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8 Smart Ways to Improve Vocabulary

Have you ever felt stuck in the middle of a conversation for not being able to find words to express? Have you struggled to find the right word? If yes, then the reason might be a lack of strong vocabulary.

Every language is diverse in itself. a language is made up of a grammar framework that builds the base of a language. And then it has words, phrases, and sentences to make it rich, full of expressions and emotions.

Words in any language are the ones that help us say whatever we feel in a particular language. Words play an important role and so does vocabulary. Vocabulary basically is a store of different words that you have and can use while conversing.

This store consists of words meanings and synonyms which facilitate your conversations. Building a vocabulary is important because it helps you bring out appropriate words at appropriate times.

"Vocabulary enables us to interpret and express. if you have a limited vocabulary, you will also have a limited vision and a limited future" -Jim Rohn

A strong vocabulary helps you to speak better English and you can avoid embarrassing situations. With enough words in your vocabulary, you can minimize the use of filler words and can speak in English confidently.

Here are 8 smart ways that can help you build your vocabulary.

1. Read More

Reading is the best way to develop one's vocabulary. Read more and more. Reading exposes you to newer words and to numerous different ways of their usage.

You can understand different contexts in which the same words portray different meanings.

So, read as much as you can. Don't limit your reading to a single genre. Broaden the scope of your reading and you will broaden your vocabulary. You can try making a list of new words and try to use them in your daily conversation.

2. Keep a Dictionary with You

Having a dictionary with you can help you in numerous ways. You can quickly see the meaning of a new word the moment you hear it.

Some dictionaries also provide examples of word usage. This gives you a better understanding of the word's meaning and usage.

With mobile phones and tablets serving us, you can opt for online dictionaries. You can also go for the ones giving a translation of the word and the ones enlisting its synonyms. So, having a dictionary can never harm you!

3. Play Word Games

Playing word games allows you to expand your vocabulary by making you think of new words.

With word games, you stress finding and making new words. Famous games such as Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, crossword puzzles, etc are a fun way to enhance your vocabulary.

These games can be played with friends and you can learn a lot of new words through these. To give this activity, a learning touch, you can list down the new words that you encountered after each round of these games.

4. Make Use of Social Media

Social media is nowadays, a huge part of our lives.

We usually don't miss scrolling through social media, then why not make use of it for learning?

You can search for feeds, pages, and hashtags related to learning English and vocabulary. Go through the 'word of the day' feeds to learn a new word every day. You too can build your own as well as help build the vocabulary of your network by posting your own 'word of the day' every day on social media.

5. Practice

"Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using" -David Crystal

Practice using new words in your conversations. Try to make use of the words that you've recently learned in different ways. Try to use them in different contexts. A single word often has 2 or more meanings. Try to use the same word with its different meanings. Try using different forms of the same word. If possible go a step ahead by checking out synonyms of that word. This will greatly help you to remember new words and use them correctly.

6. Get to the origin of words

Knowing about word origin and the history of its evolution can help you understand its meaning and use in a better manner.

Whenever you search for a new word on Google you often get to see an option saying read history and origin.

Understanding how a word evolved to its current form can help you cope up with its meaning and intention of use. Plus, you get more knowledge which would cause no harm!

7. Make Use of Tricks to Remember Difficult Words

Mnemonic is a word that refers to a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or association that assists in remembering something.

For example, a mnemonic for remembering the order of planets is:

"My very excited mother just served us noodles."

Where the first letter of each word denotes a planet.

Interesting, isn't it?

Mnemonics can help you remember difficult words and their spellings too. You can try making a simple sentence out of the spelling of a word, or break the word into two parts for easy remembering.

For example, let's take the word reform which means a change. Let us see how can we remember this word. Let's break down this word into two parts namely 're' and 'form'. The prefix 're' implies, once more, afresh or new and 'form' is taking up a definite shape, or a way in which a particular thing exists.

Now that we know the independent meanings of both these parts, we can rejoin them and remember the meaning of the word reform is building or changing something afresh. Easy?

You can also take the help of images or illustrations to remember a word. For example, think of an elephant to remember words such as tough, strong, huge, etc. This is how you can play with your memory to remember difficult words.

8. Make a list of Your Favourite Words

List out the words that you like the most. This will help you remember these words with their meanings for a long time.

For example, serendipity. Serendipity refers to a series of events that take place by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

This world has a nice vibe, is a little fancy, and has something unique about it. Find words that interest you for some reason or the other. Make a list of them and keep it handy.

This technique will help you remember unusual or difficult words. This will add up to your vocabulary and you can enjoy using them wherever you want.

Now that you know what techniques can help you build your vocabulary, you are all set to use them.

Building vocabulary is a major part of learning English. Building vocabulary is a continuous process. You cannot learn all the words in one go. There are 26 letters and permutation combinations of these 26 words can yield millions of words.

Memorizing new words can be difficult but with the help of the above-listed techniques, you can make things easier to learn. Get to the roots of the words. Understand how are they formed and where are they used.

Be receptive. Keep absorbing new words and keep trying to use them in conversations. After all, humans have discovered all the different languages, and being a human, it cannot be as difficult to learn a language are you think it would be. So, go ahead and learn, fearlessly and confidently. Success awaits!

So which trick are you picking up to improve your vocabulary? Let us know in the comments.


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