Vocabulary Strategies Worth Trying

Have you experienced the sensation of reaching for the right word, only to have it fade away and become even harder to recall? Having a word escape you can be annoying, not to mention disappointing and inconvenient. Self-expression is difficult without the right words to back it up.

You need to build vocabulary in order to be competent at school or at work. It is also a known fact that people who are articulate and well-spoken are usually admired and well-respected by others. If you know how to phrase your sentences correctly, you can convey your meaning quickly and clearly.

You don't have to sit in a chair flipping through the pages of your dictionary o build vocabulary - there are many other tools that can help you out. You can also try some practical vocabulary strategies to increase your mental storehouse of wors.

Don't Look Up The Words In The Dictionary Right Away

While reading, it is not uncommon to come across a few difficult words. Instead of putting down your book and checking the meaning of the word in the dictionary, you might want to try to understand it by yourself first. Try to find the meaning by looking at the context of the word in the sentence. Chances are, the clues are within the sentence or the next sentence. Have a pen and paper handy so you can jot down the word or the whole sentence and look it up later, to make sure you understood it and to solidify your understanding of the word.

Know Root Words, Suffixes And Prefixes

There are many clues in the sentence that will help you determine the meaning of a word through its context. But some of the best clues you can use to know the meaning of a word are what makes up the word itself: root words, suffixes, and prefixes. Most of us start building our vocabulary around simple root words. Then when we start learning suffixes and prefixes, everything becomes easier. Use the same method when learning new and more difficult words.

Extract the root word and separate it with from the suffixes or the prefixes. You can make a pretty accurate definition of the word if you combine the meaning of the root word with the suffix or the prefix. The suffixes also depend on the type of word. Common suffixes of nouns are –ence, -er, -ance, -ment, -list, -ship, -ency and so on. Common verb suffixes are –ate, -ify, -ize and –en. For adjectives, the common suffixes are –tic, -ly, -ous, -tive, and –able. You can easily identify the meaning of the words if you separate these from the root word.

Read More

Reading is an indispensable way to build vocabulary. It is through independent reading that you learn at least 50% of the new words you acquire. Pick a good book that you can read on a topic that interests you. If you feel that you need a little help at first, you can start with a book that has been turned into a movie, and watch the movie first, so you won't have trouble following the story.


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