How Can I Improve My Vocabulary?

Origins of English Vocabulary

Source

Vocabulary and Language Proficiency

There is a direct correlation between vocabulary and language proficiency. The more vocabulary one can actively use, the easier and better it will be for you to express your ideas in both spoken and written English. Acquisition and use of vocabulary in all languages such as English is important for all speakers, but especially for the non-native learner who wants to advance from beginning to intermediate or advanced proficiency. This hub first examines some facts about English language words, and then gives tips on how to improve your vocabulary.

English Language Facts

Did you know that English has the most number of words of any language in the world? Although the English language has over 600,000 words, the average educated person knows only 20,000 to varying degrees. Furthermore, the common person has a deep knowledge of merely 5,000-6,000 words. Did you also know that English is actually not one language, but a combination of German, French, and Latin? Finally, not many people are aware that the top five percent wealthiest Americans are also the people who have the largest vocabularies.

Classes of Words in English

There are basically three classes of words in English: every day vernacular words borrowed from German; literary words which are French and Latin based and from other languages; and specialized words used in the sciences, technology, and other academic disciplines. Let's take a look at examples of these three classes of words and where we acquire them.

1. Words Borrowed From German

English was originally only a dialect of German called Old English. Common daily concrete words in the spoken language such as house, bread, school, sister, and water are Germanic-based and make up 80 percent of a native speaker's speech. These are the first words learned by both native and non-native speakers of English, and they are acquired and reinforced through speaking.

2. Literary Words French and Latin Based and Acquired From Other Languages

French and Latin based literary words are learned in school and from extensive reading. They are higher order words which are used much more in writing than in speaking. They include words like telegraphic, calligraphy, macroscopic, intermediate, and coup d'etat. Also, there are words such as tsunami, ninja, and fengshui which have been borrowed from Japanese and Chinese.

3. Specialized Words

Finally, English has a number of specialized words which are professionally oriented and seldom used outside of their academic discipline. they include words such as: photosynthesis and protozoan from biology; the math words differential and integral calculus; and pedagogue and humanistic from education.

Steps to Improve Vocabulary

How Well Do I Know a Word?

Now that we have been introduced to the three classes of words, what does it mean when we say we know a word? According to American Scholar, an educational corporation in the United States, there are five levels of classification of knowing words as follows:

1. Level One - You Know The Word Exists, But Have No Knowledge of Its Meaning

An example of a word with a level one classification would be onomatopeia. Most people know this word exists, but they don't know whether it is a noun, verb, or adjective, or whether it has a negative or positive meaning.

2. Level Two - You've Seen The Word Before, Can Identify Its Part of Speech, But Can't Define It

The names of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube would be level two words for many elderly persons who haven't used the computer or Internet.

3. Level Three - You Have a General Sense of a Word, But Don't Have Deep Understanding

In a situation like this, you know whether a word has a good or bad connotation, but you can't really define it. Examples of level three might be words referring to mental disorders such as dementia, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

4. Level Four - You Can Define a Word, But Can't Use It in Speaking and Writing

For me, level four vocabulary would include words like subtle and fickle which I have just learned to define well, but feel uncomfortable using in speaking and writing.

5. Level Five - You Understand Both The Literal And Figurative Meaning, And The Word Is Part of Your Working Vocabulary

If a person completely understands colloquialisms like: "It's off the beaten track," and "Can I bend your ear?," he or she has reached level five and can truly say they own a word or words.

How to Increase Vocabulary

Improving Your Vocabulary

How do you think you can improve your vocabulary?

  • Reading books
  • Listening to talk shows
  • Learning the meaning of Latin and Greek based prefixes and root words
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Other
See results without voting

How to Improve Vocabulary

Cast your vote for How to Improve Vocabulary

How to Learn Literary And Specialized Vocabulary

If anyone wants to improve his or her vocabulary, it is necessary to learn and acquire literary and specialized vocabulary. This can be done in four basic ways.

