Do you constantly find yourself feeling self-conscious about your vocabulary? Does it seem limited, and you often struggle to come up with different words to use? Maybe you have a hard time understanding others when they use words that you’re not familiar with. Sometimes, the lack of vocabulary can be because English isn’t your native language, and you’re trying hard to pick up as much as possible.
For anyone wishing to build their vocabulary but who isn’t sure where to start, these six tips can be the perfect building blocks you need.
Read a Wide Array of Genres
The first tip is to read and read as often as you can. Be sure not to stick to just one author or genre, you want to branch out as much as possible. This will expose you to the biggest mix of vocabulary. And when you hit a word you don’t know, simply look it up. Sure, it makes reading a longer task, but it also means you’ll be learning and taking a lot away from the experience.
Try Replacing Words – Use a Thesaurus
It’s very easy to use the same words that you’re familiar with, but that’s not helping you. Instead, look at the thesaurus as your perfect companion tool. Simply type in or look up the word you often use and find a list of alternate words. It’s then up to you to start using them. Even if you make it a goal to do this once a day, over time, your vocabulary will expand.
Play Word-Based Games
Why not have a little fun while you build your vocabulary? Did you know that playing word-based games is an excellent way to expand your knowledge and learn new words? Games such as crossword puzzles and word searches can be quick and casual, allowing you to play any time the mood strikes. You’ll also find app-based versions of these games so they can be enjoyed on the go.
Then there are games where you have a group of letters, and you need to make words out of them such as Scrabble. If you find yourself getting stuck and can’t think of a word, Unscramble.me is a word unscrambler tool that will give you the help you need. Remember, the more you play, the bigger your vocabulary will become.
Use Conversations with Friends and Family as Practice
Using these tips at home on your own is great, but that’s only half the battle. It’s also important to use new words in conversation so it becomes natural for you. Practice your vocabulary skills in conversation with friends and family, and don’t be afraid to tell them you are working on expanding your knowledge.
Movies and TV Shows Can Be Surprisingly Helpful
Speaking of conversational skills, to ensure your new vocabulary flows naturally, it can be helpful to hear conversations between others. Watching movies and television shows can be surprisingly helpful in this sense, especially for those who are trying to learn English as a second language. Not only does it expand your vocabulary, but you learn such things as cadence and tone.
Challenge Yourself Daily
This was alluded to above, but you must challenge yourself daily. Yes, it will be hard work and it can be tedious, but if you stay focused and driven, your vocabulary will show huge signs of improvement before you know it.
The fact is that most people, even those for which English is their native language, can benefit from expanding their vocabulary. People tend to get stuck in what feels comfortable, so it’s important to step outside the box, challenge yourself and keep learning.