Have you ever given thought to the vocabulary you use? Are you cognizant of whether or not you use the same words all the time, or if you use unique vocabulary based on the topic of discussion at hand?

If you have recently begun to think about these questions, chances are that perhaps you are ready to take steps to increase the tools you hold in your verbal toolbox.

Previously, I wrote an article that explained why it is important to expand your vocabulary and I also wrote a very brief article with three tips to build your vocabulary. The latter article was focused on how to build your vocabulary for the purpose of writing better.

However, since I truly believe in the importance of finding better and more exact words with which to communicate, I am going to tackle this subject again. I will focus, this time, on expanding vocabulary for the sake of communicating more precisely, in general – not just writing.

One of the best ways to learn something new is to take a methodical approach to your learning plan. Some ground rules for such an approach would include:

  1. Give yourself a set amount of time to learn a list of words fluently. Make a conscious effort to learn new words on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
  2. Decide how your list will be compiled. Various strategies are listed below. Choose one or experiment with different ones to find a method that works for you.
  3. Commit the necessary time and effort. If you want to make the change you have to put in the work. Find ten minutes per sitting to study new words.
  4. Be prepared with either a small notebook and writing utensil or a notes app to compile new words. You never know where you will find them!!

So, you know what actions it takes to expand your vocabulary, you are probably wondering, “Where do I find all the new words?”

I am glad you asked.

Methods for Finding New Words

1. My favorite method…. reading!!! Everyday books, articles, stories, blogs and other communications are published and posted every, single day. There is bound to be a new word in one of these publications. Commit to reading a new book or receiving notifications from a new publication and reading their content every day or every other day. Get ready to notate new words in your app or notebook.

2. Sign up for “word-of-the-day” notifications from various sources. Collect the words that strike your fancy in your word notebook! Some “word-of-the-day” sources are dictionary.com, Collins Dictionary, WordReference and many more.

3. If you prefer a more technological way to learn, fortunately there are vocabulary apps available. Vocabulary – Learn new words, and Word of the Day – Vocabulary.

4. Books about words. Moving through a book specifically curated to assist in vocabulary expansion is always a good route to choose. Read this book if your goal is to sound smart. This thesaurus is a great tool to help alter the words you already say. Or, if you are looking for a hands on workbook, this one will teach you 1400 new words. Not too shabby.

What Do I Do with These New Words?

Now that you have new words, what are you supposed to do with them? In short, you should find ways to use them.

  • Slip them in conversations or communications at work, or with friends.
  • Teach them to other people.
  • If you have to write a letter or some other communication, try to insert two or three new words.
  • Start a daily or weekly journal and use your new words in your entries.
  • Find a learning buddy and commit to practice the lists with each other.

The world around us is filled with beauty -physically, emotionally and artistically. Only by learning new and more precise vocabulary can we have the tools to paint intricate pictures of the world as we experience it to the people near to us.

Jump in and learn new ways to express yourself by expanding your vocabulary.

One thought on “Tips to Expand Your Vocabulary

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