Learn about word roots, prefixes, suffixes of words and memorize words in groups!
- The root of a word carries the most significant content of the word’s meaning. Different words are formed by adding prefixes or suffixes to the root;
- Root: for example, “cred” means “believe” and from there we get “credible”, “credit”, “credence”, etc.;
- Prefix: for example, “cent(i)” means “hundred”. We have “centimeter”, “century”, “centennial”, etc.;
- Suffix: for example, “-able” or “-ible” means “capable of doing”. We have “preventable”, “adaptable”, “predictable”, “credible”, etc.;
- Explore these useful links on your own: Roots & Prefixes, Root Words, List of Suffixes.
Keep a dictionary handy (online or print, it doesn’t matter).
- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is available both in print and online. Paper copies are more expensive, but you have permanent access to it. For the online version, you can choose to pay annually.
- Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary. The online version allows you to sign up for free and have access to free content such as word lists and quizzes etc.
- Other free online dictionaries: Collins Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Google dictionary, etc.
Expand your vocabulary by using a thesaurus.
- A thesaurus is a special type of dictionary for finding words with similar (“synonyms”) or opposite (“antonyms”) meanings;
- Once you learn a word, especially an adjective, use a thesaurus to find its related words;
- There are many online thesaurus resources: com, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Collins Thesaurus.
Memorize how to use words by putting them into sentences.
- Learning the meaning of a word is important, but you also need to know how to correctly use it in real life;
- Random words are hard to remember, but it gets easier if you put them into context;
- Next time you look up a word in a dictionary, pay close attention to its example sentences;
- English movies & TV shows, books, news, podcasts… these are also a great source of context for most common words.
Make it a habit to memorize at least a new word a day.
- Depending on your availability, it can be one word a day or five words a day!
- Use a notebook or calendar to record your progress
- On com, at the end of each article, we have a Word of the Day section where you can learn a word that appears in the article.
Play a game and make it fun!
- Learning new words doesn’t have to be a painful or boring process. Play a game and make it fun;
- Mobile apps for vocabulary building: Bonza Word Puzzle, Wordscapes Search, etc. and many more;
- If you prefer something in print, the Calgary Public Library has a collection of over 40 crosswords collections for you to explore.
In today’s English Learning Tips, let’s check out different ways to expand your English vocabulary!