Study Tip – Core Vocabulary: The English Words You Need to Know

by Melanie on October 29, 2012

Why is it taking so long to learn English?

Do you remember when you started learning English? It was so easy & fun! You learned so many new words and it was easy to learn the words for ‘dog’ and ‘house’ and ‘cheese.’ Before you knew it, you could put together a sentence. One day you realized you could have a basic conversation with someone in English. That was awesome!

Then, something happened, and you’re not quite sure what. It’s taking more and more time now just to make the smallest improvements. When you read something, you still have to look up many words in the dictionary. You learn lots of new words but you can’t remember them all and when you want to explain your opinion, you can’t find the right words to use. You can’t express yourself as clearly as you would like to, or as clearly as you can in your mother tongue/native language.

It seems to be taking a long time to learn English.

Here’s why:

(Source: Oxford Dictionaries)
 
The Oxford English Corpus (OEC) is a collection of texts (books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, emails, speeches etc.) that shows how the English language is used in real situations. It keeps track of all the words native English speakers use in speaking & writing. It tells us the number of words that English speakers currently use.
 
A ‘lemma’ is the base form of a word; for example the lemma ‘climb’ includes the different word forms climbs, climbing, and climbed

 

According to this chart, you only need to know 10 words to understand 25% of what native speakers say and write. You need to know 100 words to understand 50% of what native speakers say & write, and 1000 words to understand 75% of all the words used in common, every day English. That’s why it was so easy to get to the intermediate level.

Congratulations! You already know at least 75% of what native speakers say and write!

Now look at the 90% level. This is the most important part of the chart. Native speakers use just 7000 words for 90% of what they say and write. [Click to tweet this!]

To move from the intermediate level to the advanced/fluent level, you need to learn 6000 more words. That’s why it seems to be taking so long!

Of course, there are more than 7000 words used in English. However, it’s impossible to count all the words in the entire language, and new words are added all the time. Here’s how the Oxford English Dictionary explains English:

English consists of a small number of very common words, a larger number of intermediate ones, and then an indefinitely long ‘tail’ of very rare terms.

 

Not all English words are equal. Learn the right words.

Those 7000 words are the key to speaking English well. Those 7000 words are the core vocabulary of English. They are the most frequently used words in English. You need to know AND be able to use those words.

The less common words are important, but they are mostly for reference. You need to know them to understand what you’re reading or listening to, but you probably don’t need to use them in your everyday conversations.

You need to spend more time learning the 7000 core vocabulary words, and less time worrying about more advanced, rare words. [Click to tweet this!]

 

How do I learn the core vocabulary of 7000 words?

1. Learn the right words.

Have you noticed that many words in this article are in red?

The Macmillan Dictionary has a great system called red words. The 7000 words (actually, Macmillan includes 7500 words) that make up the core vocabulary are in red. When you hear or see a new word, look it up in the Macmillan dictionary. If the word is in red, then it is part of the core vocabulary and you need to know this word!

 

 

You can see that there are 3 red stars *** after the word ‘opinion.’ This means that ‘opinion’ is one of the 2500 most frequently used words in English. You need to know these words, you need to understand these words, and you need to be able to use them in conversation.

The Macmillan dictionary has very comprehensive entries for red words. For example, in the definition for ‘opinion,’ you can also see collocations, phrases with ‘opinion’, ways of giving your opinion, and metaphors. You can also listen to someone pronounce the word, check different forms of the words, and find related words.

 

NOTE: The Macmillan dictionary has both British or American definitions. At the bottom of the entry, you can change to the British or American definition:

 

Here are some red 3-star words that I used in this article. You should learn & be able to use these words:
realize
improve/improvement
quite
express
seem
reference
consist
rare
waste
entry
system
relate
opportunity
clearly
entire
appear
fail

If you are a low-intermediate student, focus on the 3*** words. Make an effort to learn these words. When you feel comfortable with these words, focus on the next 2500 most common words.

 

Two red stars ** means that the word is one of the next 2500 most common words. Two-star words are part of the core vocabulary, but they are not as frequently used as the 3-star words.

