To improve your vocabulary, read extensively across different genres and topics, noting new words and their meanings. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms (words with similar meanings) and antonyms (words with opposite meanings), enhancing precision in expressing ideas.
Learn common prefixes, suffixes and word roots to decipher unfamiliar words and recognise word families for vocabulary expansion.
Understanding prefixes and suffixes can help you to guess the meaning of new words. For example, if you know that “bio-” means life and “-logy” means the study of, you can infer that “biology” is the study of life.
Choose words that precisely convey your intended meaning. Avoid using vague or generic terms that lack clarity. Instead of saying something is “nice,” be more descriptive and use words like “delightful,” “exquisite,” or “charming.”
Using a thesaurus can help in your search for more precise vocabulary. A thesaurus provides alternative words that carry subtle differences in meaning and connotation. It allows you to choose the most fitting word for your intended message, whether it is describing emotions, objects or experiences.
Tailor your vocabulary to fit the tone and style of your writing or speaking. Use formal language for academic papers, professional correspondence, or speeches.
In informal contexts, such as personal narratives or conversations with friends, you can use more relaxed and colloquial language.
Adapting your language to suit the purpose, audience and genre is required for effective communication. Consider these guidelines:
Understanding connotation and register helps you choose words that fit the tone and style of your writing or speaking.
Connotation – Pay attention to the emotional associations of words. Some words may have positive, negative or neutral connotations. Choose words that align with the desired tone and evoke the appropriate emotional response from your audience.
Register – Adjust your language to match the level of formality required for a particular context. Formal writing and speeches require a more elevated and professional register, while informal contexts allow for a more relaxed and conversational register.