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Looking after your vocabulary

Think of your words as living beings.

Writing down a word or expression in your notebook is like planting a flower or buying a beautiful fish for your aquarium: You want to keep them in ideal conditions so they lead a happy, healthy life.

Here is how.


Your words will thrive on time, attention and affection.
Take good care of them, treating them the way you would treat your plants or your pet.

1. Words are sociable beings.

Words are gregarious. In order to come alive and show their full potential, most words need the company of other words. Therefore make sure you record them in a sentence.

The more you keep growing your vocabulary, the happier your words will be. Here is a post about the topic of growing your vocabulary: part 1 and part 2.

2. Words, like pets or plants, need regular attention.

Dedicate some time to your vocabulary through regular reviews. Without them, they will soon lose their colours and their sparkle and go dry and lifeless. See this post for some tips on how to review your vocabulary.

3. Just like living beings, they love being outside.

Take your your words out of your notebook, play with them, use them! Spend some quality time with your vocabulary.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; by using your vocabulary, it will get better and stronger – just as your pet won’t mind the rain and the snow as long as it can play outdoors.

Do something in English every day.

  • Listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos or a TED Talk.
  • Read a blog in English (like this one 🙂 ).
  • Write to-do lists and shopping lists in English. Write the definitions of your new words in English.
  • And speak! Here is a post on how to train yourself to become more fluent all by yourself: part 1 and part 2.

4. Appreciate the words you have collected

Your vocabulary empowers and enriches you.
Therefore, appreciate your collection of vocabulary in different ways:

  • for its usefulness
  • for its beauty
  • or even for its fun.

Make your vocabulary memorable: write it down in personalized, useful sentences – and remember it even better.

5. Do not have your phrasal verbs living in a ghetto

Do not isolate phrasal verbs by simply accumulating them in a separate section of your notebook. Just like all other words, they need to be in company of others.
For the welfare of your phrasal words and your own benefit, make sure you incorporate phrasal verbs as much as you can into the groups and situations contained in your notebook.

By regularly dedicating time and attention to your vocabulary, you will keep your words healthy and happy and in perfect condition for you to use.

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