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How to memorize words in English: 6 effective ways


Alina Prikhodko

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When learning a new language, sometimes it seems that all the vocabulary literally flies out of your head. In order not to forget useful expressions, you need to pump up your memory. Journal.tinkoff I have collected several techniques that will help you remember words in English easier.

These techniques will require time and effort, but they will save you from hated cramming and will be useful to everyone who is learning a foreign language - even those who can already boast a high level of knowledge.

Glue stickers

What will help you remember: everyday words.

Write the names of objects in a foreign language on stickers and post notes everywhere: for example, with the word socket - on a socket, freezer - on a freezer. Choose places where your gaze most often falls. Feel free to use all the locations you visit: apartment, office, car, dacha.

You don’t need to do anything special - over time, the expressions themselves will begin to be remembered. If you want to speed up the process, say the words out loud, which will also connect the auditory channel to the visual channel of information perception.

Make up absurd stories

What will help you remember: words and expressions that are not related in meaning.

This method is well suited if you need, for example, to prepare for a report or presentation in a foreign language. The essence of the method is that you come up with stories with words that you need to remember. The more absurd the story, the better: the sentence “the grasshopper called the dragonfly and ordered ten screwdrivers” will most likely be etched in the memory, but the phrase “the accountant prepared the annual report within two weeks” is unlikely. Therefore, you will have to use your imagination.

Let's say you have to remember the following words and expressions: bed of roses - "sweet life"; liquor store - "liquor store"; to unwind - "unwind"; to spike one's drink - «poison someone's drink" Their story might look like this:

Frank's life wasn't a bed of roses. And the only thing he was dreaming of all week long was to buy a bottle of wine in a liquor store and unwind by having a drink. Poor Frank - his wife spiked his drink and he died.

Frank's life was not sweet. And the only thing he dreamed about all week was to buy a bottle of wine at a liquor store and unwind with a glass. Poor Frank: his wife poisoned his drink and Frank died.

The story turned out to be quite absurd, and the words from it are much easier to remember than if you cram them separately.

Choose antonyms

What will help you remember: words with opposite meanings.

This technique is also called binary. Its essence lies in pairwise memorization of antonyms. For example, you learned the word generous - "generous" We don’t stop there and immediately look for how it will be “stingy"- Stingy. We recommend creating a file with a table where you can write down antonyms that you come across along the way. It is enough to periodically return to it and run your eyes over the columns.

Example table of antonyms:

Intrusive / Discreet Pushy / Even-tempered
Energetic / Tired Energetic/Tired
Sociable / Private Easy-going/Reserved
Selfish / Caring Selfish/Caring
Shy/Confident Shy/Confident
Generous/Stingy Generous / Stingy
Lazy/Hardworking Lazy/Hard-working
Curious / Indifferent Curious / Apathetic

Remember phrasal verbs paired with other words

What will help you remember: how to use come across and fall apart correctly.

Phrasal verbs are set phrases that consist of a verb and a preposition or adverb, for example turn around or depend on. This is a separate headache for many students of foreign languages, because the meaning of such connectives is often not so easy to guess. Therefore, it is advisable to learn phrasal verbs in pairs with a word with which they can be used in real life. For example, verb to come up with - "they'll come up withь" - can be remembered paired with the word idea - "idea" You can also learn other expressions. To simplify the process, create a sign so you can return to it at any time. Write the phrasal verb in one column, and the word with which it can be used in the other. In addition, if you want, write the Russian translation next to it.

Verb What to use with
To come up with An idea
To come across An interesting article


Make mental maps, or mindmaps

What will help you remember: groups of words united by meaning.

If you need to learn new vocabulary on one topic, try making a diagram with the main concept at the center. Branches will branch off from it - categories and subcategories. Let's say you are preparing for an interview in English. The central word will be job interview - "job interview" Branch categories will branch off from it: “resume","money","documents","questions" Subcategories can be attached to them. For example, for the category "money" - This "salary expectations","prize","Fines" As a result, you will get a thematic mental map, that is, a mindmap.

Memorizing words this way is effective for two reasons:

  • You will make an effort to translate all the necessary expressions.
  • You will build relationships, which will make it easier to remember vocabulary than if you memorize several disparate concepts.

There are now many online resources for creating mind maps, such as Mindmup or Mindonmap. The diagram can be compiled electronically and periodically look at it to repeat the words.

Create associations

What will help you remember: expressions you keep forgetting.

The essence of the method is to select a word in your native language that is consonant with the foreign one that you are trying to remember, and create an association. Let's say you can't remember how to say "eagle"- eagle. Let's try to create an association: “The talons of an EAGLE are many sharp needles.” Now every time you need to use the word “eagle”, you will reproduce this phrase in your head and remember the translation. Over time, it will be remembered, and the need for association will disappear.

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