2-star words used in this article:
panic
confident
comprehensive
multiple

 

One red star * means that the word is one of the next 2500 most common words.

1-star words:
rating
discourage
pace

 

Words in black in the Macmillan dictionary are not part of the core vocabulary.

In the chart above, the word the calyx appears at the 95% level. This is a black word in the Macmillan dictionary, so it’s not part of the core vocabulary. Also, it says ‘biology’, so I know that this is a word used in science, not in everyday conversations.

 

2.Listen to the English Teacher Melanie Podcast

The best way to learn new words is in the context of a larger story. The English Teacher Melanie podcast is a series of listening lessons. I use core vocabulary to tell you a story about something that happened in my daily life in Canada.

The English Teacher Melanie Podcast is a weekly audio podcast. A podcast is a series of episodes that you can subscribe to. Once a week I publish a short .mp3 file you can listen to on your computer, phone, iPod, or tablet. You can listen to it here on my website, download it to a device from my website or iTunes, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It is short so that you can listen to the lessons over and over again.

 

3.Pace Yourself

Remember, not only do you need to know a word, you need to be able to use a word. If you try to learn too many words in a day, you’ll forget more than you’ll remember. One to five words a day is a good pace to improve your vocabulary. There is no time limit for learning English! You don’t have to learn every word as fast as possible.

Some words may have multiple definitions. Learn the definition in the context of where you heard/saw the word. Don’t try to memorize every single meaning of the word all at the same time.

Learning English is not a race.

 

4. Don’t panic. Don’t get discouraged. Be excited!

Seeing or hearing a new word does not mean there is a problem with your English. It does not mean that your English is worse than you thought it was. It’s just another opportunity to improve your English.

Some of my students get angry at themselves when they don’t know a word or can’t remember a word. They think that seeing or hearing a new word means they have failed & they have not yet ‘mastered’ English.

You’ll will be learning new English words for the rest of your life. Read that sentence again. Even native speakers are always learning new words, so don’t get angry with yourself because you don’t know every word in the English language. You will never know every word in the English language. I don’t know every word in the English language!

Be excited when you see a new word!

~

What do you think? Are you ready to focus on core vocabulary? How can you add core vocabulary to your daily studies?

 


{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Juan Mosqueda October 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thank so much it’s a great article with information so valuable that I will share with everyone I know that want to learn English.

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2 Manuel Escobedo October 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

Muy buen articulo, creo que tienes mucha razon…. a mi me suele suceder, con las mnuevas palabras… gracias

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3 sunny October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

really encouraging information.thanks madam.

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4 Eric Roth October 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm

That’s a smart, sensible approach – especially if you’re learning English for academic purposes. You might also take a look at the Academic Word List (AWL).

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5 Paul November 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for the interesting information. Thanks for motivation. Your work is very good and useful. You make a good job.

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6 Ana November 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I think this is one of the best articles I’ve seen on the whole Internet about learning English, Melanie! Thank you very much and congrats!!!

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7 mathembi sithole November 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

I’m a African woman who didn’t get an opportunity to learn English…but now i know that i still have time to learn and improve my ENGLISH..thanks…thanks

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8 Ivo November 11, 2012 at 8:18 am

Thank you for sharing this dictionary with us, Melanie. It is really usefull and I will definitely start using it from now on.
I would like to ask you for your opinion. What do you think is better (in the point of view of a native english) to speak fluently with some mistakes or to speak slower with less mistakes?

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Melanie 9 Melanie November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Hi, Ivo!

I think you are confusing ‘speaking fluently’ with ‘speaking fast.’ Speaking English fluently doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to speak fast!

Unless you have someone who can correct your mistakes when you speak, try to speak slower with less mistakes. Uncorrected mistakes become bad habits that take a long time to change!

= )

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10 keerthana May 7, 2013 at 1:34 am

Hai. I am forIndia. What are you doing that exciting

How to learn english fluently for indian students?

What are the steps to take everyday to speak english fluently ?

