There are thousands and thousands of words in the English language. In fact, there are 171,146 words. However, out of all those words, do you want to know around how many we native English speakers use? If you have read these blogs before, you may already know the answer to this question. The average native English speaker only uses about 2,000 vocabulary words. Now, if that English speaker is also a college graduate, they may use up to 5,000 vocabulary words. Wow, so out of 171,146 words, around 166,146 words go unused by the average person.
Everyone thinks that vocabulary is so important. English language learners especially put a massive focus of their English studies solely on learning vocabulary. While this is good, and of course, a great way to learn vocabulary, it is not everything. Becoming fluent in English is difficult and complex. This cannot be done by studying vocabulary alone. You need to know grammar, expressions, idioms, phrasal verbs, slang, and just overall how to converse in English. I’m not saying all of this to tell you not to study vocabulary, obviously vocabulary is important too. However, studying unnecessary vocabulary, while neglecting your other English studies (i.e. grammar, conversation, learning expressions, phrases, and slang) is not the best idea. That being said, today, we are going to go over five different English vocabulary words that you can use in real life. Words that are actually important and common amongst the educated native English speakers. So, let’s jump right in.
Definition: standing out so as to be clearly visible.
How to use it: Usually, this words is used in a negative manner. For example, we can say he wasn’t very conspicuous, or he was inconspicuous. However, it can be used positively as well. It’s simply just more common to hear ”conspicuous” in its negative format.
- My son wasn’t conspicuous at all whenever he stole snacks from the snack drawer.
- Living in Korea as a foreigner is very conspicuous.
- I’m scared of wearing white clothes because the stains will be so conspicuous.
- She’s always conspicuous due to her edgy style.
- My student tried to hide his un-finished work, so it wasn’t very conspicuous. However, I knew the truth.
Definition: a natural ability to do something
How to use it: We usually use the word “aptitude” as a compliment. If you have an aptitude for something, it means that you have a natural born talent. So, as you can imagine, having an aptitude for just about anything is quite an achievement.
- From the age of 3, she showed great aptitude when playing the piano.
- Noah shows great aptitude in math. He is like a human calculator.
- He has demonstrated great aptitude in his artwork.
- My brother decided to join the army because he has always shown great aptitude for training and hard work.
- Unfortunately, she has little to no aptitude for sports.
Definition: skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or envision
How to use it: Cunning people are clever at planning things to always go their way, so that they always get what they want. This happens mostly by tricking others into believing them or doing things for them. So, when you want to use the word “cunning”, be aware that it is typically used to speak negatively about someone or something.
- She relied on her native cunning for survival.
- He’s a very cunning man.
- Stu is as cunning as a fox.
- These children are quite disturbed, but can be cunning at times.
- He emanated intelligence and cunning.
Definition: open resistance; bold disobedience
How to use it: This word is common because defying authority just seems to be a common trend these days. Well, at least in my house with my children, but I digress. Ok, so how can you use this word? Well, this word is mainly used when someone has an open disregard for someone or something.
- In defiance of the law, the road block was set up the drifting race.
- The two countries are now in defiance of their treaties.
- She stared back at her father in pure defiance.
- The angry protestors shouted their defiance.
- She wanted him to stay, but he left in defiance.
Definition: to make or become less
How to use it: This word is used when we are implying or stating that something is being reduced in size or importance.
- I don’t want to diminish her achievements, but she had tons of help.
- The high temperatures meant that the chances of us building a snowman are now diminished.
- After her death in 1994, Selena’s popularity slowly diminished until the a new Netflix series, about her life, came out in early 2021.
- While on chemotherapy, Mike’s energy slowly diminished.
- These memories will not be diminished by time.
So, now you know five more vocabulary words. Yeah, this blog may have been quite short. After all, it’s only five words, right? These words, however, are everyday words you can use in real life. I can 100% guarantee that any educated English speaker knows these words. So, if the average native English speaker, who holds some time of college level education, uses around 5,000 words, well, you only have 4,995 more words to learn! Which of course, if you can read this blog, puts you at least 1000 or so words in, right? Like I mentioned before, vocabulary is important! You need to learn in order to speak English, everyone knows that. However, just make sure you are learning vocabulary that you can use in real life, that’s the important part. Don’t just open the dictionary and learn random words. Study diligently, work hard, and soon, you will reach your English goals!