How to learn English - Study tips from ELLLO

5 Special Types of Vocabulary

Learn how these five types of words are learned best by listening, not reading.

Hi, in this video we're going to look at five different types of vocabulary items and how students should study them through listening, not reading. Or at first they should study them through listening. And the five types are academic words or multi-syllabic words, phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms and collocations. So these five things, these five vocabulary types are best learned through listening actually, not through reading. And we're going to see why. So here we have a set of words. This is part of a product we have on ELLLO, 500 idioms, phrases and words.

And first we're going to look at some academic words. Now, academic words are usually three syllables or more. They're less common in spoken English, but more importantly, they have a stressed syllable. So for example, here we have pristine or resolutions or scholarship or peasants or regimen. Now notice how the speaker says regimen so you can train your ears to identify the sound first before you read about the word.

Regimen. Regimen. Do you follow the same regimen?

So in these little audio files, you will hear the word five times, at least five times and you will hear three sample sentences and this is a really good way to get your ears used to hearing words in naturally spoken English.

Now we have academic words, we also have collocations. Collocations are words that always go together, or I should say words that often go together. So for example, we have 'Stay in shape'. We usually don't say keep in shape. We say stay in shape. And we have peer pressure. We don't say friend pressure, we say peer pressure, right? And we have sense fear, we don't say, "Notice fear", we say sense fear. So collocations are words that often go together and they have one specific meaning.

Now we have lots of really fun words that have special meanings and first we have idioms. So idioms are words that have a little bit of a different meaning than what the words normally have. So for example, here we have, 'A lot of ups and downs.'

A lot of ups and downs. A lot of ups and downs.

So a lot of ups and downs means you have good times and bad times, right? So we use this phrase often, a lot of ups and downs when we want to talk about how our life is changing from good to bad, and that's just one idiom that you can use. We have many, for example, 'No pain no gain', 'Go with the flow' or 'Hack your way through.' So we have lots of these idioms, over 100 to be exact.

Now we also have phrasal verbs and phrasal verbs are great. For example, these are verbs that we use often in spoken English and they have a particle which is like a preposition and together the verb and the particle make one verb. So we have 'Go for'. We have 'End up', 'Range from', 'Delve into', 'Come along', and again you can learn these words just by listening to the audio.

Come along. Come along. Come along.

We're going to wait for a truck to come along.

And you can learn these words just by listening to the audio. 

Soak it up. Soak it up. The ground doesn't soak it up. 

Then you can go ahead and hear the explanation of what 'Soak it up' means.

Now, lastly, maybe the most important to help you with your English is we have phrases, English has lots of phrases we call these stock phrases, we use them again and again and again and again. And usually there are three, four, sometimes five words. And we use these phrases together for one specific meaning. And so even though there might be three or four words in the phrase, the phrase really only has one idea unit or one meaning. So for example we have, 'In terms of', 'There you go', 'In some sense'. And to train yourself to improve your listening, your vocabulary and also your speaking ability and your pronunciation. It's important that you hear the sounds, you hear how the words are used, and we don't learn them just by reading because listening is very important. 

And that's it. So that is the new set that we have on ELLLO, the 500 Words, Idioms and Phrases, and I hope you like it and I am sure that if you use them on a regular basis and you study them, you will improve your listening, your speaking and your pronunciation.