Why is Improving English Vocabulary Important For You?
You might just be on this page for your IELTS or CELPIP vocabulary learning needs but you need these lessons for your continued growth in improving your English writing and speaking.
15 Important English Vocabulary Words:
1. abrupt – quick.
“She was abrupt in her answers during the job interview which made her seem nervous”. Here, we are using the word as an adjective as it defines the person’s behavior.
“She abruptly answered the questions during the job interview”. This one is the adverb form which is way more popular with this word.
2. fierce – brave and aggressive.
“She is usually quite gentle but is fierce when it comes to defending her children”. The word here is used as an adjective.
3. absurd – silly.
“Your claims regarding the alien spaceships are completely absurd”. Used again as an adjective.
4. vicious – aggressive.
“She reacted viciously when asked to correct her behavior”. We use the word here as an adverb to describe the person’s behavior. You can also use a version here which is just adjective based. An example of that would be:
“He is an evil person with a vicious behavior towards people”. In this case, this person displays almost animal-like behavior when he meets or interacts with others.
5. damp – wet.
You will want to use this word mostly with objects that are wet. You can use it with adjectives or verbs.
“This cloth is completely damp” – Adjective
“Let’s damp the sponge so it cleans better”. – Verb
6. superficial – unimportant
“Your business ideas are undoubtedly superficial. You actually have zero business experience or training”. The word is used here as an adjective.
7. amateur – beginner (but used in a degrading way)
“You are just an amateur in this industry and you cannot compete with me!” The adjective use here is indicative of someone degrading someone else. However, in many sports, it is not considered degrading. If someone is an amateur wrestler or an amateur boxer, it just means they are beginners, and the usage here is in no way meant to insult the person.
8. brisk – strong, dynamic, or fast.
“Brisk walk” is a common example of the adjective usage of this word. “Brisk voice” is another. Here is a complete sentence with the adjective use:
“Stay firm and brisk in your plans. Do not change course or you will fail!”
9. vague – unclear – adjective
“I think you are purposefully being vague with your response to avoid accountability”. In this example, you can think of a person who is a witness in court and is lying or not getting to the point right away since they are trying to not give straight answers.
10. vivid – clear
“My memories from yesterday evening are still very vivid”. Once again, used as an adjective, this word could be used for memories, descriptions of events, ideas, explanations, or similar.
11. vulnerable – physically or mentally weak
“I don’t want to talk to her about her weaknesses because she will start feeling vulnerable”. Adjective usage.
12. apparent – really or actually
“There is no apparent reason for my lack of confidence. It’s just inborn, I guess”.
The more popular way to use this word is with “ly” as an adverb. For example:
“She thought she would give me a ride because apparently, I look too old!” Here, the word is used sarcastically, and this kind of usage for this word is very common.”
Now you may be confused with all the grammar terminology here! Not to worry. If you have weak grammar and you need free grammar coaching, check out some of the great resources at englishgrammar.org! They have free practice questions that you can try. Especially try their quizzes! They provide lots of great material!
13. vast – a lot
“There was a vast amount of information regarding computers in the library”.
14. bizarre – strange.
“He had this bizarre look on his face as if he was a serial killer!” We are using the word here as an adjective that describes something quite strange to the extent that it is disturbing. Yes, there is no actual positive way of using this word. It’s always bad news or at the least, something completely out of the ordinary (mostly, not in a good way).
“You had ample time to do this and the work is still not completed. I am disappointed in you.” The usage here is again as an adjective and that is the most common way to use “ample”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “ample” and “amount” together. This is a common error. For example, some people would say, “I have an ample amount of time”. That seems repetitive. “Ample” implies that you have plenty of a certain amount.
One final tip about grammar usage… If you are doing your own writings without an English tutor, make sure to download the Grammarly app or extension. You can do that by going here: https://app.grammarly.com/
This website will help you fix even the most complex grammar errors that a traditional spell check will not be able to do. It will also help you correct your mistakes when you are writing emails or even social media content! Moreover, if you are preparing for your IELTS or CELPIP exams and you need to do some writing practice for a good score, you need to download this!
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Wait, your English Vocabulary lesson is not yet finished!
Let me tell you one very important thing. Right after this lesson, you are going to forget 90% of what you have learned. This is a common issue with students. We get hundreds of students every month who have the same complaint.
We even teach them these words and phrases during the live classes and still, with the teacher being present, there is a huge tendency to forget what you have learned. Mainly, the reason this happens is because of you simply reading these words and phrases and not being able to practically apply your learned English vocabulary in writing and speaking.
The answer is right in the sentence. You just need to apply this practically in your writing and speaking.
