding, regardless, regards, relatively, respectively, right, said, same, saw, say, saying, says, second, secondly, see, seeing, seem, seemed, seeming, seems, seen, self, selves, sensible, sent, serious, seriously, seven, several, shall, she, should, shouldn’t, since, six, so, some, somebody, somehow, someone, something, sometime, sometimes, somewhat, somewhere, soon, sorry, specified, specify, specifying, still, sub, such, sup, sure, t’s, take, taken, tell, tends, th, than, thank, thanks, thanx, that, that’s, thats, the, their, theirs, them, themselves, then, thence, there, there’s, thereafter, thereby, therefore, therein, theres, thereupon, these, they, they’d, they’ll, they’re, they’ve, think, third, this, thorough, thoroughly, those, though, three, through, throughout, thru, thus, to, together, too, took, toward, towards, tried, tries, truly, try, trying, twice, two, un, under, unfortunately, unless, unlikely, until, unto, up, upon, us, use, used, useful, uses, using, usually, value, various, very, via, viz, vs, want, wants, was, wasn’t, way, we, we’d, we’ll, we’re, we’ve, welcome, well, went, were, weren’t, what, what’s, whatever, when, whence, whenever, where, where’s, whereafter, whereas, whereby, wherein, whereupon, wherever, whether, which, while, whither, who, who’s, whoever, whole, whom, whose, why, will, willing, wish, with, within, without, won’t, wonder, would, would, wouldn’t, yes, yet, you, you’d, you’ll, you’re, you’ve, your, yours, yourself, yourselves, zero

CSV Format

a,able,about,across,after,all,almost,also,am,among,an,and,any,are,as,at,be,because,been,but,by,can,cannot,could,dear,did,do,does,either,else,ever,every,for,from,get,got,had,has,have,he,her,hers,him,his,how,however,i,if,in,into,is,it,its,just,least,let,like,likely,may,me,might,most,must,my,neither,no,nor,not,of,off,often,on,only,or,other,our,own,rather,said,say,says,she,should,since,so,some,than,that,the,their,them,then,there,these,they,this,tis,to,too,twas,us,wants,was,we,were,what,when,where,which,while,who,whom,why,will,with,would,yet,you,your

I have also created another article where you can download stop words in csv, txt or as a php file.

Update: Elastic Search has an analyzer that allows you to remove stop words with ease: See Using Elastic Search Analyzer to remove Stop Words from a text for some example.

Posted by xpo6

Software developer in the realm of AI, NLP and black magic.

57 Comments

  1. Greatings,
    Interesting, I`ll quote it on my site later.

    Thank you
    Bodyc

  2. In the list of English stop words (the non-PHP list) the second last one should be “yourself”

  3. Thank you James,
    I have corrected it.
    I have noticed someother English-Stop Words.
    At the moment (April 25th, 2009) I have just published an array of these, later I plan to create a simple database table and add add new ones.

  4. Great list. Thanks! Putting all of the words in an array saved me a lot of time! Just a note: “the” is in the array twice. Once where it should be alphabetically, and then again at the end.

  5. Eric Schwarzenbach July 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    This is sort of a peculiar list of stop words, and seems to serve some specialized needs, as opposed to being appropriate for general use. For example “computer” “cry”, “detail”, “system”…

    Btw, something is wrong with the email address parsing on this page. It is rejecting my completely valid email address. I’d have to guess it is because of the . in the name. I’ll try another.

  6. […] Not bad huh? There are some problems however. First, if the title has continuous spaces, the slug will contains continuous dashes, which is not quite right. Second, much more important, we didn’t take into account a concept called stop words. Long story shot, stop words are words that don’t contain important information and are often filtered out from search queries by search engines. A list of English stop words can be found here. […]

  7. Hi there, i didn’t know “for” is a stop word.
    thx

  8. […] mend and mend. as two separate words), put every word into lowercase, and then ignored a list of stop words (the, and, for, etc.). By writing a program to count occurrences of the 500 most common words, I […]

  9. Hello and thank you for the stopwords. However, there are some errors in the upper list …:

    herse”
    himse”
    itse”
    myse”

  10. @gnutel0 there’s a bunch… it’s called ‘stop words’. http://bit.ly/4vNhpu

  11. List of English Stop Words (list, PHP Array, MySQL Stop Words) http://bit.ly/chPDjw // Very useful

  12. List of English Stop Words (list, PHP Array, MySQL Stop Words) http://bit.ly/chPDjw // Very useful

  13. Very useful. The ‘computer’ entry seems out of place for a general stop word list. Maybe in a computer centric collection it makes sense, but generally it is a very contentful term.

