How To Improve Your English Vocabulary?

December 7, 2021 - Priscila Pereira

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Hey student!

In this English post, I am going to talk about a very common problem English learners have:

Teacher, my vocabulary does not improve even though I study a lot

This problem

  • is not connected with your ability to learn
  • is not happening because the words are difficult
  • is not because there are “too many words” to learn
  • is not because you don’t study enough time

To improve your English vocabulary, you gotta forget this mentality that you must know many words to become fluent or spend many hours studying new words…

You need to work on the right kind of vocabulary for your goals and reality.

So how do I improve my vocabulary?

Here 4 tips to help you out!

– Tip 1: you don’t need to know all the words. Forget the number, focus on the outcome, e.g., speaking clearly about a subject you want to talk about (for example, your job descriptions) in English.

– Tip 2: you need to have a “word grouping” strategy. But what is that? Basically, you group, you put together the words by subject, by conversation subjects, by type of word (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc), by synonyms, by opposites, by prefixes, by suffixes.

– Tip 3: forget about memorizing, focus on creating opportunities to use that word by looking it up on Google, for example. That way, you will find a lot of words related to it. Pick some, then USE THEM to tell your story (ironically, you will end up memorizing more words).

– Tip 4: explore the subject that you are interested in, and give your brain contextualized examples – learn by examples. As a result, you will learn a TON OF new vocabulary connected with this subject.

Let me give you an example of using these tips in practice

Outcome: being able to talk about your best friend

Learn by examples: get inspired, search materials, forums, discussions, videos, podcasts where people are talking about their best friends, how they met them, etc.

But teacher, it is very difficult for me to remember the words…

The problem is the OUTCOME. What exactly are you going to talk about? The more disconnected that vocabulary is from something REAL, INTERESTING, MOTIVATING, FUN, CURIOUS, or EXCITING FOR YOU, the more difficult it will be.

Not everything is fun in English, that’s why you also need to find a way to include USEFUL “outcomes”. For example, going to the hospital is not nice, but sometimes we need it… Have you practiced that? Have you ever taken the time to work on that?


-Prefixes and suffixes

By studying them, you can get a better idea of what the word means, even if you don’t know it, but if you are familiar with its prefix or suffix, you already have an idea about the meaning of this word.

For example, the prefix UN is negative. So, “kind” means nice, “UNkind” is a negative word, it is “not kind”.

More negative prefixes: in-, un-, non-, de-, dis-, a-, anti-, im-, il-, and ir-

Guys, these are some vocabulary tips to help you work on your vocabulary expansion.

I made a video about this subject, you can check it out below.


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Teacher Prix

Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

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