Suggestions on How to Expand your Vocabulary


This article is originally authored by Sir Neb.

You may wonder why there are people who are fluent in both speaking and writing English with a very distinct and accurate word use. They are those who know many words in the dictionary, now that sounds smart, right? Let me tell you this, having a broad vocabulary gives you an advantage in academic and professional facets. How do we fish words from the wide ocean of English language? Below are the suggested tips and techniques:

    1.       Read, read, and keep on reading! This is a great way of learning. If come across words that seemed to be unfamiliar to you, I suggest that you look the meaning up to the dictionary. The English language has a lot of words to offer and reading is the best way to grab them. It is like finding treasure in every stage of the race. You can find many unfamiliar words from literature such novels and short stories. They are the bank of words that are quite unfamiliar to you. Today, many resources are available such as the internet which is open 24/7.

    2.        Keep a note of every word you encounter. Words are everywhere, you’ll probably get a chance of meeting them while you travel, on the sign boards, fliers, and leaflets, or you probably eavesdropped from the people inside the bus or train. Be ready to take your pen and notebook with you and scribble the words that you don’t know. Don’t mind the spelling first, the online dictionary will help you find it because google is amazing. It will give you suggested words if you don’t get it right the first time.

    3.       Take Online English Vocabulary Tests. This is a fun way to widen your vocabulary. In this digital age, there are a lot of applications that provide you with various educational games such as vocabulary tests. What is amazing about it is that it will give you the chance to see the unfamiliar words and give the meaning and answer after the test. Try the Webster dictionary app, it has a game as such.

    4.       Visit online dictionary and thesaurus. This is an amazing technique to know more words in a day. These online sources present new words every day and I’m sure you want to take note if you wanted to have a wide vocabulary. Thesaurus is also one good source. It will give you synonyms and antonyms of the words that you can use in writing. However, make sure that the word you are trying to use has to be in the right context with your thought and meaning. Again check both dictionary and thesaurus to make sure.

    5.       Watch English movies and listen how the words are being pronounced. It is an exercise and perhaps fishing with the words that may sound strange to you. Again, repeat the cycle, search the meaning and try to check its synonyms and antonyms for better understanding.

    6.       Use them every day! This is by far the most important part. You have to use the words you know in every conversation or emails you will send. With constant use the words you know, the better retention it is in your mind. It is useless if you know the words and you’ll keep then hidden. Tendencies are, it will be forgotten. Converse with your friends. It is a good way to practice your speaking skills as well.

In academic and formal writing situation, it is better not to use the same words in the same sentence. There are various sources that we could check on to replace redundant and overused words. English has diverse sets of terminologies that we can use in a sentence. It is recommended that we make full use of these resources and techniques to expand our vocabulary for better writing and speaking skills.