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    #1

    Words and Styling

    Hi!
    I'll start off by saying that English is not my first language, and that in the last year or so I've been looking for ways to vastly expand my vocabulary.

    This is what I have come to realize (among other things..)
    1. Memorizing words is easy. Using them is the bigger challenge.
    2. Knowing a lot of new words is almost worthless, unless I know where/when to use them (styling), otherwise I might sound a bit grandiloquent when I have absolutely no intention of sounding like one.

    Here is the deal:
    How can I make a better choice of words (use synonyms so i don't repeat my self with words) but know which ones are too formal or too 'slangy' for some contexts?
    As a non-native English speaker, I know plenty of words but can't tell if what I write or say sounds OK or too (although maybe grammatically correct) weird... as in, 'no one talks like that..' or 'no one uses this word in here...'

    I hope I was clear enough ...

    Thanks!
    Last edited by GUYGLICK; 30-May-2015 at 12:29.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Words and Styling

    I generally don't recommend simply memorising words on their own. I tell my students to memorise new words within a sentence they are certain is grammatically correct and natural.

    Knowing what is "natural" only comes at a higher level of a language and when one is exposed to native speakers using the language day after day.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Words and Styling

    Yes, I totally agree that speaking to native speakers is maybe the best way to catch on natural sounding speech. Unfortunately I don'd have natives to practice with

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Words and Styling

    That is unfortunate but you can still get a good grip by listening to English-speaking radio stations (try 'talk' stations, rather than music stations), watching chat shows, quiz shows and even soap operas. News broadcasts can be helpful for vocabulary but the words are very scripted and formal so might not be what most of us would say in everyday life.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-May-2015 at 13:25. Reason: Fixed typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Words and Styling

    Great suggestions! I will try them out!
    I do hope though that listening alone can be sufficient enough to improve one's verbal skills..

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Words and Styling

    Have you checked your local area to see if there are any language exchange get-togethers, or an English language group? I don't know where you are in Israel but I found this online: http://modiintoastmasters.info/

    Do you know any native English speakers at all? If you do, perhaps you could ask them if they would mind spending a couple of hours a week with you, just chatting about stuff, but ask them to point out when you are making grammatical errors or if something you say just isn't something you would hear from a native speaker.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Words and Styling

    Knowing a lot of new words is almost worthless, unless I know where/when to use them (styling)
    The correct use of words is not called 'styling'.
    I think it is normal that there are words that we know but do not get to use. Some call it 'passive vocabulary'. This could be because we do not have the opportunity to use them or we have a preference for using certain words and not others.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-May-2015 at 14:35. Reason: Slight grammar fix ("a preference for using", not "preference to use").
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Words and Styling

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Have you checked your local area to see if there are any language exchange get-togethers, or an English language group? I don't know where you are in Israel but I found this online: http://modiintoastmasters.info/

    Do you know any native English speakers at all? If you do, perhaps you could ask them if they would mind spending a couple of hours a week with you, just chatting about stuff, but ask them to point out when you are making grammatical errors or if something you say just isn't something you would hear from a native speaker.
    No I have not. I read a bit about Modiin Toastmasters - very interesting! I'll definitely consider that as an option.

    I don't know any flesh and blood native English speakers. I've tried a bunch of apps on which you can chat up with people around the world (designated for the purpose of language learning) but i don't seem to benefit from it (and all those virtual correspondings I've had with English speaking people) as much as it claims. Mostly because they do not point out errors.
    Last edited by GUYGLICK; 30-May-2015 at 22:32.

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    #9

    Re: Words and Styling

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post

    The correct use of words is not called 'styling'.
    I think it is normal that there are words that we know but do not get to use. Some call it 'passive vocabulary'. This could be because we do not have the opportunity to use them or we have a preference for using certain words and not others.
    Yes. I've heard the term 'Passive Vocabulary'. Surely I also have it with Hebrew (Passive Vocabulary), But with English it's much prone to be forgotten.

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