English Learning Box


Vocabulary Exercises

Here, you can find a variety of exercises to help you build and enrich your vocabulary: synonyms, antonyms, word families, context clues, thematic vocabulary, etc.

Context Clues

Vocabulary describing people

The Best Ways to Improve Your English Vocabulary

First of all, you have to search and read a lot of books. Then find what interests you.

If you’re not interested in philosophy, politics, or difficult technical topics, there’s no need to read that information.

Don’t just read fiction (stories). Read newspapers, magazines, and blogs in English.

If you don’t like reading books or feel like you don’t have time, please give this a listen! There are many audio-books and podcasts on a variety of topics that you can listen to online.

For example, on Ted.com you can find inspiring videos by scientists and other experts presenting material on a wide range of topics.

If you don’t think you fully understand the main points of a speaker’s speech, use a transcript (a transcription of the speaker’s words) along with a dictionary.

Write down the words you don’t understand in your notebook. First, write a word as you pronounce it. Then check the transcript and look up the meaning in a dictionary.

Do not use a bilingual dictionary. We recommend using an English dictionary that is accessible online, such as: Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Collins Dictionary. Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary, etc.

Additionally, your vocabulary will improve if you don’t translate the words into your native language. Let’s memorize words directly from English.

Always carry a pen and notebook with you. When writing down unfamiliar words, don’t just memorize them from a list out of context. Try to make a sentence using each new word you learned. Learning words in context helps you remember them better.

A great way to memorize large numbers of words is to learn different forms of the same word. For example, if you know the word “beautiful” (adjective), you can find other words with the same origin, such as “beauty” (noun), “beautifully” (adverb), “beautify” (verb), and “hairdresser.” This way, instead of one word, you will learn five words.

Use flashcards. Create flashcards with new English words. Write the word in English on one side and the translation or short definition in English on the other side (if your English level allows).

Write the words in bright, easy-to-read letters. You may want to write it down with a red pen or marker. Flashcards are an efficient and practical way to repeat and memorize English words.

Try to look over your flashcards every day: on public transport, before bed at night, at work, during lunch, etc. Doing so will help you learn and remember new words. Increasing your vocabulary is a continuous process, and it requires continuous memorization. 

To make this a little easier, group words into groups by subject, common etymology, meaning, or origin.

For example, the adjectives “outdated,” “updated,” “state-of-the-art,” and “downgrade” can all be grouped together because they relate to the field of technology.

To summarize, to improve your English vocabulary, you can:

Read a lot in English
Listen when you don’t have time to read
Use an English dictionary
Make sentences using new English words
Learn different forms of the same word (different parts of speech)
Use flashcards
Group words by theme, etymology, meaning, or origin.

Related Pages: 

Reading Exercises

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