How to Develop a Comprehensive Vocabulary

How to Develop a Comprehensive Vocabulary


There is no end to learning. It is a fallacious notion that only children and youngsters can build a better vocabulary. In fact, people can improve their vocabulary at any stage of their lives. Indeed, a septuagenarian or even an octogenarian can become more erudite and develop a better vocabulary. If one can develop a habit of using accurate words every time they think or write, they will find that their vocabulary improves dramatically.Here are a few tips, which will help you build a better vocabulary: Set a Goal for Yourself:  Once you have decided that you hope to achieve a better vocabulary, you need to set a goal to achieve it. Begin by learning five words in one week. Then try to utilize those words in your everyday life, while you interact with others or when you write. You need to put in a conscious and sustained effort to improve your vocabulary.

  • Once you see that you can easily learn up to five words in a week as well as recall them, you can move on to learning more words. Try learning seven or 10 words the next week onwards.
  • Do not go overboard trying to learn too many words in a week. Remember, it is more important that you remember each word you learn and use it effectively in your speech and writing. If you set an unrealistic target of trying to learn 30 or 50 words weekly, you are sure to forget all the words you have learnt.

Cultivate a Habit of Writing to Improve Your Vocabulary:  Developing a habit of writing extensively will also help you to improve your vocabulary.

  • Start maintaining a diary. You can also start a blog where you write about your life and everything that touches it. You can also write about issues you are passionate about.
  • Write letters and send emails to your friends and relatives, and try to write extensively.
  • If possible, try to include assignments in your professional life where you need to write. Include more written details in your presentations.

Play Word Games and Do Crossword Puzzles: Learning new words need not be drudgery. Solving crossword puzzles and playing word games are easy as well as fun ways to build a better vocabulary. Some of the popular word games one can play, which also improves vocabulary, include:

  • Boggle
  • Scrabble
  • Anagrams

Today, all these games and their variations are also available online. There are also a number of very popular websites where one can play these and several other games, which will help to enhance their vocabulary. One such leading website is Use the Dictionary: This is one of the oldest as well as effective methods of learning new words. In your spare time, read the Dictionary like you would read a book.  If you spend a lot of time online, you can find many dictionaries there as well. Use Popular Books Specifically Written to Improve Vocabulary: There are books in every language, which are specifically written to improve vocabulary. Since these books have been specifically written with the aim of building a better vocabulary, it is an extremely sensible idea to read these books to improve one’s word power. A number of these books also have exercises towards the end, which helps us to recall words we have learnt. Solving these exercises will go a long way towards ensuring that one remembers all or most of the words learnt. Read Extensively:  Make a conscious effort to read as much as possible. Have specific goals, for example:

  • Read the newspaper regularly
  • Read one book a week
  • Read two magazines a week

Read Stuff Online as Well: Reading classics or books by famous authors is not the only way to enhance one’s vocabulary. You might come across new words or well crafted sentences even when reading comics, or your friend’s status update on Facebook. So do not restrict yourself to reading literary classics with the mistaken belief that this is the only way to a better vocabulary. Consult the Dictionary Whenever You Come across a New Word: Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word or phrase, do not ignore it. Try to comprehend its meaning in the context of the sentence and consult the dictionary. It helps if you can maintain a small booklet where you note down each new word learnt by you.


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