Did you know the average American knows a minimum of 42,000 words by the time he’s twenty?
That may seem impressive at first, but that number will rise to at least 48,000 by the time he turns 60. For four decades, 6,000 words doesn’t seem like that much of an improvement, does it?
If you want to know how to learn more words, keep reading for tips and tricks.
Never Stop Reading
Books contain a treasure trove of words we never would have known otherwise.
Though it sounds intimidating, consider revisiting those dusty classic books you read in high school English class. Many vocabulary words used by classic authors are now considered archaic, but words like “upbraid” or “counterpoise” are utterly charming.
Reading is a great way to review the rules of grammar, too. To learn more about grammar, click here.
Don’t Forget Your Dictionary
If you challenge yourself to read some classic books, don’t forget to bring your dictionary with you. Seriously.
Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters will probably trip you up with some weird but memorable words. If you make it a point to do a quick search, however, these new vocabulary words will stick in your brain in no time.
Listen to Other People Talk
You’d be surprised by how many vocabulary words you can learn by simply talking with people and paying attention to their vocabulary.
If you want to know how to learn new words in English, you could even try queuing up a few educational podcasts. Then, the learning is two-fold: you’ll learn how to use vocabulary words with meaning while educating yourself on a topic you care about.
Write It Down
Sometimes, hearing and seeing words isn’t enough to remember them. Some of us learn best by writing it down, along with the definition.
Don’t just write vocabulary words down where you won’t see them, though.
Write them on your bathroom mirror or your corkboard at work. Write them on sticky notes and stick them on your kitchen cabinets. Set a reminder on your phone of that cool new word your colleague used during that meeting!
Set a Goal to Use Vocabulary Words With Meaning
Now that you keep seeing “pulchritude” and “bivouac” everywhere you look, it’s time to put it in action.
Set a goal for the number of vocabulary words you want to learn each day. Then, put yourself to the test by using that word in a conversation.
You might get a funny look when you casually mention attending the “smorgasbord” for your boss’s retirement party. If you’re lucky, though, your friend will ask what it means, and you’ll get to share your new word!
How to Learn More Words
Now that you know how to learn more words, you can get started today. Pretty soon, you’ll learn in a few weeks what it takes most to learn in forty years! That’s certainly a feat worth celebrating.