One forgets words as one forgets names.
One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing
or it will die.
Evelyn Waugh

Loving your language
means a command of its vocabulary
beyond the level of the everyday.
John McWhorter

The most important thing
is to read as much as you can,
like I did.
It will give you an understanding
of what makes good writing
and it will enlarge your vocabulary.
J. K. Rowling

Having a large vocabulary will always be useful in the different dimensions of our lives, especially those having to do with our profession or studies. The amount of knowledge you can acquire (and the speed at which you acquire this knowledge) increases when you are able to understand and use new words in both your native language and in other languages.

5 Ways to Enhacen Your Vocabulary

If you need to write and read or if you need to constantly acquire new information (eg, in your university studies) certainly, having a large vocabulary will be very beneficial. In one sentence, you'll do it faster and you'll do it better.

In this post I want to compile a series of recommendations that can be useful for you to improve your vocabulary, even if you are learning another language. I will be adding new strategies as I find them. If you know any that is not included, I will be happy to read your comment.

1. Read a lot

This is the most popular recommendation. But usually no one tell us what to read and how. So let me clarify some points:

Read about various topics

Usually people do not consider this point and just read about the things they like. Although you can learn a little, your vocabulary will be quite restricted. Over time, your vocabulary will indeed, increase, but in a small proportion.

Diversify your reading, read on all subjects, both those that are more common for you and those that do not. Read fun facts, scientific or technological advances, celebrity news, etc.

If you've always wanted to learn about something really interesting, but you never did it, this is your chance, think of the new words that you can use when you speak or write.

Read different genres and different types of texts

Read academic texts, read blogs and literature. These types as different text will help you learn different styles and will teach you varied words.

Again, do not limit yourself to one type of text.

However, if you don't have much time, reading poetry is the most effective method. Poets strive to use different, striking and sonorous words, and in my experience as a reader, I have not found greater diversity of words in any other texts.

Do not try to guess words from their context

This is a bad strategy for at least two reasons:

First, some words can mean different things in different contexts. In other words, most words have a unique context. For example, the term "yield" can be used as verb or noun. As a verb, it means to give, but also means producing (two whole different things).

Second, the words you guess contextually do not stay on your head. You never learn them. You will never use them because you do not know what they mean, the only thing you do with this strategy is to get rid of the dictionary. You'll temporary understand what you read or hear, but nothing more.

2. Learn words by categories and groupings

Do not try to learn words at random. Try to organize and connect them together, this will help you memorize faster and better.

Think about the words you learn as part of a group.

Learn words by contexts and common places

For example, learn the words that have to do with the country, the fullness and joy of spring: romp, frond, bucolic, bud, zephyr, fertile, glare, flock, chrysalis, orchard, primrose, alleluia, etc.

Since we just passed January, we can think of words about the start or beginning of things and events as: novice, preliminary, genesis, prelude, firstborn, premise, preface, threshold, neophyte, initiate, novel, scoop, pristine, cosmogony, premature, newborn, lintel, etc.

How many words of the above groups you can recognize? How many you can define?

Group them by themes

By areas of study such as psychology, literature, engineering, etc.
Interests, sports, nutrition, technology, etc.

Group them by synonyms and antonyms

Do not settle for the words you already know, try to think in similar ways of saying the same thing. If you always say everything is great, try to use other words like fantastic, fabulous, spectacular, wonderful, awesome, amazing, wonderful, etc.

If you always tell your best friend that he/she is a fool, also you can say slow, idiot, dumb, stupid, moron, goofy, poult, bland, blockhead, dunce, etc. Hey, I'm not encouraging you to treat people badly, but at least you can diversify how you say things.

The idea is to think about common words and try to translate them to synonyms not so common.

How to Increase your Vocabulary: 5 Advices

3. Use notepads and sticky notes

Carry a small notebook and write down the new words you learn. Write not only its meaning. Make sentences with them.

Use sticky notes with the same purpose.

It is important that you put in use these new words, and you must do it frequently. Try to use new words at least three times a day. Your vocabulary has to be active and not merely passive. The passive vocabulary are those words that you understand but do not use. The active vocabulary are those words that you can use when you want, because it's already in your head, stored, categorized, defined and ready for you to use in the appropiate.

Do not settle to the understanding alone. Use the new words you learn everyday. You don't have to feel shame or embarrassment. If your listeners do not understand, define the word and make it possible for them to use the new words they learn from you.

5 Effective Ways to Build Your Vocabulary

Another alternative is to use a calendar of words. A calendar of words is a calendar that gives you a new word every day of the year. Earlier in the day, you focus on the word and try to use it as many times as you can in that day.

4. Practice (by writing and playing)

Write often. Write messages birthdays and other celebrations in a more elaborate way. Write stories. Write some poems. Try to write a novel.

Write your opinion about a specific topic. Create a blog, for example. Always try to use precise words for the exact things you want to communicate.

Play with puzzles and word games. Crosswords often bring unfamiliar words, as their creators need to include atypical words to fit with the rest of the words. Play Scrabble, Boggle, Cranium and any similar games.

How to improve your vocabulary in other languages

5. Learn suffixes and prefixes

This is the best recommendation EVER!. Many words are composed of roots and endings that give meaning to the rest of the sentence. For example, if you have gastritis, the ending "itis" means an inflammation. The termination ITIS will always mean the same.

The most useful suffixes for me are the greek ones; but I think that prefixes are more important.

The 5 most effective techniques to improve your vocabulary quickly and easily

6. Learn Latin and Greek (optional)

Vulgar Latin led to many existing languages currently known as Romance languages. If you learn Latin, you will understand the roots of many languages -such as Spanish, French and Italian- and it will be much easier to learn new words.

You can find the spanish version of this article at: 5 consejos para aumentar tu vocabulario

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