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11 Xavier November 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I was angry of myself for know understand a word even a sentences some time, but his article really motivated me to continue in my learning of the language and improve my vocabulary and pronunciation.

Thank You so much

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12 Eman November 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Thanks a million. :)
This article is excellent.

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13 Ivo November 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Thank you for your comments, Melanie :)

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14 rahul kumar December 21, 2012 at 5:19 am

very nice post very good

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15 Mukesh December 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks madam,

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16 muzone January 4, 2013 at 6:35 am

nice article, so where are those 7000 words. I think we need that list :-)

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17 Fanny January 11, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Hi Melanie,

Thank you very much for having this website for people like us that want to improve our grammar, speaking, listening and English pronunciation skills. One of my commitments for this year is to improve my English in every aspect and I am so glad that I find your web. Could you please let me know if there is any way that I can find the 7000 words through the Internet? Do I have to pay for it, I was looking at the MacMillan dictionary webpage and I found it kind of confusing.do you know if there is any chance that we can the dictionary in PDF or something like it.

Thank you very much and have a wonderful new year!!!!

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Melanie 18 Melanie January 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Hi, Fanny!

I have not been able to find a list of the 7000 words! The Macmillan dictionary is the only resource I’ve found that even acknowledges the 7000 most common words.

I use core vocabulary to tell a story in the English Teacher Melanie podcast, and at the end of the blog post for each episode, I list the core vocabulary I used in the story:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/the-english-teacher-melanie-podcast/

I will let everyone know if I ever find a list!

I hope you have a wonderful year, too!
= )

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19 Avan January 15, 2013 at 1:44 am

Hi,thank you so much for this information,How can I find those 7000 common words?

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Melanie 20 Melanie January 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Hi, Avan!

Right now the only way to find them is to look up a word in the dictionary. I have not been able to find a list of those 7000 words!

I use core vocabulary in the English Teacher Melanie podcast, and I list all the words at the end of each podcast episode:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/the-english-teacher-melanie-podcast/

I will let everyone know if I ever find a list!
= )

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21 hassan January 26, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi dear Melanie.
thank you so much for this excellent website.
I have a question?
In which way I can use the corect words in converstation and speak fluently?
thanks alot

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Melanie 22 Melanie January 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Hi, Hassan,

This is a very common question. You can learn how to use the words in conversation by learning the words that go with the core vocabulary. Read, read, read. You will learn how the word is used in a sentence. Gradually, you will be able to use the word in conversation.

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23 keerthana May 7, 2013 at 1:38 am

HAI,I AM FROM INDIA . WHAT ARE U DOING THAT EXCITING

WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO TAKE EVERYDAY TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY FOR THE INDIAN STUDENTS?

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24 Alvi September 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

Hello!Dear Melanie,
i found this article very helpful.But i want to know that i can understand what other speak in english well but could not speak fluently.Whenever i speak english,i don’t find the correct word to be used in sentence and that causes me to paused and i feel very embarrased.please help me out.i don’t have any English native speaker friend.Will u please be my friend for the sake of improving my english.I want to speak you over phone or through Internet please.

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25 Sriram February 19, 2013 at 2:18 am

Hi Melanie,

Thanks for sharing valuable information. It has motivated me to learn new words.

Am excited to learn all the information shared!!!

Regards,
Sriram

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26 Phong Nguyen February 20, 2013 at 1:14 am

Incredible article!

Thanks to the article, I finded my better way to learn core vocabulary.

Now, I share with you my discovery.

When you hear or see a new word, look it up in the Macmillan dictionary. If the word is in red, then it is part of the core vocabulary and you need to know this word!. After that, you should use website vocabulary.com to add these words. The advantages of the adding new words into the box in vocabulary.com is that you can see the same words in the different situation. That is my way to learn core vocabulary faster.

