The hardest part is memorizing all those new words!

It has to be done though. You cannot hope to master the language successfully without learning the words and phrases that make it up.

The best way to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of idioms is through reading. Hence, making that list of new words is important! However, watching English movies will give you a bigger knowledge of idioms and phrases.

Now, when you build your English vocabulary as well as stock of phrases and idioms, you can disintegrate your learning into two levels:

Fundamental level: There are 2000 to 2500 words which are called the foundation blocks of English language. These words are not particularly listed but comprise of each first word for every meaning that you learn to the count. These include certain words like how, why, where which are not replaceable by another word. For phrases and idioms, the cardinal ones will fall in the fundamental category.

Extensive level: Every word, phrase or idiom with similar or opposite meaning and intent as of the fundamental ones will form the extensive list for a more in-depth learning.

Tips for expanding vocabulary:

● One word at a time
Do not try to learn the entire dictionary in a weekend. That will not do you any good! Start small. Once you find a new word, incorporate it in your daily use.
● Spend every spare minute reading
Read, read, and read! Books will expand your vocabulary to a large extent. Pay close attention to what you are reading. If you do not understand a word, use a dictionary to find its meaning.
● Context skills
Usually, while reading it is easy to decipher the meaning of a word from the sentence it is used in i.e. the context. In this sentence, you can figure out that the word ‘decipher’ means to understand or convert into normal language. If you come across a word that you cannot completely understand, before turning to the dictionary, trying figuring out what the word could mean. Then, you can
cross check with the dictionary to see if you were right. This will build your context skills and it is important in English because a lot of words are similar and pronounced in the same way. Some words even have the same spelling but mean something completely different
● Practice
Of course, practice makes perfect. Use the new vocabulary you have, or you might forget it before you even get a chance to use it. After learning a word and understanding the context it is used in, make it a point to put that word in your sentences.
● Use the dictionary
I know I said do not learn the dictionary in a day, but skimming through it and picking out words that fascinate you is a good exercise. Learn these words and use them so you get used to the context they are used in.
● Play with words
Play games like scrabble or words with friends or ruzzle. These games can increase your vocabulary in a fun way. Ask friends to help you along the way. Since these games have a competitive twist, you intend to learn new words faster. Even Pictionary is a good game to learn new words. Since you are
drawing the words out, the meaning of the word stays with you.
● Crosswords
Make it a point to do the crossword every day. They can be a little overwhelming but with a little help, one can usually manage to complete the whole thing. They not only give you new words as you go through the thesaurus, but you general knowledge also expands. I think this is a brilliant
exercise for learning a language.
● Write a journal
Start a written journal where you pen down your thoughts in English. This way you can practice writing as well. Remember to use the words you learned that day.
● Listen
When others speak, listen! Observe how native English speaker use their words. Do not hesitate in asking what they mean if you don’t understand something. When you learn listen, you will also learn the usage of idioms, phrases, slang and colloquialisms. This will make you more fluent as well as
● Associations
When you learn a new word, associate it with something so that you have an easier time recalling it later. It could be a colour, a feeling, another word, or anything else. For example, ‘quintessential’ – one of my favorite words – means ‘the perfect example of something’. You can associate it with your
favorite dish, your favorite actress or actor, your parents. Use these associations to remember the word.
● Make a list of words
In a diary you keep with you, make a list of all the words you come across in a day. When you get home or in your free time, open a dictionary and find the meanings of each word you collected.
● Learn the roots
Make it a point to learn the roots of the words. This is an interesting way to remember the words. Mostly every word in English has roots in either Latin or Greek. It is fun to learn how the word came about. Languages keep evolving, so a word that meant something in the 17th century would not mean
the same today.
● Use the word
Again, this point is so important that I am repeating is over and over again. If you do not use the words you learn, you will forget them. Learn to use the words. Make is a habit.
● Prefixes and suffixes
English has a lot of words that use prefixes and suffixes. A prefix is a word that is added before another word. A suffix on the other hand is a morpheme that is added to the end of a word.

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