Tips to build vocabulary ?? Thanks ! :)
(All advice is from the assumption that you know basic English grammar and vocabulary already and simply wish to expand your English vocabulary.)
1. Get some vocab on your dash!
2. Quiz yourself!
There are two websites that we think will help you build your English vocabulary.
- Vocabulary.com. “Regardless of your education level or age, Vocabulary.com will help you to master the words that are essential to academic and business success.” This website will give you vocabulary quizzes and lists, as well as a dictionary of terms. We think it’s pretty great.
- Word Dynamo. This website from Dictionary.com is a useful teaching tool for all grade levels. It teaches vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.
There are also lots of books you can buy for this sort of thing. Many of them are SAT prep books like this one, which can be useful (and come with flashcards!), but you can also start out at a more basic level. It’s just a matter of poking around on Amazon or in your local bookshop until you find a good fit.
I also recommend reading Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis, which is a “simple, step-by-step method that will increase your knowledge and mastery of the English language.” If that sounds good to you, consider having a look.
Read everything. Read all genres, fiction and nonfiction. Read and look up words and get frustrated and read some more. Read read read.
Seeing words in their natural environment (books, articles, etc.) might be the most important step in expanding your vocabulary. Context is often very helpful in understanding what a word means, especially if that word has multiple or nuanced definitions, and when and how it’s used.
Here are a few lists of novels to read to improve your vocabulary:
- 7 Novels to Read for a Better Vocabulary by Allison VanNest
- Books that have have a good vocabulary (LibraryThing forum)
- Best books for building vocabulary? (The Free Dictionary forum)
I also have some recommendations for books which have helped me improve my vocabulary:
- Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Vol. 1 (and Vol. 2) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed by Karen Elizabeth Gordon (Also, anything by Karen Elizabeth Gordon)
- Conspiracy on the Housatonic by Kendall Svengalis
- The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
- Anything by David Sedaris
- Anything by Neil Gaiman
- Anything by Charles Dickens
4. Poke through WriteWorld!
We’ve got lots of good stuff on growing your vocabulary and the English language in general. You can check out the Language section of our Toolbox for more resources from WriteWorld on language. There’s also this post, originally from thatfrenchhelper, on English Grammar and Vocabulary, so definitely click that link for more useful resources.
I’m sure other writers will weigh in with their own recommendations and advice, so be sure to check the notes of this post for more awesome tips from the Tumblr writing community!
Thanks for your message, and I hoped this helped!