Need some suggestions…

…. on vocabulary enrichment. How do you add new words and usages to your existing vocab? When you come across a new word that you don’t understand, do you look up the dictionary immediately? Always? And once you know and understand a new word, how do you make sure you remember it? Is there any particular technique that is effective? How do you make it interesting so that you continue to do it, without giving up? How do you accomodate that into the hustle and bustle of daily life, when you barely get time to read?

Pretty please, tell me!



Filed under Discussions

12 responses to “Need some suggestions…

  1. One sure method would be to write down words in a notebook or something and scan whenever you find a few minutes and so on. But thats done by those who appear for exams – GRE and so on, and is definitely boring after a point 🙂 An alternate way is to write down words and consciously try using new synonymous words in situations. It would be difficult early on, but would become moe natural with time. For instance, say you just encountered the word reticent that means restrained/reluctant. Then, the next time you want to talk about someone who is generally reserved, try saying he/she is ‘reticent’ instead of ‘reserved’. Try doing this with other words as well. Ofcourse, would be a conscious attempt early on, but it would slowly become more natural.

    Essentially, slowly try ‘using’ words that you encounter.

    As most things, this is easier said than done and needs efforts. But I guess, this would help for sure.


  2. i have installed toolbar for IE.They have another tool (forgot the name) that gets activated when you select the word and press some alt key and it shows the meaning.

  3. This was something I learnt from my friend in college. Works most of the time. When u learn a new word make sure you try to use it atleast a few times in ur conversations on that day.

    Then discuss it with friends and try to make others use it too.

    Whenever u get the oppertunity to use the new word , use it irrespective of fact ppl may snub it or laugh at u. That’s how u learn.

  4. I use to have one of those word for the day stuff on my browser…and the other one I generally do is when I find a new word, look up for quotes with it, that way It kind of gives me a good knowledge about its usage too

  5. Approximation, based on context works for me. Whenever I keep reading, and encounter a new word, I rarely look at the dictionary for meaning – That spoils the fun of reading especially when you are reading a book written by authors like Arundhati Roy where 20 words in a page are new!! Instead just guess the meaning based on the context and when you encounter the same word a few times, based on the context of its appearances, the meaning can be fairly reliably guessed. For a continuous fast reader like you, this should be the best and automatic method. I just don’t buy the conscious looking up and remembrance of words as I believe that learning a language ought to be a natural process. Even GRE tests only this – memorizing words might get ppl more marks – but they will never master the language which ought to flow naturally.

    Destination Infinity

  6. Subscribing to Word of the Day emails from works for me..almost always that is, for there are times when I just let them pile up..

  7. Try
    You can sign up for the ‘Free Word of the Day’ and get that in your Inbox. Try using the word in your conversation the same very day in some way or the other.

  8. my vocab isn’t all that when i come across something i don’t understand, i do refer to the dictionary..and make sure i use it as frequntly as i can so i get used to the meaning and the word

  9. Nothing works for me, so I stopped trying 😀

  10. priyaiyer




    thanks a lot for the suggestions… each of them was valuable and helped me… will be trying out the techniques suggested by you guys pretty soon.. 🙂

  11. i google and talk about it to someone sitting next to me about it.

    verbs & adjectives are easy to use and remember if you make conversation (not using that word but) about the word.

    but it is important to understand that language is to communicate so if you use some words which is not understood then that word/sentence doesn’t achieve its purpose and that might make you look like fool or snob. so it not always about what you know but its what others know and how you explain/express.

  12. priyaiyer


    thanks for your insights! 🙂

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