Learning vocabulary is an essential skill in learning a foreign language. Vocabulary is a necessary step before learning other skills. Vocabulary learning is necessary before reading comprehension, listening, speaking, writing, and pronunciation.
Tips for learning English language vocabulary
English has a vast vocabulary. It is estimated that there are more than 250,000 distinct words. There are often several distinct meaning in a word. You should not be discouraged, as only about 3000 words are necessary for basic comprehension. It is important to learn the correct word to use, do not waste time learning or teaching words that are not useful, except for advanced students.
Learn the most often used words first
Starting with the most common words is the fasted way to gain basic comprehension. It is a good idea to learn this list of the top 100 words first. These are the 100 most commonly used words in the English language.
These words are the 50 most frequently used nouns in written English. Learning to use these nouns is a good starting place for any beginner English learner who wants to build up his English vocabulary. Nouns give you a concrete way to talk about the people, places, and things around you. However, too many English learners focus on memorizing long lists of nouns in the beginning. It is easy to get carried away, you do not need to learn the names of all the animals at the zoo, or name all of the tools in your toolbox. While you may eventually learn all those nouns, mastering a shorter, more targeted list is a better use of your time. You can always look up more precise nouns as you need them. After all, how often do you need to talk about platform shoes or ferrets?
This list gives the 50 most frequent verbs in English in alphabetical order. Understanding how to use these verbs is a high priority for any English learner. Mastering verbs is a cornerstone of a strong English vocabulary because it allows you to describe actions and states of being. Verbs are powerful vocabulary words because they can be conjugated to discuss the past or the future, hypothetical situations, or possibilities. Even with just 50 common verbs in your toolbox, as well as some other types of words, you can communicate many things in English.
Learning these 50 most commonly used adjectives in English is a good place to start expanding English vocabulary. These adjectives are a good place to get started for many simple English tasks.
Remember that you can negate adjectives if you don’t know the opposite word yet, for example, say, “It’s not clear,” if you don’t know the word “confusing.” You can also combine adjectives for added precision, for example, say, “What you want is possible but hard,” if you don’t know the word “challenging.” By learning to use these 50 adjectives correctly and applying a few “tricks” to make your life simpler, you’ll expand your ability to communicate in English.
Once you’ve mastered the short vocabulary lists, you can move on to the more comprehensive ones below. Remember, although a native English speaker has a vocabulary of 20,000 words or more, learning just 3,000 words is enough to understand most of the everyday English conversation. Learning 3,000 words is enough for basic writing as long as you’re working from the right list. The basis of this list is word frequency so that you won’t find vocabulary like “tiger,” “skirt,” or “spaghetti,” all common in beginner English lists but not all that useful. To learn English faster and more efficiently, focus on memorizing the most common vocabulary first, rather than a haphazard collection of words that you are unlikely to use.
English Vocabulary Resources for Students and Teachers
English Vocabulary in Use pre-intermediate and Intermediate is primarily designed as a self-study reference and practice text, but it can also be used for classroom work. This new edition has been fully revised and updated to ensure that the vocabulary presented is current and relevant.
- One hundred easy-to-use units: vocabulary items are presented and explained on left-hand pages, with a range of follow-up activities on right-hand pages.
- Presents and explains new words in context and shows learners how to use them and how to work out rules for using them.
- Based on a corpus of real written and spoken language to ensure the vocabulary is relevant and up-to-date
- It contains a comprehensive, student-friendly answer key.
- Includes a detailed index with phonemic transcriptions to help with the pronunciation of difficult vocabulary.
- Is beautifully illustrated in full color