5 Benefits of Expanding Your Vocabulary

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Academics and writers are famous for lauding the merits of a large vocabulary.  Similarly, individuals preparing for entrance exams to institutes of higher education are very aware of the value of building a strong vocabulary. The virtues of expanding your vocabulary are even well known among primary and high school students.    

Unfortunately, the importance of vocabulary building is frequently forgotten, ignored, or simply not appreciated in the wider population. Don’t put off learning new vocabulary. Instead, make it part of your daily routine. Here are five benefits to motivate you towards building your vocabulary.  

#1. Ability to Interpret the World

New words don’t just increase your ability to articulate yourself, they increase your ability to interpret the world. 

Foreign language students regularly describe the joy that comes with learning a new language because it gives them more resources with which to understand their world. This includes a deeper understanding of their own culture and the culture of the language they are learning.

Vocabulary and Your World
An expanded vocabulary helps you understand your world.

The same benefits can be achieved by increasing your vocabulary in your native tongue. The larger your vocabulary, the greater your ability to understand the world around you.  

“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.” – Frantz Fanon

An individual’s vocabulary can act as a restrictor on a person’s line or pattern of thought.  When we think or act, we do so in relation to what we understand, applying our vocabulary. As a result, limited vocabularies can cause us to block out new insights and lines of reasoning without realizing it. 

Expanding your vocabulary allows you to negate the consequences of a limited vocabulary. Each new word you learn opens your mind to new patterns of thought and reasoning that help you interpret the world intelligently.

#2. Explain Yourself More Clearly

An increased vocabulary expands your ability to articulate ideas, thoughts and feelings. We all want to be understood better and communicate more effectively. 

Intonation, tone and syntax are all important components of communicating well. However, all these rely upon a speaker’s vocabulary to provide the right words

Without the right words it can seem impossible to describe what we are thinking.  How many times have you mentally reached for a word, but been unable to find it? The experience can be both frustrating and disempowering.  

Typically, it wasn’t that you didn’t know what you wanted to say, but rather you couldn’t find the right words. Increasing your vocabulary can increase the likelihood that you have the word you are looking for when you need it and find yourself able to deliver the points you want to make.    

#3. Become a Better Writer

A large vocabulary has always been recognized as a foundation for becoming a better writer.

Academics and literary buffs marvel at Shakespeare’s tremendously large vocabulary.  His writings are said to include 28,829 unique word forms. It has been suggested that Shakespeare’s complete vocabulary would have therefore been even much larger.

A writer’s vocabulary is part of their arsenal of resources for writing. The larger the vocabulary the more options for expressing yourself clearly, accurately and eloquently!   

Without the right words, a writer can seem vague or trite. And while dictionaries and thesauruses are helpful resources, they are no replacement for an author’s original formation of ideas.

#4. Academic and Professional Edge

An expanded vocabulary can also help achieve academic and professional success. 

Simply trying to gain admission to an institute of higher education will require you to demonstrate a level of vocabulary strength. The SAT, LSAT and GMAT directly or indirectly test the strength of an individual’s vocabulary. 

Building your vocabulary also pays dividends in professional settings. A lot of professional writing is technical in nature and requires writers to be clear and concise. The professional with a strong vocabulary is better prepared for this writing style.

#5. Board Games Success

There are obviously also some fun (and perhaps egocentric) reasons for vocabulary building. Who wouldn’t like to be a little more successful when it comes to a game of Scrabble or Balderdash at the next family vacation?

Vocabulary Games
Games are a great way to build vocabulary.

 At the same time that games can be a rewarding place to demonstrate the fruit of your vocabulary building, they are also great ways to build your vocabulary.

If all this talk of vocabulary building sounds daunting and a lot of work, consider taking a more enjoyable approach. There are many games that can help you learn vocabulary while having fun. Scrabble, Balderdash and Words with Friends are just three of the more popular games with a vocabulary focus.


There are many benefits to increasing your vocabulary. The above list is far from comprehensive.  It may, however, provide enough motivation for you to grab a dictionary the next time that you read or hear a new word.  In the long run, you will be rewarded for increasing your vocabulary.

Post by Online English Editor.  

Online English Editor provides editing and proofreading services to academics, students and professionals.