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Melanie 27 Melanie March 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

That’s great, Phong! Thank you for telling me about vocabulary.com. It looks like a useful website and I will take some time to learn more about it, but I don’t think I will recommend this site to students. It’s more for native speakers preparing for university (it would be a great site for TOEFL students). Macmillan is a dictionary specifically for people learning English. The definitions are easier to understand. Also, there’s nothing on the website that says who created vocabulary.com. I am always suspicious of websites with no information on who created it. What are they hiding?

Thanks again,
= )

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28 Shawn March 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Dear Melanie,

This is a great article and extremely helpful.

I’m a corporate trainer at a very large steel company and I have a group of students that understand grammar, but lack the vocabulary needed to vocalize what needs to be said. I’ve been looking around for some ideas to help build their vocabulary and this is perfect advice.

The Macmillan site is a fantastic discovery! Thank you for sharing it with the world.

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29 Nguyen Thi Van Anh March 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Your website is really useful for me. I’m from Viet Nam. I’m 22 years old and I intend to study english good to reach IELTS over 6.0. Sometimes, I feel bored and tired because I study myself. I try to find some english club and join in it. Everyday, I always spend most time to learn english from new vocabularies, listening, writing and my effort is that create my invironment myself to improve speaking english skill.
Tell me some advice to speak english better and confidence in me.
I feel unconfident and panic everytime I speak english.
I look forward to your answer.
Thanks so much.

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Melanie 30 Melanie March 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hi, Thi,

If you are studying for the IELTS, I recommend studying with a private tutor. Do you live near a major city in Viet Nam? You may be able to find a private tutor at a private English school or at a university. This will help you feel more confident speaking English. Google “IELTS private teacher ” (or ‘tutor’ instead of ‘teacher’).

Do you like watching English TV shows & movies? This is a great way to relax and learn English!

All the best,
= )

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31 belajar March 25, 2013 at 4:29 am

hy… i have though about this before i mean core vocabulary when i read some article in english. your web very useful and gave me spirit to keep on study english. thanks so much

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32 Anurag March 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm

This article is so nice,so good.

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33 Vera April 10, 2013 at 12:26 am

Always, Thank you for leaning your web site:D
Although, Speaking, Writing, Listening aren’t easy for ours.
However, I must I wanna be a great English educational, so everyday I try study harder than everydays.
I want to your advise how I can get great everything about English. such as, I’m korean, but other people thinks, ‘Where’s her from? Isn’t it American?’
^^ Please advice about it!
Sending my E-mail!~~
Have nice day~

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Melanie 34 Melanie April 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Hi, Vera!

Check out the ‘Study Tips’ section of my website:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/study-tips/

There are lots of tips on improving your pronunciation & listening. My podcast also has a lot of English pronunciation tips:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/the-english-teacher-melanie-podcast/

Good luck to you!
= )

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35 Ghoch April 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for your article but now I’m a little disappointed!
I already know 1000 words and to move from the intermediate level to the advanced/fluent level, I need to learn 6000 more words, as you said.
If I learn one word a day, it takes 6000 DAYS= about 16 YEARS ! to get the core of language.
and at that time I would be able to understand 90% of english people and reaching to 95% would be impossible, because I need 43000 more words then 43000 more days to learn. it takes more than my whole life. Does it sound good to me? I don’t know
beside as you know, knowing english is different from using it, so to use the words properly and skillfully I have a long endless way ahead.

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Melanie 36 Melanie April 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

As I explained in the post, most native speakers aren’t even at the 95% level. I am a university-educated English teacher, and I’m not at the 95% level!

If you are doing a lot of reading & listening, you’ll learn more than one word a day. The more you see & hear words, the easier it is to remember them all.

No one learns English in a day, and no one ever stops learning. You will be learning English for the rest of your life.

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37 Agnes April 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

My heart is so happy than I see this article! Thanks! :) :)

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38 Jo April 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hi Melenie,
I have been studying in oversea for almost 4 years now. However, my English skills is still very bad, my English vocabularies is quite poor( actually I can read n unde stand it but I don’t know how to apply in the real conversation). Also, my speaking, I speak my own language all the time eventhought I living in an English courtry;). It’s very sad and disspointed. I am started to feel depressing now.
I really really wanted to speak English frequently, n FOUND YOUR ARTICLE quite good for me to LEARN. But just studying without someone to talk and practice with, it’s little hard. :(
Hopefully, you don’t mind to give me some advice.
Warmest wish

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Melanie 39 Melanie April 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Hi, Jo!

