Tried and Tested Tips to Improve Vocabulary 
Building Vocabulary for Specific Purpose


Here is a list of tips for building vocabulary. I assume you have gone through ‘MY GOAL check list’ to figure out your reasons to improve vocabulary and have shortlisted words/ word lists you plan to learn.

Go through the following once and then take note of those tips that you plan to use.

TIP 1: Operation ‘W-O-R-D’: Look at the word carefully. Then relook and dissect it thoroughly and note

1. How is the word formed_ is it a single word? ‘Understand’ or it has a prefix attached to it Misunderstand ( prefix used).

2. Think of a word similar to the new word, and then write down its whole family, e.g.

Ignorant (Noun)

Ignore (Verb)

Ignorant (Adjective)

Ignorantly (Adverb)

3. Find the root of the word, whether the word has foreign word origin like Latin or Greek.

Once you know characteristics of the word- word structure/ word formation and word roots use these Mnemonics aids to connect new word to your existing repertoire of Word Bank.

These tricks of the trade make it really really simple to improve vocabulary or rather building vocabulary.

TIP 2: Mnemonics (nih-MON-iks): Mnemonic are tricks that help to recall/ retrieve information which is not automatically retrievable.

When we learn something new our memory stores the information temporarily in Short Term Memory. Our brain then locates similar information from our Long Term Memory to study it further. For example: when we hear ‘new word’ our brain goes to the long term memory to find similar word to make a connection/ association/ Link in our Working Memory. By doing so the new word also gets stored in our long term memory.

You can use these memory strategies to remember words- root word, meaning or spelling. With these techniques for remembering or mnemonics you can remember words easily.For example,

we use acronyms and poems to remember and to recall later. Most common is the rainbow colours ROY G BIV—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet; a spelling rule: i before e, except after c.

Choose your own mnemonic trick to remember, and correlate it with something known or memorable, or naughty, or create a story or a rhyme.

See following example to memorize the meaning of word root.


nomen-------------name-------------No men are without a name

phil------ -----------love-------------Phil loves to read.

Here are some guidelines for creating mnemonics:

· Use mnemonics which are personally meaningful to you.

· Use pictures, images, songs, rhymes, or tunes

· Exaggerate features of these concepts to make them dramatic.

· Be humorous and add odd sayings that will be stay in your mind.

Remember to use these techniques as per your learning style, i.e. whether you learn best by visualizing, listening to anecdotes, drawing, writing, practicing and others. Find out how you learn best or what is your learning style.

There are many many more mnemonic aids you can use to learn new words permanently.

So, do you still think building vocabulary is a challenge? I don’t think so. Learning vocabulary cannot get any more easier than this. Just Trust Me and...forge ahead and start to improve vocabulary...Now!

TIP 3: Notes in a Notebook:Get into the habit of maintaining a vocabulary book and add new words as and when you learn them.

Always keep this notebook with you and go through it whenever you can. Remember more exposure to the same word better are your chances to remember it forever.

TIP 4: Use new word: It’s simple.

Use it or lose it!!!

If you really focused to improve vocabulary, you must use new words regularly to retain them even at the cost of appearing unwise. Keep an account each time you use a new word. Try at least twenty times in ten days.

Practice makes anything perfect. Building vocabulary is not different. Use the new words ,over and again.

First select words you wish to learn, jot them down in a notebook. Then take one word at a time and take a dictionary and get all meanings of the word, its usage, synonyms, antonyms and pronunciation. Here is a free e-book of 'most frequently used' words in English texts.

Now, cling to the WORD until you KNOW it thoroughly. Use the word at every opportunity you get; in office, cafeteria, meetings, chatting with friends, e-mailing. Just use it even if you are not cent percent sure of its usage because even if you are not sure of the word you can always look it up on net or dictionary to correct your mistake. In my experiences we learn best through bitter experiences.

I am sure you will enjoy this new game of building vocabulary...however, be careful that words you choose are useful for your purpose.

TIP 5: Carry a dictionary (Electronic or Hard Bound Pocket): Pocket and electronic dictionary is easier to carry around. It helps, when in doubt to verify the meaning of a word on the spot. But you must also know how to use the dictionary correctly.

You do not need a huge dictionary to find all the words you need, a small dictionary does serve the purpose as well.

However, some pocket dictionaries are not comprehensive and always exact. You can always recheck the definition of the new word in a college dictionary later.


These tips are all you need to building vocabulary or to improve vocabulary for language proficiency...Learning vocab has never been so simple.

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FREE E-BOOK-Latin and Greek Word Roots

Now download Right-click to download the PDF.

Oxford English Dictionary publishes new word updates and revised word meanings, on March, June,September and December every year. For instance, in March 2012, it added:
bit bucket n. An An imaginary trash location, example, "it fell into the bit bucket" means the data was lost.

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