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Techniques for building your English vocabulary 

Words are the building blocks of any language. Being able to communicate clearly in both verbal and written communication is essential. When you learn a new language, it is vital that you continually add to your vocabulary. Increasing one’s vocabulary takes time, repetition, and effort. 

You might be looking to widen your vocabulary, Or perhaps you are looking to increase the rate at which you are learning. Either way here is some techniques to help you build your English vocabulary.  



One of the most fun things to do is get a word a day calendar. You can also have a word a day mobile phone application. These will give you a new word each day. Some words are common, and others will not be so common.  

Then challenge yourself to use that word in a sentence multiple times over the space of that day. 


Word games 

When something is fun, it is more difficult to see it as a challenge. Word games can help jog your memory for words that you already know, but don’t use often. They can also give you the tools to learn new words quickly. When learning is combined with a happy feeling, like the ones we get while playing games, it feels like less of a chore. 

Anagrams, scrabble, and the crossword puzzle in the newspaper are great ways to learn new words. 



The more you read, the more you will be able to absorb. This does not mean that you need to read literary works of art, or multiple thousand Page novels. A mixture of books, classic literary works, magazines and newspapers will expose you to more words. 

If you come across a word that you don’t understand, you can look to pull the meaning from the context of the rest of the sentence. If you cannot decipher the meaning of the word using the context, write it down and make sure that you check a dictionary later on. 


Thesaurus and dictionary 

It is a great idea to have dictionaries and A thesaurus to hand. However, when you are out of the home, it can be quite cumbersome to carry a dictionary and a thesaurus with you. There are several online dictionaries and the sources that can help you if you do not have the book version to hand. 

Once you find a word that you do not understand and are using your dictionary to research, you can then head to the thesaurus and find multiple ways to say the same word. This will help you with the nuances, and numerous uses of the word. 



The more you can practice the language you are using, with native speakers, the better. When people talk, they don’t often consider the style of words they are using.  

Conversation presents you with an excellent opportunity to pick up regional terms and hear how to use them in a sentence. 

If you hear an interesting new word, try to write it down, and research it later with your dictionary. You can also ask the person directly ‘what does this word mean?’. 



Mentioned a few times within this article is writing down words that you hear. Rather than write it on multiple pieces of paper, try to use a single space to write these words. A Word journal is a great idea.  

You can build up a range of your own words that you find interesting, you can add context to them, and even usual thesaurus to find multiple ways to say the same words and phrases. Journaling is a positive way to look back on your learning journey. 

You might be surprised just how many new words you learn each day. 



Something that can make learning new words slightly difficult is not appreciating the language that you are learning.  

When you understand all of the nuances of the language, the expressiveness, the words that are unique to that language, you’ll begin to build an appreciation for it. 

Some many words and phrases sound almost identical but have entirely different meanings. This allows you to research more, into the history of the term or word. You will build a more in-depth profile for each word that you learn and an appreciation for the language. 


Those are just a few techniques that can help you build your English vocabulary, and have fun while doing so. When you make learning enjoyable, you are more likely to continue to discover and add more to your word journal every day.