Improving Your English Vocabulary

A large part of learning to speak English is to improve your vocabulary. Improving your vocabulary will help you feel more confident when speaking English. It will also help you understand what you are hearing when others are speaking English. There are many tools you can use to improve your English vocabulary.

  1. Get a dictionary.
  2. There are some good English dictionaries available online. A good dictionary helps you learn more words. The following are some of the ways to use a dictionary to improve your English vocabulary:
    o Write down words that are new to you.Look the words up in a dictionary, and then write down the meanings of the words. Keep all of your words together so you can look at them when you need them.
    o Pay attention to the definition.Some words have more than one meaning, so be sure to read the whole definition. Many dictionaries will also give examples of the word in a sentence. This helps you understand the word and learn to use it.
    o Find new words and learn what they mean.If you learn 10 new words each day, Monday through Friday, you will learn 200 new words each month. Saturday and Sunday can be used to review your new words to be sure you know what they mean.

  3. Read in English.
  4. Read books, magazines and news articles every day. Try to guess the meaning of new words by looking at the whole sentence. When you read words that you do not understand, look in your dictionary.

  5. Ask English speakers.
  6. When you think you understand a word, write it in a sentence. Ask someone who speaks English well to read your sentence and tell you if you have used the word correctly. When speaking, ask if you have used the right words.

  7. Use vocabulary books.
  8. There are many vocabulary books available. Some websites also offer free vocabulary worksheets. Some books and worksheets are very easy for beginning learners, and some are very hard for more advanced learners. Make sure you use books and worksheets that are right for your level.

  9. Work crossword puzzles.
  10. Crossword puzzles are a good way to learn words and their meanings. Crossword puzzles provide clues that are definitions of words. The words that go with the definition are the answers that go into the puzzle. Crossword puzzles come in many levels, so you can work puzzles that are right for you.

  11. If you think you are ready for difficult words, get a copy of a magazine called Reader’s Digest.
  12. Each issue has a vocabulary quiz that has 20 words. Each word offers multiple choices for the definition. The correct answers are included in the magazine.

  13. Practice.
  14. All of these tools will help you improve your English vocabulary, but you must practice. When you learn a new word, write sentences using that word. Try to use the word when speaking. You will better remember the word if you use it.

    When you are learning English, you must do the same things you did when learning your own language. When you began speaking your own language, you knew only a few words. You learned more words by listening, reading and asking others. As you learn new words, practice them so you will know them well.


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