Do you want to improve your vocabulary? Do you find yourself using the word awesome to describe everything good? Do you dream of being an author but feel your vocabulary is not strong enough? If for any of these reasons or any other reason, you want to learn vocabulary then you need to know the right way to do it. Memorizing words from a list is the most common and the most stupid way of going about learning vocabulary. We learn words in context of their use and by using them ourselves in our own sentences. Learning a word in isolation is like learning to swim in your living room. If you’ve tried to memorize words from a vocabulary list you know what I mean. Thankfully it is not as hard as it seems to learn new words. Here are top 10 tips to improve your vocabulary.
10. Join A Word Of The Day Email List:
There are many such sites which offer to email you one new word every day. This is a great way to start improving your vocabulary. Usually these emails contain the word, its meaning, pronunciation, origin and examples of use in a sentence. It only takes a few minutes to go through such an email and everyday you are introduced to a new and interesting word. You might not remember all of them but it is a good place to start.
9. Read A Lot:
If you want to improve your vocabulary then you have to become a voracious reader. Read whatever you can get your hands on. But mostly try to read good writing that has a good vocabulary and good grammar. Reading cheap writing is hardly useful as you won’t find any new words in there. The more you read, the more exposure you get to new words.
8. Look Up Unknown Words Immediately:
Going along with the above tip is this tip to look up unknown words immediately. It’s no point finding new words while reading if you don’t look them up immediately. A lot of times when we read and find a new word that we don’t know, we try to guess at what it means according to the context of the story and if we find something that makes a little bit of sense we move on with reading the book. It’s because the book is interesting and we don’t want to put it down to pick up a dictionary. But if you want to improve your vocabulary get in the habit of doing this. Making notes of the words to look up later means that you might not look it up if you don’t get the time later so do it right at the moment. It will also help you to appreciate the writing better as well.
7. Memorize Spellings:
When learning new words a lot of us just focus on the meaning and how to use it in sentences. But we must also learn the spellings of the words. This ingrains the word in our memory and we’d be less likely to forget it. When you start looking at the spelling of a word you will also find more about the origin of the word from the root of the word which helps again in better understanding the word and its use.
6. Learn New Words From Other Sources:
Reading is not the only source of learning new words. You can also learn from other sources such as movies, songs, TV and other people. The idea is to stay open to new words all the time. Whenever you hear a new word, try to find out what it means. The more open you are to new words the more your vocabulary will improve.
5. Do Word Puzzles:
Doing word puzzles and playing other word games such as scrabbles is a great way to improve vocabulary. Since the focus is not on word learning but rather on playing, it makes it easier to learn new words. Do it for the fun and also learn new words on the side; there couldn’t be a better deal than that.
4. Read Various Topics:
One important thing to remember is to read various topics and genres of books. Also read magazines on various topics and read newspapers too. Different genres use different words in different ways. If you stick to one style or one topic you’ll be limiting yourself to a small area of knowledge. Reading different topics will ensure that you come across a wide variety of words.
3. Write Daily:
The best way to memorize words is to write them in sentences. Writing is important and if you want to improve your vocabulary you have to start writing daily. You can write a journal or a blog or just write sentences in a vocabulary journal. Writing will also help you to remember the spellings and get deeper into the history and usage of the word.
2. Read The Dictionary:
It sounds a dorky thing to do but one great way to improve your vocabulary is to read the dictionary. Just open a random page and look up a random word. Once you get in the habit of reading a dictionary it can become addictive. You can learn all about the word and see the synonyms in the thesaurus as well. When reading the dictionary you’ll find that one word leads to another and that one leads to another and so on.
1. Use New Words In Conversations:
The most important tip to improve your vocabulary is to remember to use the words in normal conversation. Some words might be too formal for conversation but use them anyway. This is the best way to remember a word for a lifetime. Once you use it in a real life conversation you’ll never forget it again. Remember to not use too many formal words in your speech though as otherwise people will think you are just a pretentious snob.