1. Learn The Meaning of Latin and Greek Based Prefixes, Suffixes, and Root Words

One of the best things I did in school was to study Latin for two years in high school. With a knowledge of Latin vocabulary, I was able to figure out a great number of literate words which have Latin based prefixes, suffixes, and root words. For example, the word telegraph which means a device for sending messages across a distance, is composed of the prefix tele which means from a distance, and graph meaning to write. Citing another example, microscope can be broken into two parts with Latin origins: micro and scope. Micro means very small, and scope means to see. By putting the two parts together, we can see that a microscope is a device for seeing small things. By putting together Greek based prefixes, suffixes, and root words, you can also learn a lot of new vocabulary.

2. Listen to Lectures, Talk Shows , or Watch Films About Special Topics

I have never been able to learn new higher level vocabulary without first hearing it used in context, and then trying to use the new words in sentences. Rarely have I been able to remember and internalize new vocabulary by memorizing its definition in a dictionary or from other word lists. The best way to learn vocabulary, however, is by listening to lectures, talk shows, and watching films about special topics of interest. By doing this, you will learn how the new words are used in discussions.

3. Read About Special Topics of Interest in Newspapers, Magazines, and Books

If you have already heard and pronounced literary and specialized words, they will be much easier to comprehend and use in written form. American newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, and a news magazine like Time have a wealth of literary and specialized terms on almost any topic of interest. In addition, you can learn a lot colloquialisms and figurative language by reading classic book authors like Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.

4. Actively Using New Vocabulary in Daily Speaking and Writing

To improve your vocabulary, you must actively practice using new words daily. I suggest the following for enhancing speaking and writing proficiency:

A. Limit New Words Related to The Same Social Situation or Topic to Five or Seven Per Day

For example, you might practice using five words all related to consumer economics on one day, and five words related to fashion the next day.

B. For Words with Multiple Meanings, Start with the Most Typical Use of the Word

Let's look at the word base. We can see the word base being used as a noun in the phrase "the base of the triangle." Also, we see base used as a verb in "to base the conclusion on." Finally, in figurative language we see base used in expressions like "to touch base about something," or "You are off base about this." In teaching this word, I would begin with its meaning as a noun which is the most typical use of the word.

C. Learn Vocabulary in Contrasts

It is much easier to learn vocabulary when words are in contrast. For example, a collection of vocabulary words such as lounge chair, co-ed, building, vehicle, and giraffe will be integrated more quickly than lion, tiger, panther, bobcat, and cheetah.

D. Segmenting Difficult Words into Smaller Chunks

Segmenting difficult words into smaller chunks makes them a lot easier to learn. If we look at the multi-syllabic words synonymous, hibernate, and intimidated, many students would be unclear about their correct pronunciation. By breaking these words into smaller units as sy non y mous, hi ber nate, and in tim i dat ed, students won't be so intimidated to pronounce them.

It should be the goal of all language learners to improve their vocabulary. This can only be done by learning how to actively produce more literary and specialized vocabulary in speaking and writing as outlined above.


© 2013 Paul Richard Kuehn

More by this Author


Comments 86 comments

kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Very interesting! My first language is French and I learned some English at school in Belgium. I really learned English when I moved to Canada.... I had no choice to learn it. But I find that giving comments or creating blogs, and exchanging ideas, tweeting made me learned even more English. My writing and speaking skills really improved. My only problem is that when I am tired, I can't talk so easily in English; I have to concentrate more to find my words.

This experience of improving for me and also thinking as a teacher...tweeting is not bad at all! So if we ask kids to write a few sentences a day in another language, they can learn a lot!

Voted up and interesting!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

kidscraft,

Thank you very much for reading this hub. Your comments are very interesting and I appreciate them. If a person is active using English, he or she will learn a lot.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

You are correct... but I even improved my fluidity (I hope I use the correct word) to write in French! I had a writers block since childhood. Not anymore :-)

Have a nice Sunday....unless you are already Monday where you live!

