Do you have a sensation that the words you use are not exactly what you need to express your opinion? Do you feel lack of strong expressions or idioms to describe the problem you are working on? Maybe, sometimes you are not sure you’ve understood where your interlocutor or your teacher is leading to? In all the cases there is one problem to overcome: insufficient vocabulary. Here are some useful tips to enrich your vocabulary so that you’ll feel confident while speaking and writing.
- Make a careful revision of the words you already know. Saving terms and notions, nearly all of them have several meanings some of which are more common and the others less. Try to recollect all the meanings of each word you know; then use a dictionary to find out some additional meanings. Make sure you know how to introduce them in the sentence.
- Fall into the habit to work with books, films, and broadcasting in a proper “linguistic” way. All of them should become the source of pleasure and delight on the one hand and the source of informal language with its phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions on the other. Give yourself the trouble to set off all the useful expressions in colorful ink and translate unknown words with the help of a dictionary. Having stumbled over some word several times, you’ll for sure remember it later.
- Be attentive to learn all the new words in the context; otherwise, taken out of context, they will be effaced from the memory in two or three days. Firstly, pay attention to the way this word is used in the source you’ve come upon it, secondly, look for some extra explanations in the dictionary, thirdly, make several sentences with this very word or expression of your own. When dealing with firm expressions and idioms, it’s more useful to learn them as one unit. Even one word changed, it won’t be this very expression anymore.
However, if you are going to enrich your vocabulary, be ready to consolidate your success by using new words, idioms, and expressions in practice while speaking and writing. Never miss an opportunity to show your proficiency in a language by means of a rich vocabulary.