Languages › English as a Second Language Learning Vocabulary With Word Forms How to Use Word Forms to Improve and Broaden Your English Vocabulary Share Flipboard Email Print Weiyi Zhu/Getty Images English as a Second Language Vocabulary Basic Conversations for English Language Learners Pronunciation & Conversation Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Grammar Business English Resources for Teachers By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated August 13, 2018 There are a wide variety of techniques used to learn vocabulary in English. This learning vocabulary technique focuses on using word forms as a way to broaden your English vocabulary. The great thing about word forms is that you can learn a number of words with just one basic definition. In other words, word forms relate to a specific meaning. Of course, not all of the definitions are the same. However, the definitions are often closely related. Start off by quickly reviewing the eight parts of speech in English: VerbNounPronounAdjectiveAdverbPrepositionsConjunctionInterjection Examples Not all eight parts of speech will have a form of each word. Sometimes, there are only noun and verb forms. Other times, a word will have related adjectives and adverbs. Here are some examples: Noun: studentVerb: to studyAdjective: studious, studied, studyingAdverb: studiously Some words will have more variations. Take the word care: Noun: care, caregiver, caretaker, carefulnessVerb: to careAdjective: careful, careless, carefree, carewornAdverb: carefully, carelessly Other words will be especially rich because of compounds. Compound words are words made up by taking two words and putting them together to create other words! Take a look at words derived from power: Noun: power, brainpower, candlepower, firepower, horsepower, hydropower, powerboat, powerhouse, powerlessness, powerlifting, powerpc, powerpoint, superpower, willpowerVerb: to power, to empower, to overpowerAdjective: empowered, empowering, overpowered, overpowering, powerable, powered, powerful, powerlessAdverb: powerfully, powerlessly, overpoweringly Not all words have so many compound word possibilities. However, there are some words that are used to construct numerous compound words. Here's a (very) short list to get you started: airanybackballroomdayearthfiregrandhandhomelandlightnewsrainshowsandsometimewaterwind Exercises for Using Your Words in Context Exercise 1: Write a Paragraph Once you've made a list of a few words, the next step will be to give yourself the opportunity to put the words you've studied into context. There are a number of ways to do this, but one exercise I especially like is to write an extended paragraph. Let's take a look at power again. Here's a paragraph I've written to help me practice and remember words created with power: Writing a paragraph is a powerful way to help you remember words. Of course, it takes plenty of brainpower. However, by writing out such a paragraph you will empower yourself to use this words. For example, you might find creating a paragraph in powerpoint on a PowerPC takes a lot of willpower. In the end, you won't feel overpowered by all these words, you'll feel empowered. No longer will you stand there powerlessly when confronted with words such as candlepower, firepower, horsepower, hydropower, because you'll know that they are all different types of power used to power our overpowering society. I'll be the first to admit that writing out a paragraph, or even trying to read such a paragraph from memory might seem crazy. It certainly isn't good writing style! However, by taking the time to try to fit as many words made up with a target word you'll be creating all sorts of related context to your word list. This exercise will help you imagine what type of uses can be found for all these related words. Best of all, the exercise will help you 'map' the words in your brain! Exercise 2: Write Sentences An easier exercise is to write out individual sentences for each word in your list. It's not as challenging, but it's certainly an effective way to practice the vocabulary you've taken the time to learn.