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How to learn words?

Improve your Vocabulary by Learning New Words

How to learn words?


It is a challenge to expand one's vocabulary. And it gets particularly challenging when one sees the plethora (meaning 'extreme excess') of options available from which to learn words. In this article, our objective is to synthesize (meaning 'to combine or cause to combine into a whole') the best of these options and form the best possible approach to learn new words and enrich (meaning 'make wealthy or richer') our learning quotient.

The methods we will cover in this article include the various approaches that can be used to learn words.

Method 1: Learning through Word Roots

Like all things on this planet, words also have an origin story. They come from all sorts of places: the land of the Greeks and Romans, through the Indian Subcontinent and through any possible reference in the past that is filtered into the present.

Let us take the example of the root 'nasc-,nat-':

Nascent is derived from the Latin Root 'nasc-,nat-', meaning 'born or birth'. The very root of the word points to its meaning. Some interesting words based on this root are:

  • Natal: Relating to or accompanying birth.
  • Prenatal: Occurring or existing before birth.
  • Neonatal: Concerning the first 28 days after the birth of a child or pertaining to a new born. This word is the combination of natal and neo (which means new).

Learning words through their roots is an amazing learning method. One gets the benefit of learning multiple words through a single root; it is this multiplicity of knowledge that works wonders for an individual. YOU LEARN A SINGLE ROOT and YOU GET TO LEARN MULTIPLE WORDS.

Method 2: Contextual vocabulary

This is the most used method of learning words, and is in fact part of our intrinsic (meaning 'belonging to a thing by its very nature') learning methodology. Let's take a sample word with a sentence extracted from the New York Times, and see how this method works.

Sample Word: Lure
  • Sentence Example: To lure business, some states are offering a refuge from rules, especially those requiring companies to set aside enough money to pay future claims.
  • Meaning: Lure means to tempt or attract with the promise for reward.

In this example, companies are being lured b different states by giving them special benefits

This is an example of learning words through the context they appear in. The more you read, the more such contexts you discover. And the more contexts you discover, the more you learn. So the effectiveness of this method comes down to your reading habit.

Method 3: Learning through Pictures and movies

They say pictures speak a thousand words. Words can be easily learnt through this method of associating words with images. In fact, this is method of learning that we have used since our childhood. You can easily explore the net for such photographs. Use Google Images and picture dictionaries like www.wordpandit.com to the fullest to learn words.

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