Have you ever wondered while listening to some of Ted talks by famous speakers or if you are a keen listener, any presenter who tries to pitch pitches in a very toned way of speaking, or when you enter a museum of arts, the guide always is speaking very polished.
In all cases, we think to ourselves how they are so confident and smooth while speaking English that is understood by all but is very crisp.
The answer to that question might lie in the doors that open new opportunities and enrich your exposure on “How to Improve your English Vocabulary.”
In this journey, reading plays a vital role as it exposes you to a vast array of words in different contexts. Regularly engaging with books, articles, and other written materials helps you encounter new words and phrases that you can add to your dictionary.
Google Dictionary proves to be a valuable asset for language learners, students, professionals, and anyone keen on enriching their vocabulary and grasping word meanings.
Let’s walk through a practical example of how to use Google Dictionary to improve your English vocabulary:
Example Scenario: You’re reading an article online and come across the word “ubiquitous.” You’re unsure what it means, but you want to learn more about it.
Step 1: Look up the Word
- Open your web browser and go to the Google search engine. Type “define ubiquitous” in the search bar and hit Enter.
Step 2: Learn the Definition
- Google will display the definition of “ubiquitous” as “present, appearing, or found everywhere.”
- You now know that “ubiquitous” means something that is widespread or found in many places.
Step 3: Listen to the Pronunciation
If available, listen to the audio pronunciation of “ubiquitous” to learn how to say it correctly. This step is especially helpful for improving your spoken English and pronunciation skills.
Step 4: Practice Using the Word
To reinforce your learning, try using the word “ubiquitous” in a sentence of your own.
For example: “In today’s digital age, smartphones have become ubiquitous, being present in the hands of people from all walks of life.”
Reading out loud daily is an excellent practice to improve your English vocabulary for several reasons as it enhances your vocab.
Let’s look into an example:
Example: Let’s say you come across the word “pronunciation” while reading a book. Reading it out loud repeatedly helps you understand how to say it correctly, with the stress on the second syllable: pro-nun-ci-a-tion.
Regularly reading out loud helps improve your fluency in English. As you get used to speaking in English, your speech becomes smoother, and you gain confidence in expressing yourself.
When reading a news article discussing a scientific breakthrough, you might encounter the word “innovation.”
Reading it in context helps you understand that it refers to the creation of something new or the introduction of a novel.
When you read different types of writing, like stories, factual articles, essays, and poems, you come across many different ways sentences are put together.
This helps you learn more about grammar and how to use words in various ways, making your language skills better.
Subtitles display the spoken words on the screen, making it easier to recognize and understand unfamiliar words.
Subtitles provide context for the words being spoken, helping you grasp their meanings and how they are used in sentences.
Example: In an informational video about wildlife, the narrator might talk about “predators.” The subtitles clarify that predators are animals that hunt and kill other animals for food.
Subtitles help reinforce the correct spelling and pronunciation of words, which is essential for expanding your vocabulary.
Example: Watching a cooking show, you encounter the word “cuisine” in the subtitles, and hearing it pronounced by the host reinforces the correct way to say it: kwee-zeen.
Subtitles can help you understand idiomatic expressions and figure out their meanings in context.
Example: When characters in a comedy movie say, “Break a leg,” you realise they’re using it as a way to wish someone good luck.
By writing down new words and their definitions, you reinforce your memory and increase the likelihood of retaining the vocabulary for future use.
Writing about what you read allows you to apply new vocabulary in your own sentences, helping you understand how words are used in different contexts.
Example: After reading a science article about climate change, you write a summary using words like “mitigation,” “adaptation,” and “sustainability” to describe different approaches.
Grammar and Sentence Structure: Writing down sentences from your reading helps you practise proper grammar and sentence structure, which are essential for effective communication.
You can maintain a notebook or digital document where you add new words from your reading, along with their definitions and example sentences.
Using newly learned words to beef up your conversation skills can significantly help improve your English vocabulary. If you actively use new vocabulary, you become more adaptable in different social and professional settings, improving your overall communication skills.
Effective communication involves not only using the right words but also using them in the appropriate context.