You are not alone. This is very common nowadays. I hear a lot from people who have immigrated to an English-speaking country, only to find they speak their native language more than English.

You really have to make an effort to find people to speak English with. Find a job with English speakers. Do you play any sports or have any hobbies? Get involved in activities with English speakers. Watch English TV shows & movies. Do you live in a major city? Try to find a private tutor who you can talk to at least once a week, if not more. You can try googling “private English teacher ” (or instead of ‘teacher,’ type ‘tutor’).

Good luck to you!
= )

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40 Hesham April 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Thanks so much Melanie really helpful article plz keep it up!!!!

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41 marco April 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Thanks for the important information.
It is so helpful for us. Have a great day :) melanie

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42 omer jan April 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hello Dear Sir,
please send me information

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43 Danilo May 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hi Melanie. Great post!!! I really liked it.
I think that the way you have explained is the best way to learn new words.
We need to read / listen to English everyday and when we find new words we go to Macmillan dictionary and see if it is one of the words of the core vocabulary.
I’ll improve my vocabulary that way.
Thanks for your tips.

Danilo (from Brazil)

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Melanie 44 Melanie May 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Hi, Danilo,

Thank you for taking the time to recommend that website to me. In the future, you can post information like that on Facebook or Twitter! I will take some time to learn more about it, but in the meantime I have deleted the information. The website does not say how they chose the words. It does not look like it is based on core vocabulary. It also looks like it focuses on British English. If you find that website helpful, continue using it.

Thank you again,
Melanie

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45 Danilo May 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hi teacher, it’s me again.
Thank you for your reply.
After you take a look at that website, let me know what you think.
One more thing: What do you think about my English? Is it too bad?

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Melanie 46 Melanie May 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Hi, Danilo,

I think your written English is good! Do you have a purpose or goal (ie. studying at an English university or taking an English test)?

= )

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47 Danilo May 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

No. I just want to be able to speak / write well and understand native speakers.

48 Ahmed June 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm

This is absolutely one of the best articles I ever read in my life … ^^ thank you

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49 FASLOON June 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

XXXX

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50 FASLOON June 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thank you i learn lot of really good one . i thing improve my English hardly

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51 rajni June 8, 2013 at 6:55 am

Thanx Melaine for such a motivated article.

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52 Thipan June 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm

you help me to improve my English, thank you, thank you.

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53 Laurent June 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Melanie (Mélanie in French)

Thanks a lot for your work and for helping us to improve our vocabulary in English. I have read this article completely and I have decided to use the Macmillan dictionary with its “red stars” and to have directly the English definition of a word, and not a translation into French.

A question: you are using the word “angry” and the expression “to be angry at myself”, and in another place, you don’t use anymore “at”, but “with”. Could you explain?

Laurent

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Melanie 54 Melanie July 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi, Laurent!

I love the way my name is pronounced in French!

According to Macmillan (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/angry) there is a difference,
angry about/at/over SOMETHING
angry with SOMEONE

… but according to Merriam-Webster (http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/angry) ‘at’ & ‘with’ are interchangeable.

I always thought they were interchangeable, so I wouldn’t worry about it. If you said, “I’m angry at myself,” it sounds correct and someone from America or Canada wouldn’t know the difference.

= )

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55 stephen July 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

thanks so much melanie for this brilliant article.
but i would like to ask you about something,actually i’m lover of reading books,and i decided to read novels,but this is a little bit diffcult to me because i have to look up some words in the dictionnary,somebody told me to understand from the context but i find that not good because i miss some words that could be important in the novel. could you tell me the efficient way to solve this problem.
Thank you in advance

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Melanie 56 Melanie July 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Hi, Stephen!

