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The Secret to Remembering Vocabulary

September 4, 2016

 

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0:02

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I will teach you a trick on how to remember

0:09

vocabulary. So English has the largest vocabulary out of any language. I think it's close to

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600,000 words in English. So how are you going to remember so much vocabulary? Well, when

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I was in China, I created a little trick -- and other people use this trick, too -- that really

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helped me to remember all the new words I was learning. So in this video, I will teach

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you this trick. So what you do -- I have a bunch of interesting

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pictures on the board -- is any time you come up across a new word and you're learning a

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new word, you need to make a picture in your head of this word. A good idea is to try to

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think of other words that sound like this word and imagine funny situations in your

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mind. So what do I mean by that? Well, let me show you.

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The first word I'm going to teach you today is "bald", "bald", b-a-l-d. What does it mean

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to be "bald"? It means to have no hair, okay? So if you have no hair, you are "bald". How

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do you remember this word? Well, if you use my trick, you can imagine a word that sounds

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like "bald" -- maybe "ball", basketball, soccer ball. So in your mind, I want you to imagine

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a ball. It can be a basketball, a soccer ball -- any type of ball. Now, imagine the ball

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with a face. Imagine the ball with no hair on top, maybe a little hair on the side, a

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little hair here, but no hair on the top. Because "ball" and "bald" sound alike, if

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you imagine this picture for maybe ten seconds, it will help you to remember it in the future,

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okay? Think "ball with no hair". Okay. Let's try our second word: "beard". What's

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a beard? It's the hair that comes off a man's chin -- usually, women don't have beards.

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So it's the hair that comes down like this. How are we going to remember this word? Well,

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imagine a man with a beard, and inside the beard is a bird, a little bird, tweet tweet!

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And what's it doing in the beard? Why, it's drinking beer. Okay? So this little picture

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is -- don't know if you can see that, but that is beer. So imagine a bird drinking beer.

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Those two words together -- beer. This isn't beer; this one is. Imagine "bird" and "beer".

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Together, if you put the words together, they make "beard". A bird drinking beer in a beard.

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Can you say that fast? "Bird drinking beer in a beard." So maybe, if you picture this

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for ten seconds, you will remember this word. Okay.

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Next word I want to teach you today: "creamed". So what does it mean to be "creamed"? "We

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creamed you guys." "You guys got creamed." It means someone lost a game very badly. If

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our team creamed your basketball team, your basketball team lost; our team won. So you

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don't want to be "creamed". If you get "creamed", it's bad. It means you lost, you lose. So

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how can you remember this? Well, imagine someone -- maybe somebody you don't like, somebody

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you play basketball against or some sport. Imagine throwing a bunch of ice cream and

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it hits their face -- because the keyword "cream", "ice cream". So if you can imagine

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ice cream on someone's face, it will help you to remember the word "creamed". So imagine

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that for ten seconds. So think "ice cream on face", "creamed".

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Next one: "hammered". What is a "hammer"? A "hammer" is -- you put a nail in

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[makes thumping sound]. This is the "hammer". What does it mean to be "hammered"? It means you

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drink too much alcohol. You drink too much beer, too much wine, so it's not good to be

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"hammered". You're too drunk. If you're "hammered", it's another word for very, very drunk. So

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how can you remember the word "hammered"? Well, I told you this is a "hammer" -- imagine

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someone drunk, maybe holding a beer in their hand and a hammer hitting their head. So that's

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the way to remember "hammered". And, again, maybe you have a word in your own language

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that sounds like one of these words. Any mental picture will do. I think the funnier the mental

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image, the easier it is to remember. But this will really help create an association -- it

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will help you to remember the words. Finally, last one: "condo". What is a "condo"?

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A "condo" is like an apartment building -- so if you live in a house, that's not a condo

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-- but it's an apartment building that people buy -- it's similar to an apartment, but you

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own it. You don't pay rent; it's yours. It's your condo. So it's an apartment building

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-- or an apartment you own. That's a "condo". How can you remember this word? I'm going

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to give you a second. Try to think of a word like "condo", maybe in your own language,

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maybe you know someone with the last name "Khan". How can you remember this word? I'll

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tell you my trick. "Condo" sounds sort of like "window". So a "window" is something

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you can see out of. "I looked out my window." So that can help me remember the "dow" part,

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"window". How do I remember "con"? Well, I have some friends whose last name is "Khan".

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I have a friend whose last name is "Khan". So I can imagine him looking out the window.

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Maybe if I don't know a "Khan", I know of a person from history -- from a long, long

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time ago -- named Genghis Khan. Although in different languages, the name is a little

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different. But he was from Mongolia, and he was a warrior who took over all of China,

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all of -- most of Asia, some of Europe, some of the Middle East, so a very famous warrior.

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His name was "Genghis Khan". I can think, "Oh, Khan." And I can imagine Genghis Khan

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in a window in a condo with a sword. And if I imagine where he's living, he's living in

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a condo. So I think "Khan", "window", "condo". So imagine this in your mind for ten seconds.

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Close your eyes and just think "Genghis Khan", "window", "condo". Okay.

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So this trick works really well, especially using your own language and coming up with

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your own associations. Think of your friends' names. Do your friends' names have anything

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in common with this word? Maybe a famous person does. You can think historical figures. You

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can think -- other English words might help or words from your own language. But I found

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this trick to -- it worked incredibly for me. I know a lot more Chinese words as a result

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of this trick, and so I hope you try it. I also hope you come and visit our website at

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www.engvid.com to do more practice with examples like these. Until next time, take care.

 

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