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4 Great Means Of Expanding Your Vocabulary

They say that most adult speakers have an active vocabulary of up to 48,000 words. That’s a great number of words to use, so you might wonder why improving or expanding your vocabulary is even that important.

Well, a love for language is something that can help improve the communication centres of your brain, helping you remain sharper and interesting. A good vocabulary helps you become a better public speaker, more persuasive, or simply someone who can enjoy even the most pretentious literature without batting an eye.

In some cases, learning words can be a lifelong love, such as those who dedicate themselves to understanding the very many words Shakespeare simply made up on the spot, those we still use today. Put simply - language is powerful, especially how it evolves over time. 

No matter if you’re hoping to compete in a spelling test, hope to be better in your creative writing, or have always loved words and what they mean, in this post we’ll discuss a few great methods for expanding your vocabulary:

Read Literature You Haven’t Been Exposed To

It’s healthy to read literature that you might not have read otherwise, because going out of your comfort zone can help you learn a whole host of words that you may have never understood. The benefit of reading is that you get immediate context for the use of each word given how they’re used to refer to an element of the story or paint an expressive picture. 

It’s not just literature that you might buy off the shelf either. Classic literature from your country, books written by local authors, poetry, and non-fiction books are also very much worth your time. This is especially true of classic literature, where modern words may have had a different use or form back when this story was written. Classical authors rarely cared about brevity or making certain sentences as short and snappy as possible, so you’re often exposed to amazing language worth absorbing.

Play Word Games

Word games are a good way to learn more terms that you may not have been exposed to. This can be as simple as joining a writing prompt community, using a random word generator and putting together a little narrative based on those, or even taking part in crosswords in your daily newspaper or via an app on your phone.

Word games help you think about language with a lateral focus, helping you free yourself of the usual sentences and phrases you might use day after day, and become exposed to new vocabulary from there. Word games are also a great deal of fun, and can help you flex your own knowledge.

Learn A New Language

It might sound strange to learn a new language for the side benefit of understanding more about your own, but most people who speak two or more languages can tell you that yes, this is certainly an advantage. When you use certain phrases, grammar and words in certain orders via other languages, you find that you become more perceptive over how you speak in your mother tongue.

This can be quite helpful for expanding your vocabulary, too. After all, it might be that the common translation better fits a word you haven’t quite heard of in your own language yet, which can help you understand how certain languages have specific terms or phrases for concepts it could take you a little longer to explain.

Of course, expanding your vocabulary is hardly the main reason you’d learn another language, but it doesn’t hurt. Becoming a better wordsmith is always worth your time, even if it takes a little to get there.

Use Your Voice Assistant

You’d be surprised how using your voice assistant to identify words as you’re reading can help. Asking Google Assistant or Siri for the definition of a certain word when reading an article, novel, or yes, even poetry can help you immediately understand the context of why that word was chosen, and keep it in mind.

The same goes for e-readers, some of which provide one-tap context menus that showcase the exact word you’ve read. Of course, you can always just search the word and its etymology online too, and with tools like ChatGPT that can be much easier for a focused reader to partake in.

With this advice, you’re sure to expand your vocabulary in the best, healthiest way. It might take a little while to get right, but with the correct focus, you’re sure to have a more commanding control of language.

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