If you can’t understand a sentence or paragraph because you don’t know a word & can’t figure it out from the context, it’s OK to look up the word in the dictionary. However, if you have to look up a word in EVERY SENTENCE, this means the book is not quite at your level. You won’t be able to remember every word you look up, & it makes it much harder to read the novel.

The ‘Five Finger Test’ will help you find a book at your level: open the book to any page and read that page. Put your finger on all the words that you don’t know & don’t understand. If you use all five fingers, and there are still more words you don’t understand on the page, the book is not at your level. If you don’t use all 5 fingers, the book is just right for you!

Look for ‘graded readers.’ They are novels written for English learners at different levels. Sometimes the authors even rewrite popular novels to make them easier for English learners to understand.
http://www.penguinreaders.com/pr/students/index.html
http://www.macmillanreaders.com/
National Geographic Learning Leveled Readers
(http://ngl.cengage.com/search/showresults.do?N=185+4294918503+4294917956+4294918007+4294918005)

= )

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57 Sandy July 22, 2013 at 3:54 am

Greetings Melanie, Thanks a ton for such a brilliant article. I am sure this gonna help me a lot in my daily learning. Really appreciate your effort towards english learners :)
One thing I would like to ask…As far as I know we need to practice daily for atleast 30 minutes by reading any english article (louder) so as to build our mouth muscles for this foreign (for me) language. Could you please advise any website where I can find such articles that can mould my mouth muscles for English language (daily use).
Thansk again!
Sandy

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Melanie 58 Melanie July 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Hi, Sandy,

I’ve never advised students to read English articles out loud for 30 minutes every day to practice English pronunciation. I don’t see the point in this because if you pronounce a word incorrectly, how will you know? If you repeatedly pronounce a word wrong, it will become a habit & it will be hard to correct in the future. I advise practicing for 30 minutes a day, but not just reading out loud.

I recommend imitation. For example, listen to my podcast & try to imitate my pronunciation. Since you can hear me saying the word/phrases, you will know right away if you are pronouncing the word incorrectly. Even better, you can record yourself, and hear how you sound compared to how I sound.

You will find more resources in these two articles:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/study-tip-how-to-improve-your-english-pronunciation/
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/study-tip-how-to-practice-listening-english/

Good luck!

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59 Sandy July 23, 2013 at 12:56 am

Thank you very much for your quick response Melanie. I am sure my pronounciation is bad for lot of words, however I am confident that it’s good for most of the words. Moreover during reading if I come across any word that I don’t know how to pronounce, I always use IPA, phonetic symbol from Oxford to pronounce it correctly. And as you mentioned, Yes I record myself during readings so as to find any discrepancies in pronounciation through your podcasts and other resources and try to eliminate it right there :)
I practice daily with full dedication for around 2-3 hours. My target is to reach at Intermediate level, if not perfect. :)
I am sure, I’ll come across a lot of hurdles and I’ll keep you posted of those, as I consider you my online mentor :)
Thanks again!
Sandy

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60 Ahmadullah August 4, 2013 at 7:46 am

Hi,i am from Afghansitan and i really want to learn english i read your articles and all other ideas about how to learn english ?
so i am very happy i got some improvement in language thank you very much.

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61 marcelo September 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

Great article…
I’m gonna send to my students.

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62 Arul Doss September 21, 2013 at 2:58 am

Consists of an absolutely encouraging information. I keep growing on the way i opt for. Thank you once again…..!!!

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63 c.thomas noble October 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

thank a lot for your service.

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64 José October 22, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Hello , Melany. You are awesome teacher. I like your manner of teaching ,You can teach us very easy and with passion.I intend to visit Canada in the future ,I have a nice who live in Toronto and who knows we can speak tet a tet as we say here in Brazil. I like to travel and english language is our international communication.Your tips and lessons are very important and I listen and read all about. Thank you very much ,and God bless you . All the best.

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65 Khaled October 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

Thank you very much teacher Melany , I’m very happy for finding a kind teacher who takes care about his student , and this is really exciting for me to explore the best way in English learning that facilitate reaching fluency for me .

