Many students ask me how to learn more vocab, or say that it is hard to remember words. Well, here is one thing you can do. Learn collocations.
A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be unnatural and just sound "wrong.
Why should you learn them?
Your language will be more natural and more easily understood.
You will have alternative and richer ways of expressing yourself.
It is easier for our brains to remember and use language in chunks or blocks rather than as single words.
Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when you see or hear them.
Treat collocations as single blocks of language. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks, and learn strongly support, not strongly + support.
When you learn a new word, write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly, remember distinctly, remember vaguely, remember vividly).
Read as much as possible. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally.
Learn collocations in groups that work for you. You could learn them by topic (time, number, weather, money, family) or by a particular word (take action, take a chance, take an exam).
Types of collocation
There are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb, noun, adjective etc. Some of the most common types are:
adverb + adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied)
adjective + noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy)
noun + noun: a surge of anger (NOT a rush of anger)
noun + verb: lions roar (NOT lions shout)
verb + noun: commit suicide (NOT undertake suicide)
verb + expression with preposition: burst into tears (NOT blow up intears)
verb + adverb: wave frantically (NOT wave feverishly)
I hope these tips helped. If you want to practice using these through conversation, then sign up for a trial lesson soon so that I can design a weekly plan just for you to use them. Good luck!