Simple Ways of Increasing Your English Vocabulary

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“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is a popular Chinese proverb spoken by a wise philosopher, Lao Tzu. The principle behind this proverb is true for language learners. Before we can learn long sentences and paragraphs, it is vital to build our vocabulary first. Start with the basic steps first.

Here is one simple technique to easily build and remember your English vocabulary. Don’t limit yourself to one word only, but know the other forms as well. For example, you just learned the adjective “beautiful”.  Try exploring its noun, verb, and adverb forms. For the noun form, there’s beauty and there’s beautician. For the verb form, there’s beautify. And, for the adverb form, there’s beautifully. So from one word, “beautiful”, you already know four other new words related to it. Once you learn a word and its other forms, practice using it by writing simple and short sentences.

Adjective:

  • The sunset is beautiful.

Noun: 

  • Her beauty is unique.
  • Holly needs a skilled beautician to curl her hair.

Verb:

  • I hired a gardener to beautify my backyard.

Adverb:

  •  The small village is beautifully located at the foot of the mountain.
  • My sister sings so beautifully.

Another easy technique that will help increase your vocabulary is to find the synonyms of the word. For example, you already know the word “big”. When you look at your thesaurus or wordbook, you will find the synonyms: huge, great, large, immense, gigantic, and sizable. Although these words (or synonyms) are used in different contexts and situations, still they will give you a clue that the meaning is something that is big.

One technique that will help you use a new vocabulary more frequently is to connect it to other words or ideas that you already know. So for example, let’s use the word “big”. You can start by asking yourself, “What picture comes to mind when I hear the word big?” You can then come up with simple English word pairs, such as big house, big decision, big truck, big boy, big help, big changes, big hands, big tree, and so forth.

Once you learn a new word, use it as soon as you can and as frequently as you can. You’ll quickly forget your English words if you don’t practice them. Apply them to your conversations and use them when you write short English paragraphs.

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I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.