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Few Easy Tips: How To Improve Vocabulary For Adults

How to improve vocabulary for adults

To put it simply, the active vocabulary is the accumulation of words that we use in everyday use when speaking or writing.

The counterpart to active vocabulary is passive vocabulary. These are the words that we recognize when we hear or read them but do not use them ourselves.

The active vocabulary is also called productive vocabulary. It comprises between 6,000 and 15,000 words, depending on the person.

From the logical consequence, the passive is larger than the active vocabulary.

You can see this especially when you learn a foreign language. With this, you understand much more than you can apply yourself.

Both passive and active vocabulary can be expanded through training methods.

how to improve vocabulary for adults

14 Exercise and tips for expanding your vocabulary

So increasing the vocabulary has many advantages. It can even be fun. In addition, not only you benefit, but also those around you.

Here are some exercises and options if you want to increase your vocabulary.

  1. Read books and articles on various topics. Reading enriches our minds and extends our active vocabulary.
  2. It is important that you always use a “new” word actively, otherwise only the passive vocabulary will be expanded.
  3. Reading aloud helps develop active vocabulary.
  4. As you read and watch TV, write down words you don’t know. Then use a dictionary or Wikipedia to read the meaning. To promote retention, write down the meaning in your own words. The quick reference is also possible with a dictionary app (free of charge for smartphones, over 106,000 words, and definitions).
  5. Practice: You can not only learn a new language with music but also expand your vocabulary with songs. However, the songs should have a higher language level – not every hit or rap song is suitable. When listening and singing along, you would even integrate both brain halves into the processing, which is a great advantage. Ballads by songwriters are suitable here.
  6. Ask if someone uses a word that you don’t understand. It takes a bit of courage, but that, in turn, is a little training for self-confidence. Integrate the idea of ​​extension into your everyday life – whether at work or privately – you will find many new interesting language treasure additions.
  7. Communicate with people. Whether discussing, debating or small talk – communicating with other people expands your own worldview and the wealth of words.
  8. Draw up a vocabulary book that you can use to jot down and repeat. With this exercise, you will quickly expand your active vocabulary.
  9. Find synonyms for words you use frequently. (cool = excellent, inspiring, fantastic, great, excellent, beautiful, good …)
  10. Find counter-terms (antonyms) to words you use. Examples: thrust / pressure, ingenuity / thoughtlessness, huge / tiny
  11. Vocabulary exercises: try to guess the winged words and if you don’t know them to try to remember.
  12. Exercise: Use more verbs instead of auxiliary verbs. We mostly use the auxiliary verbs “make”, “have”, “be” and “will” in the vernacular language. Try to find better verbs that are more precise in what you mean. Not we “make an appointment”, but we “make an appointment”.
  13. Rephrase one long sentence to make two short ones. Combine two short sentences into one long sentence. You will inevitably have to use additional words actively – a good exercise for vocabulary.
  14. Look for euphemisms. These are alternative words that embellish or obscure a person, a group of people, an object or an issue. “Expulsion” then becomes “resettlement”, “war effort” becomes a “peacekeeping measure” and “poor” becomes “economically weak”.
  15. Again: write. Whether diary, novel or non-fiction – no matter, write. Practice not only makes you perfect, but it also expands your language skills.

Expand Vocabulary: Extra Exercise

Exercise I: Use synonyms

Become a word collector. Find alternatives to your used standard vocabulary. So you eat. Aha.

Or what else can you do: sling, munch, enjoy, eat-in, eat, eat, nibble, pull something in, nibble, nibble, eat, stuff ……

Think about what another atmosphere you can create just because You use a different verb.
In this way, you can expand your basic vocabulary very quickly.

Exercise II: Word games

In playful use of the word, an expansion of our vocabulary falls off. Solve crossword puzzles, play scrabble, answer small word problems:

How many spices with 8 letters can you think of? How do you describe your neighbor? Superstitious, worried, charming, stupid, simple-minded, …

What is the opposite of idle? Opposite of gruff?

Exercise III: read, read, read aloud!

Non-fiction, biography, novel: It doesn’t matter, the main thing is that you sometimes change the genre. (As a lover of historical novels, you will soon become very familiar with this language world. So that you do not remain too strong in the world of doublet, armor, and thaler, just change once).

Ideally, you should read up on a wide range of topics. Read the texts aloud to yourself.

Exercise IV: The magic three: three words per day

If you stumble across a word during your reading or in a conversation that you spontaneously locate in the area “I know, I never use” (ie your passive vocabulary is addressed), then write This word along with two others on a sticky note.

Take this slip of paper with you in your everyday life and plan to say these three words in a suitable place during the day or in a concrete conversation.

Let your three words come alive by pronouncing them on the soundtrack. And in the evening you check your sticky note: all three words pronounced?

Exercise V: Summarize demanding texts.

Please consciously choose texts that you may find difficult to understand or a little bulky. And now “translate” the key message of the text into your words.

Speak your summary aloud to yourself – or even better, to a conversation partner. How to get feedback. Expressed understandably? Something missing?

Exercise VI: Speak precisely!

The auxiliary verbs “have”, “be” and “will” simplify everyday language, unfortunately also deprive it of its expressiveness. Polish your language and refine it using as little of these auxiliary verbs as possible.

Exercise VII: Learning on the model

Do you know someone like that who you love to listen to and who has a large vocabulary? Who you are spellbound on the lips because you enjoy his / her choice of words so much In which you mentally repeat the spoken sentences because they are so cleverly worded?

Yes? Then look forward to it in the first step and in the second step write it down: A special word, a precise wording, a clever sentence.

It is important not to leave it at that, but to use the words found in this way at the next opportunity. Not once, but quietly several times. This is how the new word solidifies.

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