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How to improve your English vocabulary?

By: Shinjinee Sen On: 30/6/14
Clearly there is great advantage in speaking good English. It helps you get around better at work and in social circles. Don’t we know that to get to an impressive level of spoken and written English, you need an extensive English vocabulary?

Improving your English vocabulary may seem easy, but in real life, it requires a lot of hard work. To know a word really well, you need to know

a) What the word means
b) How to use it and in what context
c) The pronunciation
d) The spelling [helps to look up the usage and the meaning in context]

The way most people learn new words is by listening to others, reading widely, learning words that are related to each other, and practising through speaking and writing. At inlingua, we emphasize the listening and speaking part in class and outside at home and elsewhere, you can do the reading and writing.

Listen to others:

Listening carefully to others is a great way of learning new words and to improve English skills. When you hear the word used several times – hopefully, correctly used – you get a sense of how to pronounce it and how to use it. You also learn the context. For example, if I hear the word “moody” in the sentence “My friend is really moody. I never know what she will feel and how she will behave from morning to evening”, I get a very good idea of what that word means. Unfortunately, people don’t provide us with such details when using words. But they can say “I really dislike him because he is so moody and unpredictable.” Here I get the idea that “moody” is a negative feeling for most people, and it annoys people when someone is moody. I also understand that “moody” and “unpredictable” are related. You can pick up (or learn) new words by listening to others in your group talking away. More realistically, you can watch chat shows when people talk about celebrities, or their own ongoing projects, or recent events. Internet radio and FM radio also provide listening opportunities. However, this technique requires good listening skills. If you feel yours are poor, start by listening to the inlingua CD and make sure you know all the words and what they mean. Be honest: have you listened to the CDs for the reading text as well as the listening exercises? How many times have you listened?

Reading Good English publications:

To improve your English vocabulary, you must read a lot. When you read a lot of English, your vocabulary; grammar and understanding of prepositions will improve. Start reading short articles in the English newspapers, including HT City, Delhi Times, and real estate or education supplements. If you enjoy reading, you can read on any topic of interest. The rule is simple: pick a book or magazine or comic on a topic you enjoy. As you start reading, you should also expand your areas of interest.

Learning related English words:

When we learn words in class, we try to learn words that fit around a topic or area of interest. For weddings, we learn the basic vocabulary for weddings and marriages. For food, we learn that kind of vocabulary. This is what I mean by related words – words that fit around each other. E.g. for restaurants, I think “dish”, “waiter (server)”, “chef”, “cuisine” (type of cooking) and so forth. For higher levels, “ambience”, “quality of service”, and different words for taste and flavour come in. Some people like memorizing words by subject or list, and using those words that day. Fine, if that works for you. (It never really did for me). What worked was learning words that expressed what I wanted to say about a movie, a restaurant, or a holiday experience.

Practicing the new English words:

One cannot stress this enough. It is quite easy to learn or memorize words, including spelling and pronunciation, to do well in flashcard quizzes or to impress at a particular event. It is much more difficult to retain the word in your everyday vocabulary and pull it out as needed. The only way it works is to use the new word(s) throughout the day or week, and to use it several times. (And with luck, using it right), trying to make sentences with it in front of the mirror, speaking into your mobile phone while self-recording, or practicing with a friend, using it in spontaneous chats near the desert cooler or water dispenser. Writing it out several times in a notebook and making sentences with it. Whatever works for you works well.



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44 thoughts on “How to improve your English vocabulary?

  1. M Yaqoob says:

    I want to command on English .Speaking is my dream with my elders without hesitation. Can you help me.

  2. I want to know about fee and coaching centers.

  3. Purobi says:

    The tips are wonderfully and systematically organised with very good examples. This should definitely help a lot of readers.

  4. M. Yaqoob: thank you. Please get in touch with inlingua New Delhi via their phone number or their e-mail (check the website).

    Anurag Sharma: thank you. Please get in touch with inlingua New Delhi for details.

    Purobi: thank you for your very complimentary remarks.

  5. Ganesh says:

    Hello, I want to join your coaching classes for English spoken but I am not able to find out the location in south Delhi , Would you plz help for this.