Joelle


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

kidscraft,

Thank you again for your comments. I hope you had a nice Sunday, too.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Some good advice here. I think reading about unfamiliar ideas and concepts can be a great way to expand one's vocabulary. Good fiction can be helpful, but I prefer reading science and psychology reports, politics, religion, and journal articles that are not generally of interest to the average reader. Academic stuff. ;)

Voted up, useful, interesting, and will share!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Au fait,

Thanks for stopping by and reading this hub. Yes, reading about unfamiliar ideas and concepts is a great way to develop your knowledge and expand vocabulary. When I was younger, I was interested in science, but now my interests lie more in languages, linguistics, and social sciences. I appreciate the votes, and especially your sharing of this article.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Paul, this is a great lesson in improving one's vocabulary. I remember when I was in school, one of my classmates had this habit of always carrying a dictionary with him. I guess this was one of the reasons he was good at English.

I'm surprised to learn that many common words that we use daily, come from the German language.

Thanks for sharing. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Shared here and on G+1.


Tom Schumacher profile image

Tom Schumacher 3 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

Nice hub! These are all great suggestions to improve one's knowledge and use of vocabulary. Personally, I find writing a summary of a newspaper article or a book I read helpful to expand upon my familiarity of vocabulary. Even taking college classes on something of interest, which may or may not be relevant to my job, has helped me in this regard, not to mention the fun of meeting new people and learning new things in life. Voted up.


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Nice one Paul, Good booster for happy learning !!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

rajan,

Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. Yes, it is surprising about the number of daily used words which come from German. Thanks for sharing this hub. I really appreciate it.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Tom,

Thank you very much for reading this hub. Writing summaries of news articles or books are excellent ways to practice using newly learned vocabulary. You can't help but learn more vocabulary from new learning experiences. Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you liked this article.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

mr-veg,

Thanks for reading and your comments on this hub. I appreciate them.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

You seem to have covered all the bases with this hub! Good job. This is surely helpful for many people! What about forgetting the meaning of words, and the necessity of `exercising the mind'? My Dad probably has more words in his vocabulary than me, but he doesn't exercise his mind by using them all the time. Sometimes I will write something and he'll remember the word and even the meaning, yet he won't have used it for years because it's fallen to the back of his mind.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

This is a very useful article for anyone, but especially for the many writers here on HubPages that are trying to learn English. I find that reading is one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. One of the great things about today's E-Readers is that they have a build in dictionary - just highlight the word, and the definition comes up. Great hub - voted up, useful and shared.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Great Hub! The little high school I attended did not offer Latin and I've always been sorry about that. My children and grandchildren have all taken Latin in HS, and I used to think it was a waste of time. I know better now.

I try very hard to learn new words but then I forget to use them.

Voted UP, and shared.


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 3 years ago from Hamburg, New York

Thanks for the great advice. I think those of us in the writing community are always looking to improve our vocabulary.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thomas,

Thanks for reading this hub. You're correct. It is necessary to use words you have learned as much as possible. I appreciate your comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

mperrottet,

Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. Yes, reading is an excellent way to expand vocabulary. Talking with educated persons who have had a lot of experiences is also a good way to learn more words. I'm happy you liked the hub and found it useful. Thanks for sharing.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Mary,

Thanks for stopping by and reading this hub. Although some people might say Latin is a dead language as far as speaking is concerned, we use so many words derived from Latin in our everyday speech. I appreciate your comments and sharing of this hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Lipnancy,

Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. If we can improve our vocabulary, I think all of us will be much better writers.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 3 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

This was a very interesting and well written hub about the English language. The history of the English language is so diverse! As you say, it really isn't one language.

You really do have to use words regularly to remember them, so I would recommend maybe 2-5 words a day, but try to incorporate them into your writing/conversations regularly. However, that is just what I felt comfortable with while learning, as it is really hard to remember more than 35 words a week!

Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and useful.


joym7 profile image

joym7 3 years ago from United States

Really an interesting hub for learners. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Brett,

I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting on this hub. Learning how to use well 2-5 words a day is probably easier than 5-7. Thanks for sharing, pinning, and tweeting this hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

joym,

Thanks for reading this article. I really appreciate your comment.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for sharing this. It is daunting to realize that the number of words in the English language is so much higher than what the average person knows! I find myself using words when I write that seem to fit, but I am not sure I am using in the correct context. When I look them up, I am usually right, though.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia

Very good article and tips on improving your vocabulary. When my boys were little guys, they would have to come to the dinner table with a new word. We made a game of guessing what the word meant. It was fun.

Well written; voted up and sharing.


StephanieBCrosby profile image

StephanieBCrosby 3 years ago from New Jersey

This took me back to a time in undergrad where I had to take linguistics. That was literally one of the toughest courses I had. Tracing word origins or trying to figure out a word based on written out phonetics was hard. The one that tripped us up the most was how "hart" translated to "fire." Go figure!


howlermunkey profile image

howlermunkey 3 years ago from Tampa, FL

Great article, thanks for taking the time to explain the origins of the English language (I had no idea it contained so many words). The section on "How well do I know a word" is fantastic, thanks for sharing :)


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 3 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

thanks for sharing!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Rebecca,

Thanks for reading this hub and your interesting comments. Yes, the English language does have a tremendous number of words which have their origins in so many languages. I, also, question myself sometimes when I am using a fairly new word when writing.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Cyndi,

Thank you very much for reading this hub. If more people like you played word games with their kids, I think children would be much better speakers and writers. Thanks for your great comments, and I appreciate you sharing this hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Stephanie,

Thank you for stopping by and your very interesting comments. I also thought linguistics was tough when I had my first class in college. I have seen "hart" used as a surname in Wisconsin. My guess is that it has its origins in German.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

howlermunkey,

Thanks for reading this hub, and I really appreciate your comments. Some people think that the English language may have up to one million words!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

unknown spy,

Thanks for stopping by and reading this article. I appreciate your comment.


Careermommy profile image

Careermommy 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Paul, I'm surprised this was not a hub of the day. This is a great article and very informative. That's a wonderful idea about listening to lectures, talk shows, etc. to expand your vocabulary. Talk radio is good for this as well. Thank you so much for sharing.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Careermommy,

Thank you so much for your interest and praise of my hub. Perhaps in the future I'll get hub of the day, but before that happens I'll have to dress up hubs with more photos and videos to make them more appealing.


Alise- Evon 3 years ago

The English language sure is interesting. It can be fun, also, to go back even further in the history of its development, as you then will see a lot of Greek and Hebrew influence. One interesting Hebrew root is seen in the related words "origin," "originate," "generation," "beginning," etc., where the g-n comes from "gan" in Hebrew, meaning "garden"-- where it all "began." Absolutely fascinating.

Kind of sad that's there's so much more we could be doing with our native tongue, considering we use it every day. I hope we are all inspired to to communicate even more skillfully by developing these tools you have provided us with. Thanks for a great hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

It's good to hear from another Badger. Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I had no knowledge of the Hebrew root and I appreciate this information. I'm very happy you liked this hub.


beingwell profile image

beingwell 3 years ago from Bangkok

Very informative hub. I personally improve my vocabulary from the shows I watch and articles that I read. It's the only way for me. Voted up.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

beingwell,

Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting on this hub. Watching shows and reading will certainly do a lot in improving your vocabulary. it helped me a lot when I was learning Chinese.


dwachira profile image

dwachira 3 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi Paul,

This is very interesting about English language. English is not my native or national language but Kenya having gone through British colonization, we borrow heavily from British English. Am waiting for you to do an article on Kiswahili language :-) Voted up, useful and shared.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Dwachira,

