Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reaping Richer Vocabulary II

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In our previous post, we explored understanding "chunks" of the English language to make reaping a richer vocabulary easier to be able to communicate effectively with native speakers.

In addition, an understanding of how English words are structured will also help your ability to communicate fluently. English has developed over thousands of years and its roots are a combination of words from famous cultures such as Greek and Roman as well as the indigenous people of the current United Kingdom, France and Germany. English is like a vacuum cleaner absorbing the words of other languages.

Many such words are combinations of word stems from these cultures with an added affixes. The most common affixes are prefixes (an additional word [actually a morpheme] that comes before the main stem) or suffixes (which comes after the main stem).

So, for example, if “hyper-” means “very, high and over” then it’s easy to understand what “hyperthermia” means (a very high temperature). So, if “hypo-” means very small then what does hypothermia mean then? Learning Greek prefixes and suffixes is a positive step in mastering the English language.

A good way to learn vocabulary is by reading. Instead of using a dictionary all the time, look at the structure of the unknown words you come across and then ask yourself if it resembles a word that you already know. Nine times out of ten you will be able to make a good guess and get the meaning. Try to understand an unknown word by its context in the sentence.

The next step is to put these vocabulary items into use. One of the best ways is to practice your English conversation with a native English professor.

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 mrenglish101@gmail.com.

Anyone interested in translations may send an email to mrenglish101@gmail.com for a prompt evaluation.

Buy your English-language texts today!

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