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Hi there ..

I am wondering what is the best way to improve vocabulary ? all knows that the vocabulary is one of the important things that if someone knows a lot of vocabulary will use lil words and I think no one can understand a film or anything if he or she has little knowledge of the vocabulary .. I've bought a book called oxford Dictionary and it is very helpful as i think and it says that those are common words .. is that useful ? Because I don't wanna learn words which nobody use and by the way thanks ..
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My suggestion: read the paper. In the paper, you will see the most commonly used words over and over again.

Or you can watch the same TV show. Or read books from the same genre. The idea is you'll run into the same words many times.

Hey, after watching the 100th episode of Law and Order, even I remember quite a few courtroom jargons.

Emotion: smile
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Here is my suggestion.

Read the newpaper, magazine, or a best selling novel to pick up most frequently used words and phrases. Or engage in a conversation with English speaking friends. Or watch a movie with the subtitle turned on so you can hear how actors pronunciate words.

Then, always keep a piece of paper handy in your pocket to write down a new vocabulary you pick up. Not just the word itself, but the whole sentence so you will know how it is used. True, it will be overwhelming at the beginning. You might want to concentrate on words you have heard many times but still not quite sure what it means.

Then, after you have amassed a page full of new vocabs, go to your computer and type them in. Then go to one of the online dictionaries and look up the meaning. Then you can cut and paste the definition next to your word. I do this in an Excel file. I have different tabs for words beginning with different letters of the alphabet. In each tab, I have three columns. One for the word, second for definition, and third for example sentences.

Also, bookmark several of your favorite online dictionaries. Because often times, after you look up a word from one source, it is still hard to understand what it means. I usually go Cambridge, Merriam Webster, and Dictionary.com. And by the time I am through these 3 dictionaries, I usually have a pretty good idea.

Good luck in your quest.
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Comments  
Hi, the best way to improve voc. read the mags and newspapers select the words you don't know the meaning, write the word down on the one side of blank visiting card, the other side of the card write the meaning of that word from the dictionary, when you understand the meaning the word you desire then make sentence/s in your mind by your own and write it/them down on the card.
Make many 5 or 10 cards and shuffle them by time to time, make new cards, after 15 days repeat the old ones.

Regads,

~infosearch.
Dear Infosearch,

I'm afraid your idea is not applicable. Even if we take one paragraph from a newspaper, it containts umpteen number of new words. So, I'm afraid we can't write down each and every word and find their meanings along with writing new sentences.

[ Infosearch, please don't mistake me. I'm just expressing my view. ]

I have read the book : "Word power made Easy" by Norman Lewis. I found it an excellent book for vocabulary building. It will kick-start the practise of improving the vocabulary.

Praveen.
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I would suggest two types of exercises:

-o- Substitutional tables

On a sheet of paper (you can as well do this in your word processor), paint a table for a given sentence pattern, for example:

subject    |    verb    |    object1    |     object2    |    adverb
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he                loves        parties                               on the beach
my dog        brought    a bone          to me            yesterday

Of course, although the words in my example are English, you should use words in your target language.
Use this table playfully and make all possible combinations. The silliest the sentences, the better!

This method is very useful to get exposure to the vocabulary, especially if you are learning an inflected language, like German or Russian.

-o- Flashcards

Instead of using paper flashcards, you can use them on your PC and let a "flashcard trainer" sort them out for you. The ones you know well should be set apart, so you can progressively concentrate on the more difficult flashcards.
I recommend VTrain (Vocabulary Trainer), which seems to be quite popular among universities. It includes a scheduling facility that keeps the number of necessary repetitions to a minimum.

You can download it from
www.vtrain.net

Good luck!
 Danyoo's reply was promoted to an answer.