This is my EIGHTH post on this interesting topic. Posts 1-7 can be accessed here too:

Vocabulary Workshop – The Key Words To Use In Writing Or Speaking Competently 1-7

I also have three related posts which you can easily access here:

THE ACQUISITIONOF VOCABULARY is one of the most important tasks in language learning. If you have enough words, you can make sense of what you are reading or listening to and you can somehow express yourself.

In short, vocabulary acquisition is much more important than grammar. The grammar we have is acquired gradually as we become familiar with the language, with the words, but first of all we need words.

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How Do We Learn Vocabulary?

Vocabulary knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence.

Don’t try to remember words alone – It is better (and easier) to learn new vocabulary by giving words some context. One way to do this is to remember words in a sentence. This is a great option because you will not only know the word, but you will also know exactly how to use it in conversation.

Another option is to remember words by groups. If you just learned the word “humongous” (very large), you can memorize it by thinking of a group of words getting bigger and bigger—large, huge, humongous. This also gives you the chance to learn even more words at the same time.

For example: large, humongous, gargantuan. What do you think “gargantuan” means?

In each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase: The answers are at the end of the exercise.

  1. Classed with the neophytes: a. novices b. vertebrates   c. experts
  2. A testy waiter:   a. imperturbable b. irritable   c. inexperienced
  3. Indubitable honesty: a. indisputable b. doubtful   c. unquestionable
  4. A coherent plan of action: a. meaningful   b. secret   c. complicated
  5. Watched the calves cavort:   a. gambol   b. eat   c. sleep       d. race
  6. Mordant observations:   a. sympathetic   b. brilliant   c. insightful
  7. A bastion of propriety:   a. criterion b. sense  c. stronghold
  8. The patron’s largesse:  a. generosity     b. stinginess   c. reputation
  9. Costly raiment:   a. repairs   b. mistakes   c. attire
  10. Inordinate demands: a. modest   b. excessive c. curious
  11. Picayune criticisms:   a. scholarly     b. perceptive   c. petty
  12. A convivial group:   a. genial   b. unsociable   c. friendly
  13. Garish costumes:  a. showy   b. traditional   c. rented
  14. Allay their anxiety: a. intensify     b. justify     c. alleviate
  15. Litany of complaints: a. petition  b. revision c. angry

ANSWERS: 1A  2B  3C  4A  5A  6C  7C  8A  9C  10B 11C 12C  13A  14C  15A

How did you fair? Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much: both written and spoken.

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Reading is a good way to learn new words, but what you read can also make a huge difference in how much you learn.

Choose books that are a little bit challenging for you, and you will learn a lot more than if you read at your level. If you read a book at your level, you may already know all the words. If you read a challenging book, you will need to learn many new words.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: BE EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

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