How to Expand Your Vocabulary and Learn to Speak Beautifully
Expanding your vocabulary is important only if you can use the new words in your written and spoken language. It’s better to use simple phrases correctly than complex ones incorrectly. And when you want to use a new word, you have to make sure you know exactly what it means.
5-Minute Crafts found 7 ways to enrich your vocabulary.
Play word games
You can use the popular board game Scrabble as a word game. If you don’t want to play with real-life small letters, you can download an app. Also, you can play crosswords and other word puzzles. This is a pleasant and simple way to learn something new.
💡 These games can help those that need additional motivation. During the game, you feel a challenge and feel in control.
Put words into groups
When you learn a new word, put it into one of the groups below and work with it:
- Topic. Focus on the words of the same topic. For example, “nature,” “business,” “music,” “weather.” Let’s say you’ve learned the word brother-in-law. You can put it into the “family” group. Think of all the words that fall under this topic. For example, mother, father, daughter, sister, grandmother, grandfather, father-in-law, cousin, and keep on adding words to the list. This way, you can connect these words together and remember it faster when you need it.
- Science. When you learn a new word, think of its derivatives. For example, power is a noun. Empower is a verb, powerful is an adjective, and powerfully is an adverb. So, you learn 4 new words instead of just 1.
You don’t have to read Shakespeare to learn new words. In fact, it doesn’t have to be something very difficult unless that’s what you want to read. It’s the process that matters — you will improve your vocabulary anyway.
Read what you like. Pay attention to the language and how it’s used. Don’t do this for too many hours in a row. Even 20 minutes a day is enough. When you are tired, listen to an audiobook. This is also helpful.
When choosing a book, remember that it’s sometimes good to think outside the box. If you like reading news about technology, try reading about sports. If you like detective stories, read sci-fi for a change.
In different genres, writers use different language. New words in a different context are easier to memorize.
Check the meaning of every new word
Many people are amazed when they are told their vocabulary is not very big, even though they read a lot. This means that reading alone is not enough. When you are invested in a story, you might skip unknown or barely known words.
Instead of avoiding them, look at them more closely. First, try to guess their meaning from the context, read the entire sentence several times. Second, if you have a dictionary, check the definition.
Of course, it will slow down the reading process, but learning new words will eventually make reading other books easier.
Check your dictionary and thesaurus
An online dictionary and thesaurus can be useful resources if you use them right. Don’t just use them when you need to define a new world.
They can help you remember synonyms when you want to replace a word you’re tired of. Opposites can help express different opinions and etymology will tell you about the origin of words.
Use new words in your everyday language
Always keep new words in your mind and try to use them in conversations with other people.
Depending on the word, you can either wait for the right moment or create the necessary situation yourself. But remember to be mindful of the context. The word should be appropriate. This way, you will make what you’re saying more interesting over time.
💡 If you use this method with one new word every day, you will learn 365 new words a year.
Modern apps can make it way easier to enrich your vocabulary. For example, you can use a “word of the day” app. You don’t have to look for new words yourself, the app will give you one every day. It doesn’t just define it, but also lets you know how to pronounce it correctly.
By using apps like these, you can create your own personal dictionary. You will have access to these words whenever you need them. Besides, you can share your dictionary with other users and ask the app to send you notifications when it’s time to revise your vocabulary.