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Tips to increasing vocabulary


dazzlingblue
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Learning more words and then knowing how to use them obviously are important in mastering English, or any other language.  What are some ways you've found helpful in increasing your vocabulary range? Did you pick up a word list for the GRE, or do you just learn from reading novels?

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I try to learn more words by using the old flash card system. I do that and I keep a word log so when I come across a word I do not know while reading, I jot it down and then look up each definition in the dictionary at the end of the day or week (if I am busy). This helps me learn new words all of the time.

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I believe that by having conversations in the language that you are learning, you will naturally expose yourself to new words and phrases all the time.Then, after having these conversations, you can try your best to start implementing the things you've heard into future conversations and studying.

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Reading. Nothing else. Ok, maybe a little from music and movies but 95% of my English vocabulary was built thanks to my reading habit. As a kid I used to look up every word whose meaning I didn't know while reading and that helped me a lot more than the things my teachers taught me at school.

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I increase my vocabulary by reading books, news and through interactions with foreigners. I believe reading plays a major role in increasing one's vocabulary, widens their knowledge also. We must also try to apply and use new vocabulary words we have learned when we are writing and at times in our conversations.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Reading really helps expand your vocabularly because different authors have different writing styles and different word choices. Whenever you encounter a word you don't know while reading, look it up and you'll eventually recognize the word! :D

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My English teacher taught me that the best way is to read through a dictionary. Yup, that's right. She told us that reading the dictionary is the most effective way to learn new words. Of course, non of us actually followed but since I've never tried it I don't know.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Read a lot, and every time you come to a word you don't recognise take the time to look it up. Then (obviously if it's not too subject-specific) try and see if you can work it into your every day lexicon. One of those "word of the day" calendars could definitely help too.

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I think the best way to increase vocab is by watching TV shows and reading books. I prefer watching TV than reading books but both really help a lot. Make sure you have a notebook and a pen and whenever you hear a word you don't understand just write it down and translate it later.

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Try to have a VOCABULARY journal. Learning at least 5 words per day is a very good in increasing your vocab bank. Eventually, you will just have to use it every now and then to familiarize with it and use it often.

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I personally think the best way to learn new words is to literally flip through the dictionary. You could also look for synonyms of regular used words which you know and look for words which you do not normally use. Another good way to learn new words is to read books, intelligible discussions and listening to discussions of intellectual people.

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My English professor in academy said that he finds the best way to learn more vocabulary of a foriegn language is through translation, try translating a piece of writing of your native language to the foreign language and vice versa, this is the best way according to him. And I also kind of agree with him on it, it is quite a useful practice to do.

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A slew of awesome ideas here from translating to reading the dictionary which I do by the way and it worked. I have managed to expand my vocab phenomenally. Let me add a couple! One great method is what we are doing right now. Whenever you encounter a great orator or an erudite professor, ask her how she managed, you are likely to reveal a practice unknown to you. Practice makes perfect.

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I find that reading is the most efficient and least boring way to build your vocabulary. Read anything you can get your hands on- newspapers, novels, comic strips, magazines, lyrics to songs. You can make it more interesting by picking readings that mean something to you or that you can relate to, like lyrics from your favorite artist or articles about topics you are passionate about. Whenever you come across a new word, look it up and, if you want to go to the next level, keep track of all the new words you learn, their definitions, and the sentences you found them in. It will eventually become you're own personal dictionary of new words. The easiest way to do that would be electronically so that you can easily organize it.

There are plenty of study-like ways to learn new words but reading is the most enjoyable one.

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