  6. pradeep rawat says:

    Hi all of you how are you the main thing is learn English because I want speak fluent English without any hesitation.so please help me and send me. All courses details and fees details thanks

  7. Shinjinee says:

    >Hello, I want to join your coaching classes for English spoken but I am not able to find out the location in south Delhi , Would you plz help for this. –

    Ganesh, please check this page
    http://www.inlinguanewdelhi.com/centers/

    This provides you the location of the various centers, maps on how to reach there, and the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses,

  8. dafabet says:

    I love your site, i really like seeing your articles, good luck in the future.

  9. varsha says:

    I want to know about fee structure of all levels..pls provide me correct information

  10. avanish pandey says:

    I want 2 join ur acdmy plz snd me ur location….

  11. Vishvash says:

    hello i want to know about class times in evening and coaching fees. Also tell the place in gurgaon.

  12. pardeep kumar says:

    i want to know about fee and course duration.

  13. Birendra Kumar says:

    I want to command on English .Speaking is my dream with my elders without hesitation. Can you help me

  14. himanshi says:

    I want to improve my English and I want to speak in English without any hesitation

  15. hariom ojha says:

    Hi I want join your coching else I want know your fee

  16. jatin kohli says:

    English is all about vocabulary the more words you know the more you learns to speak. Learning speaking , speaking learning enjoy friends.

  17. sangeeta says:

    Learn 10 new words each day and maintain a copy log of your progress u will see results quickly

  18. Preeti says:

    i am from bihar i am gramaticaaly good but dont know how to improve my vocabulary in english, can you share the best module & fee plan for me to join inligua.

  19. siddarth says:

    Great blog..I will also start reading new articles on ht,delhi times to improve my vocabulary.

  20. Aman says:

    Thanks for sharing valuable information of learning new words daily it will help improving my English

  21. Aakriti says:

    Thanks for sharing valuable information of learning new words daily it will help improving my English

  22. tripti says:

    How can I improve my English vocabulary?

  23. queen says:

    Hi Vikram. This post is sounding very interesting can you provide me more information regarding this guide.

  24. Amit says:

    Hi, Shinjinee Sen.. I am facing a problem.I am unable to frame the proper sentence with new English vocabulary.How to speak English fluently with new words.

  25. Achal says:

    Thank you for this article was very helpful.

  26. Neha Nagpal says:

    Hello, Surabhi. Do you provide English speaking courses for school going students?

  27. harjot says:

    The proper sentence with new English vocabulary.How to speak English fluently with new words.

  28. goldy says:

    This post is sounding very interesting can you provide me more information regarding this guide.

  29. gurleen says:

    The more you learns to speak. Learning speaking , speaking learning enjoy friends.

  30. vikas says:

    Improving your English vocabulary may seem easy, but in real life, it requires a lot of hard work .

  31. Abhi says:

    Clearly there is great advantage in speaking good English. It helps you get around better at work and in social circles.

  32. Surabhi says:

    Yes Neha, We do provide English Speaking courses for School going students. Kindly check Juniors section of our website to know more or fill in the contact form to get a call from our Call center.

  33. anuj says:

    learn new words is by listening to others, reading widely, learning words that are related to each other, and practising through speaking and writing. At inlingua,

  34. Arijit says:

    learn new words is by listening to others, reading widely, learning words that are related to each other, and practicing through speaking and writing.

  35. Malhotra says:

    It was my childhood dream to speak good english with my elders without hesitation.I want to learn but how to improve english vocabulary.

  36. lovedeep says:

    I am facing a problem.I am unable to frame the proper sentence with new English vocabulary.How to speak English fluently with new words.

  37. Guddu says:

    English is all about vocabulary the more words you know the more ,i learns to speak. Learning speaking , speaking learning enjoy friends.

  38. vincy says:

    I am unable to frame the proper sentence with new English vocabulary.How to speak English fluently with new words.

  39. kapil says:

    How to speak English fluently with new words. I am facing a problem, unable to frame the proper sentence with new English words.

  40. kishankhana says:

    keeping a dictionary in your hand, learn a word a day and playing some English games, engage in conversations. Can you tell me is this a right way to improve my English?

  41. Nevneet says:

    How to improve English vocabulary and make sentences properly?

  42. Jimmy says:

    I m pursuing graduation with commerce stream same problem with me. I m also trying to speak better but I don't if u have any idea to improve my communication please tell me.

  43. Rubel says:

    You can practice anytime while taking the bus, while waiting in line, while sitting at home, anywear you practice.

  44. Vikram says:

    Hello, my name is Vikram am also poor in english, so I improve the speaking english. I want to join your institute, can you tell me fee structure.

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