Thanks for reading this hub. I really appreciate your interesting comments. If you can teach me the Kiswahili language, I will definitely write a hub on my experiences learning it. Thanks for the votes and sharing.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Very interesting, my first language is Hindi and you gave some very useful points, thanks.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

girishpuri,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting on my hub. I'm happy that you found this article useful.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

Very interesting well written article. I like your suggestions about listening to lectures, talk shows, shows that intoduce vocabulary, etc. In the classroom I used to have a little game set up with the students. They would use a word that was unfamiliar to most of the other students correctly in a sentence, know how to spell it and it's meaning. If they understood the word they would win a little prize - a piece of candy, 10 minutes on the computer, 10 minutes of free time - it was their choice. You would be surprized how their vocabulary improved over the year.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals,

Thanks for reading this hub and I really appreciate your comments. Your experience using games for classroom activities to improve vocabulary is very interesting and useful. Perhaps I should invest in more candy as rewards to be given for learning words.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

An informative, interesting and terrific look at the components of English. I teach history, but if I didn't I would want to be a linguist. I find words and language endlessly fascinating. Sharing, of course. :)


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

phdast,

Thank you for reading and giving such a favorable view on this hub. In addition to lingusitics, I also have an interest in history. I appreciate you sharing this hub.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

My vocabulary needs improving this hub will help. Voted up and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Another interesting hub Paul. You have broken things down into very understandable 'chunks'. Now I know why we had 10 vocabulary words a day in school! I too took two years of Latin in high school and it has helped tremendously.

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.


my_girl_sara profile image

my_girl_sara 3 years ago from Georgia

How come nobody mentioned the Word Power section in every Reader's Digest Magazine? That is how I like to learn new words!

The media is also good for bringing out new words into everyone's vocabulary...gravitas, sequestration and incentivize are the first ones that come to my mind as examples.


ARUN KANTI profile image

ARUN KANTI 3 years ago from KOLKATA

As an Indian having English as the second language I took keen interest in building my vocabulary by reading good books and a newspaper regularly and looking up the unfamiliar words in the dictionary. I would also note their proper usage and then I made it a practice to try to use those words as far as practicable so as not to forget them easily.The interesting hub reminds me of my school days. Thanks.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Arun Kanti,

I greatly appreciate you reading and commenting on this hub. It's good that it reminds you of your school days when you certainly did the best things to develop your vocabulary. I really appreciate your great comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

moonlake,

I'm happy you like this hub. Thanks for reading and sharing!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Mary,

I'm pleased to know you found this hub interesting and helpful. Do any kids still take Latin in school today? Thanks for voting this hub up and sharing it!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

my_girl-sara,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this hub. Yes, I should have mentioned the Word Power section in Reader's Digest. I remember reading that when younger, and I should update my hub with this information. The media, indeed, is a good source for bringing new words into everyday vocabulary. I greatly appreciate your comments!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Our local high school is again offering Latin. It didn't for many years but they have brought it back.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Tillsontitan,

That's great news to hear. Thanks for the comment.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Interesting hub I'm always surprised if I know the meaning of an unusual word. Don't ask me to spell it I couldn't do it. Came back to pin.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

moonlake,

Thank you very much for your comments. I also appreciate you pinning this hub.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I think your advice here is so good for helping people expand their vocabularies, and I think doing that is a worthy goal. Sharing this article with my followers again!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Au Fait,

Thank you very much for commenting on this hub and sharing it with your followers again. Expanding vocabulary can make a person so much more articulate.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Going to share this article again and this time pinning it to my "Education" board.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Au fait,

Thank you so much for sharing this article again and pinning it.


Taleb80 profile image

Taleb80 3 years ago

Building vocabularies needs patience & determination.