  14. […] List of English Stop Words (list, PHP Array, MySQL Stop Words) […]

  15. … Stop words is the name given to words which are filtered out prior to, or after, processing of natural language data… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_words http://armandbrahaj.blog.al/2009/04/14/list-of-english-stop-words/

  16. … Stop words is the name given to words which are filtered out prior to, or after, processing of natural language data… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_words http://armandbrahaj.blog.al/2009/04/14/list-of-english-stop-words/

  17. […] is at least one resource with a ready PHP array of stopwords. Another approach would be to use a static function that returns an array of stopwords, but first […]

  18. A list of English stopwords http://bit.ly/4vNhpu Has anyone a list of #slovene stopwords?

  19. A list of English stopwords http://bit.ly/4vNhpu Has anyone a list of #slovene stopwords?

  20. A list of English stopwords http://bit.ly/4vNhpu Has anyone a list of #slovene stopwords?

  21. […] In this list below, the word ‘allows’ for example might be all that someone remembers from the film title ‘All That Heaven Allows’ which is a film from the 1950s that I haven’t seen – but I have seen the remake under the title ‘Far From Heaven’ and that is a memorable film. Amplify’d from armandbrahaj.blog.al […]

  22. It’s a helpful list. Thank you!

    FYI: The MySQL list includes “would” twice.

  23. this post was important for me…good job man

  24. […] List of English Stop Words (list, PHP Array, MySQL Stop Words) […]

  25. […] list of stop words. These are words, in English, such as in to a and the that, etc. (Examples in English, German, French) While I can find these for most European languages and have learned of other […]

  26. […] to use as few “stop-words” as possible.  Stop-words are words like: a, an, the, in, by, and so on.  These words will […]

  27. How to collect thos words in russian for example?

  28. […] stop words in the URL slugs, and replace it with keywords found on your content. Here is a list of stop words.Check your Main Keyword PlacementMake sure that the main keywords are found in the headline or post […]

  29. […] words so you don’t end up with n-grams like “jackson the” or “has Michael.” Here’s a list of English stop words and Textalyser has an adequate tool for breaking a block of text into […]

  30. […] end up with n-grams like “jackson the” or “has Michael.” Here’s a list of English stop words and Textalyser has an adequate tool for breaking a block of text into […]

  31. […] words so you don’t end up with n-grams like “jackson the” or “has Michael.” Here’s a list of English stop words and Textalyser has an adequate tool for breaking a block of text into […]

  32. Excellent COllection…I’m searching the web for Some Search ENgine Optimization and I found your list

  33. You have ‘above’ in the php list twice – cheers for the list though 🙂

  34. […] groups will be cleaner and much more logically organized.  You can find a more definitive list of stop words here. Tags: keyword […]

  35. […] Stop words are words that carry little to no keyword value. Your best keywords are, grammatically speaking, nouns and verbs, with adjectives in close support. But function words are your stop words, which consist of: […]

  36. […] Stop words are difference that lift small to no keyword value. Your best keywords are, grammatically speaking, nouns and verbs, with adjectives in tighten support. But function words are your stop words, that include of: […]

  37. […] list I typically use is from Armand Brahaj’s article on stop words. Perhaps his description of stop words is easier to understand: Stop Words are words which do not […]

  38. Very useful. The comp. entry seems out of place for a general stop word list

  39. thaks for giving stop words in csv format……..

  40. […] keyword, the value keywords are nouns, verbs and adjective, you can see the list of stop words here. Again, don’t make your title tag like a keyword […]

  41. Exactly what I needed. Thanks!

  42. […] keyword, the value keywords are nouns, verbs and adjective, you can see the list of stop words here. Again, don’t make your title tag like a keyword dump. Tagged SEO tips • Tag […]

  43. Excellent list of stop words, I will surely use your techniques in future.

  44. Thank you so much.

  45. Those are really useful, thank you so much.
    I used’em in my master thesis.

  46. Thanks! A very useful resource!

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