How you do this is in three simple steps:
- Take a pen and paper. For each word you have learned, write down three separate sentences. Then, make three sentences verbally. So this will be six sentences in total. Remember, we are doing this to improve your English vocabulary skills in both writing and speaking. This is important if you are wondering how to score good marks in the vocabulary section for IELTS or CELPIP.
- Make sure to make sentences based on your personal life. This is highly important. English vocabulary is best learned when you relate these words and phrases based on your daily routine, habits, activities and likes or dislikes. For example, if I am going to job interviews and I see the word “vague” here, I will make sure to make six sentences of vague as follows:
a. I need to stop giving vague answers in job interviews.
b. I think the job interviewer does not trust me because I give a very vague response when asked about my experience in previous companies.
c. Job interviewers like a lot of things in candidates, but I am sure being vague is not a quality they admire.
d. It would be much easier for me to finish up a job interview faster and with good quality if I didn’t have the habit of being vague all the time.
e. I can’t help it but lie in the job interviews about my experience since I don’t have any. This can make it seem as if I am being purposefully vague as I am not a good liar.
f. My business teacher taught me that if I don’t know the answer in a job interview, I should simply be vague. But I don’t know if that was good advice.
So the secret of doing this is because the brain gets more familiarized with the word since it is now related to your personal life and the usage makes more sense to your mind. In fact, the next time you try to think of a job interview, the word ‘vague’ might come up randomly in your brain making it more and more familiar to you and making you able to use it in your writing and speaking.
3. Now, the big question is how often do you do this. Yes, if you thought one day is enough, think again! The recommended guideline is to actually do this for 14 days straight. That means no day off. And the reason behind this is again, we are trying to develop a habit. Most psychologists say that to develop a permanent habit, you need 90 to 120 days. However, this applies more to psychological things like quitting smoking or waking up early, etc.
If we want to talk about learning something like English vocabulary and how to use complex words and phrases in your essays or in your speaking, it simply comes down to repeated practice for a reasonable amount of time. Based on our student results and our decades of experience in teaching English successfully, we have narrowed it down to 14 straight days. However, the only reason we have reduced the timeline for this is if you follow the first two points.
Once again, you wanna make six sentences per day, Three written and three spoken. You want to make them based on situations familiar to you and you want to repeat them for 14 straight days to really optimize results and make sure you continue using these words for the rest of your life, not only in your English proficiency exams.
One more thing! If you are preparing for your CELPIP exam or your IELTS exam, remember to also use the above words not only as a strategy for more vocab but use this as a strategy for better vocab! In these difficult English exams, if you need to learn how to get a 9 in CELPIP or how to score 7 or more bands in IELTS, know that basic words are never going to help!
The above lesson can also be considered a synonym lesson. For instance, the next time, you want to use the word “quick”, simply use “abrupt! This will help improve your vocabulary mark considerably and make you sound fancier in order to make the examiner happy!
Now let’s see if you can upgrade the following sentences based on the words you learned today!
Hint: the words/phrases in bold should be replaced with what you have learned today.
1. You literally have been extremely brave. I would have probably crawled under my blanket the first time I saw the robbers in my house.
2. I’m sorry but I think you’re purposefully ignoring the questions. Can you just be straight with me?
3. I cannot believe that this work has not been completed yet despite giving you enough time and resources to make sure it was done. What is your excuse now?
4. Can you imagine the huge amount of money our government spends on useless resources without thinking of the taxpayer?
5. Please never mention the accident to her again. She gets really triggered by those things as she is very weak when it comes to those topics based on her past experience.
6. In the military, your strong attitude and presence are some things that everybody should desire to have.
Tip: If you are struggling already, try to go back and revise the lesson before continuing!
7. When I was on drugs, for some reason, my focus on my studies was amazing. Everything that I read was just so clear and I could memorize everything instantaneously.
8. Wow, it must be really humid in here. This cloth is still wet even though I left it right next to the vent.
9. You are being completely ridiculous. Your claims would not stand in court because everything is already clearly stated in our contract.
10. Isn’t it strange that schools teach everything about life except the most important lesson on how to make money.
11. Bob thinks he can make better decisions than me when it comes to our business. It’s almost like he feels like the smarter one between us.
12. You are not yet ready for the big leagues. You’re still a novice.
13. I ignore half of the things you say because most of them are really not that important.
14. You’re acting like an animal right now. Calm down and try to behave!
15. Hurry! Let’s calm her down before she quickly does something she will regret!
Ready for the answers? Here they are:
2. being vague
14. being vicious
How did it go? Did you end up making lots of mistakes? If yes, you need to follow the three steps mentioned regarding how to memorize and retain every piece of English vocabulary you learn from now on. You can even make these kinds of quizzes for yourself where you question yourself on the best synonyms to use for the words and phrases you have learned. Make sure to also have consistency and do it for two weeks straight.