Thank you for sharing these tips.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Taleb80,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I'm glad you liked it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I also took 2 years of Latin in high school and it definitely helped when learning new words. I was always curious about words that I did not know when reading so would often look them up in the dictionary. If you ever played the game Probe...that was a good one for lovers of words. You have offered good tips in this hub. Happy to share them with others!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

I love words, and, since childhood, have always looked up meanings of words I didn't know. Like Peggy, I took Latin in high school, and that has been a help to me all my life. Working in academia also introduced me to many new words and gave me the confidence to use them in speaking and writing. Well written hub with lots of good advice! Voted up and shared!


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

This is an excellent article with very interesting information about the origins of the English language and how to improve one's vocabulary. You always produce such interesting articles. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Paul, this is really a very interesting and helpful hub. I am always very aware of words I use when writing. When not sure of the meaning of a word, I look it up before I use it. This helps me a lot to use words correctly -- however, I do not always retain new words and their meaning, for it is too easy to look for a quick definition. Your hub points out to me that one should learn how to understand words, their meaning, and their spelling. I have a friend from another country (online friend) who has asked me to help her learn the English language better. Since I am not a teacher, this is difficult for me to do -- so, we just chat back and forth and she is slowly picking up correct usage of English words. I am going to send the link to this hub of yours to her and recommend the books you have listed. Thank you so much for writing this hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Peggy,

No, I have never played the game Probe, but I will try it out! I'm very happy you liked this hub and found it interesting and helpful. Thanks for sharing this hub with others.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Stephanie,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub. I appreciate your good review and am glad you found this article useful. Thank you also for your votes and sharing.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

rose-the planner,

I really appreciate your comments and evaluation of my articles. I know they can be better. Thanks for voting up thios hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Phyllis,

Thank you very much for your comments. If this article can help only one person improve their vocabulary, I will be more than satisfied. I'm thrilled that you found this hub both interesting and useful!


susi10 profile image

susi10 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

Very interesting hub, Paul and well-formatted. I like the facts you put in, I never knew that although there are 60,000 words in the English language, we only know about 20,000. It shows that there are so many new words to be added to our vocabulary list every day. One of my favourite ways to learn vocab is through reading. Authors tend to use abstract words sometimes which when repeatedly read, go into the readers long-term memory and they know the meaning of that word. Thanks for this!

Voted up, interesting, useful and shared.


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 2 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

This is awesome! I particularly like how you divided the words into the three simple-to-understand groups. Merriam-Webster.com has a new vocabulary building app (free) that's fun and challenging for most people. I've raised my "level" of understanding of several words since I started playing that game, too!

Great article! Following you now... Got to hear what else you have to say!


Scott P Williams profile image

Scott P Williams 2 years ago from Miami, Florida

Interesting and definitely useful. Thanks for sharing. Now If I can only get better at spelling...lol


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

susi10 Thank you very much for your favorable review of this hub! Learning vocabulary through reading is one of the best ways. Sometimes when I write, I am able to draw one words which I have picked up in my prior readings. Thanks for sharing this hub!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&Laura Schneider Thank you very much for commenting on this hub! I will have to check out the Merriam-Webster new vocabulary app. Glad to hear that your understanding of words has increased! In the future I will write more about improving vocabulary. I really appreciate your great comments.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&Scott P Williams Thanks for commenting! I'm happy you found this hub interesting and useful!


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

So informative and useful to all who wish to follow English knowledge. These tips will help one if he/she makes some sincere attempt to learn the language and improve vocabulary. Hope you will publish more such useful hubs for helping the readers. Voted up.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&sunilkunnoth2012 I'm very happy you found this hub useful! In the future, I will publish more useful hubs for English learners.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

readers digest and novel books are the best way for me to improve my vocabs


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&peachpurple Yes, I would agree that readers digest and novel books are good ways to improve vocabulary. In the past, Readers Digest had one page which introduced 20-25 new words and there was a test on the words. Thanks for commenting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 months ago from North Texas

Came back to share this excellent article again, and pinned it to my 'Education' board as well. Everyone can benefit from reading this, and so it's the greenest of green!


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much for sharing and pinning this hub. If everyone can benefit from this article, I will be extremely happy.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working