Vocabulary

Time and time again, students tell me that they want to expand their vocabulary. They also say they want to learn new words, and they want to know the best way to do this. Here’s my take on this, learning random new words is not helpful for you. Random words are random words and you may never use them. However, one great way to expand your vocabulary is through synonyms. Synonyms are words that have a similar meaning to each other. Sometimes synonyms can be used interchangeably, sometimes they present a slightly different take on the word. Either way this is a great way to expand your vocabulary, and it will also allow you to have a fuller understanding of how English is used.


Why Can Synonyms Help You Learn New English Vocabulary?

There are two main answers to this question. First, when a word is frequently used, many of its synonyms are also often frequently used. In other words it’s a great way to learn words that you will actually hear, and want to say.

Second, learning new English vocabulary in this way, will also help you get a better understanding of how English is used. Anyone who has been learning English for a significant period of time knows that just because you know the definition of a word doesn’t mean you know how to use it. That’s where learning new English vocabulary using synonyms can help. While there are a few synonyms that are interchangeable, most of them give a slightly different degree of the same concept. In other words they each have a slightly different usage. So the more words with a similar meaning that you learn, the more you will understand how these words are used. This will also help you be able to express yourself better, because your vocabulary will be more expansive.


What’s the Best Way to Learn New English Vocabulary Through Synonyms?

A few at a time. Please don’t do the thing where you learn one word a day. If you do that you have almost a zero chance of truly learning new English vocabulary long term. Why? Because you end up forgetting the words. Think about it, if you learn one word a day, by day 25 how many of those words do you remember? My guess is not many…..or any. That’s a great way to cram for a test, but it’s not the best way to learn new English vocabulary long term.

My suggestion is that you learn about three words a week. If they’re synonyms that will help you remember them (another advantage!). Then try to practice the words every day of  that week, and by the end of the week you’ll have a legit chance of truly having added the words to your vernacular (vocabulary).


Let’s Learn New English Vocabulary Together

Every Monday I will give you three synonyms that you can practice for the week. I will give you the definition and example sentences. I’ll post them here on my website and I’ll include it in my podcast. Your job is to try to use these words in a sentence every day. You can post them to the comment section and I’ll try to correct or comment on as many as I can.

Let’s learn new English vocabulary together!

Check back on Mondays

Get the podcast here

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