But I have a question if you kindly reply me , what do you think is better for finding out important vocabularies , reading English news , essays , …etc. and learning new words ?, or just following up Macmillan dictionary for the above mentioned purpose ? ,

In fact , I ask this question because I don’t have a lot of time to spend during English learning , and I want to do on the best route for that ,

I will appreciate your kindly response ,

Khalid :)

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Melanie 66 Melanie October 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hi, Khaled!

Use the Macmillan dictionary as you would any other dictionary. Read something in English or listen to natural spoken English. If you read or hear a word that you don’t understand, search for it in the Macmillan dictionary. If the word is red, learn this word. If the word is black, don’t spend a lot of time trying to learn that word, unless it is a word you need to know for your job.

= )

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67 Khaled October 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

An other enquiry if you kindly don’t mind , where could me find the listed 7000 words in one thread , I mean should me search for the word in the macmillan dictionary and then face it’s level (*** red , ** red , * red , black ) ? or there is exactly thread or book that lists the 7000 word directly ?

waiting you teacher :)

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Melanie 68 Melanie October 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Hi, Khaled!

There is no list, thread or book that lists the 7000 words. A list won’t help you. One word can be different parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective; or one verb could have many different meanings. You need to learn words in context.

= )

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69 Khaled November 4, 2013 at 2:04 am

Thank you a lot teacher Melanie , that’s very helpful and kind to explain the vision for me . I’m going to follow up as you mentioned , hopping I will find it easy and exciting .

All the best

Khaled :)

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70 Béla Hegedus November 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Dear Melanie,
I am a fellow English teacher. I teach my students vocabulary with what I call the five words a day method. I am currently working on my masters degree and would like to write about this method in my dissertation. I am having a hard time finding any support for why five words and not more. So I thought I would ask. Where did you come across this idea. Do you have any name or research attached to it by any chance? Please let me know if you do. Thanks for your time and attention. Great website. Best wishes: Béla

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Melanie 71 Melanie November 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Hi, Béla!

That’s an interesting topic for your dissertation! The ’5 Words a Day’ method sounds great. I have never heard of this idea before so I can’t answer your questions.

This post is about learning core vocabulary. I came across core vocabulary by reading the OED website & the MacMillan dictionary:
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/learn/red-words.html
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/the-oec-facts-about-the-language

= )

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72 najmeh November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

hi Melanie
thanks for your site, its so useful.
i have a question, when i want to speak English i cant think as an English person but just translate word by word from my native language to English, i don’t know what should i do?:(

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Melanie 73 Melanie November 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Hi, Najmeh,

Instead of memorizing one word at a time, try to learn phrases or sentences. Learn collocations (http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/study-tip-what-are-collocations/) so that you know all the words that go together.

Read everything in English. Listen to everything in English.

It will get easier!

= )

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74 siddhesh December 2, 2013 at 7:07 am

u have very nice article. please send me the list of all core words.

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75 soukaina December 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Thanks a lot for your work and for helping us to improve our vocabulary in English .I can’t express myself as clearly as I would like to, plz I want to improve my english thanks teacher.

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76 soukaina December 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

please send me the list of all core words.

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77 Vakil December 29, 2013 at 2:05 am

HI Melanie
How are you. I am from India. Actually my vocabulary is poor. How should i improve it. Pls reply

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78 simin January 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

hi Melanie
my name is simin, I am from iran
I want to take toefl exam next month
I need good marks around 100/120
would you help me pleas?
how can i get this mark ?

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79 aisha shaikh January 20, 2014 at 11:20 pm

i want to learn english

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80 Pragya Gupta February 11, 2014 at 1:24 am

Hi,

I am Working in a Pvt company as Branch Operation Officer. On this profile I have to maintain all the data regarding daily file,bookkeeping and general requirement of office. Most of the work is done by the email, I want your help, because of most of the words are same on daily bases and how to make my mail so impressive in front of my seniors. I need some formate of these type of mail as well kindly send me these formate on above mention mail id .

thanking you

Regards,
Pragya Gupta

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