The language you use in a casual conversation with friends may differ significantly from the language you use in a business meeting or formal setting. Adapting your vocabulary to suit the context shows your linguistic flexibility and understanding of social norms.
In casual conversations with friends, the language tends to be more relaxed and informal. Slang and casual expressions are common, creating a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.
Ravi: Hey, what did you do over the weekend?
Megha: I went to this awesome concert with a bunch of my friends. It was epic!
Ravi: Oh, that sounds amazing! Who performed?
While in a business meeting or professional setting, the language should be more formal and precise. Choose your words carefully!
Sentence: “Good morning! How are you today?”
Example: Jane greeted her colleagues with a warm “Good morning!” as she entered the office.
Sentence: “Can you pass me the salt, please?”
Example: Tom asked his sister, “Can you pass me the salt, please?” during dinner.
Sentence: “Thank you for helping me with the project.”
Example: After receiving assistance from his friend, Mark said, “Thank you for helping me with the project.”
Sentence: “I’m sorry for being late to the meeting.”
Example: Emily apologised to her colleagues, saying, “I’m sorry for being late to the meeting.”
Asking for Directions:
Sentence: “Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the nearest train station?”
Example: James asked a passerby, “Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the nearest train station?”
Sentence: “I’ll have a cheeseburger and a cola, please.”
Example: At the restaurant, Alex said to the waiter, “I’ll have a cheeseburger and a cola, please.”
Sentence: “Go straight, then take the first right.”
Example: The kind stranger told the lost traveller, “Go straight, then take the first right.”
Talking about the Weather:
Sentence: “It’s so hot today!”
Example: Lily commented to her friend, “It’s so hot today!”
Expressing Likes and Dislikes:
Sentence: “I love watching movies, especially action films.”
Example: David shared his interests, saying, “I love watching movies, especially action films.”
Sentence: “Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow at noon.”
Example: Lisa suggested to her friend, “Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow at noon.”
Sentence: “I feel excited about the upcoming vacation.”
Example: Tim expressed his emotions, saying, “I feel excited about the upcoming vacation.”
Regularly using these sentences in conversations reinforces your memory and helps you apply new vocabulary in your speech.
Overall, incorporating daily use of English sentences into your language practice can impact your way of talking smoothly.
Greetings and Expressions:
- Hello: “Hello, how are you today?”
- Hi: “Hi, nice to meet you!”
- Goodbye: “Goodbye, have a great day!”
- Thanks: “Thanks for helping me with the groceries.”
- Please: “Please pass me the salt.”
Asking for Information:
- What: “What time is the meeting?”
- Where: “Where is the nearest post office?”
- Who: “Who is the new manager?”
- How: “How do I get to the train station?”
- When: “When is the party?”
- Go straight: “Go straight and turn left at the second intersection.”
- Turn right/left: “Turn right at the traffic light.”
- Across from: “The bookstore is across from the café.”
- Menu: “Could you bring us the menu, please?”
- Appetiser: “I’ll have a Caesar salad as an appetiser.”
- Main course: “For the main course, I’d like the grilled chicken.”
- Dessert: “Don’t forget to save room for dessert!”
Talking about the Weather:
- Sunny: “It’s sunny and warm today.”
- Cloudy: “The sky is cloudy; it might rain.”
- Rainy: “I forgot my umbrella, and it’s raining outside.”
- Hot: “It’s too hot to go outside.”
Here’s a fun pursuit for you: make your list of “likes” and “dislikes” using simple yet efficient vocabulary and write them down.
There can be likes and dislikes about any matter that amuses you, but make sure to use them while you talk about it with someone!
So by now, since you are at the end of this blog of self-engagement on improving your English vocabulary.
I hope this really enlightened your ease to make yourself better and relay on your urge.
Additionally, improving English vocabulary is easy when you read, write, and practice words regularly.
Use dictionaries to understand meanings and listen to English media with subtitles. Talk with others to apply new words and play vocabulary games for fun.
Keep reviewing and learning in context to use words correctly.
By doing this daily and staying dedicated, your English vocabulary will grow, making you a better communicator and a charmer. 😉