Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Building a Stronger English Vocabulary

buzz this
From beginning English students to veteran wordsmiths, there is a constant search for le mot juste (the correct word) as the French put it. A rich and powerful vocabulary is essential for communication in any language.

We have two vocabularies: 1) active and 2) passive. An active vocabulary is the one used in every day speech. These words are on the tip of our tongues, very familiar, and commonly understood. Our passive vocabulary comes into play when reading and understanding newspapers, documents, or other literature. Since written English is more formal, words not commonly spoken but only written are recognized and processed by the brain.

How do you build a strong vocabulary? Read!

Both our active and passive vocabularies are increased in context. While reading, do not skip over words that you do know. Write them down and look them up in a dictionary. Pay careful attention to the pronunciation and analyze how the word is used in the sentence. Often you can gather a clue about the meaning of a word simply by reading the other words surrounding it.

In English, knowing certain Latin and Greek roots can boost your understanding of words.

If you are up for a challenge, start with 5000 vocabulary words and best of all have fun learning and enjoying the love of words!

If you are in Buenos Aires and want English lessons personally designed to fit your needs, please call Professor Winn at 1160 461 342 or send an email to

Anyone interested in translations may send an email to for a prompt evaluation.

No comments: