Ok; You’ve read that text, or you’ve watched that video. Maybe you’ve seen a film with lots of new words and expressions. Some of them were interesting and really caught your attention. You’d like to learn them, but how can you do it? I mean, how can you learn vocabulary in an effective way so that you’ll always remember the words and bring them into your daily speech?
>>>It's very important to observe whether the new word is a verb, a noun, an adjective, adverb or preposition. Look at the position of the word in the context: which words surround it?
Take this example from a TED talk by Parul Sehgal, An Ode to Jealousy: “I am still baffled by my behavior.” Maybe you don’t know the meaning of ‘baffled.”
>>>Look at the preposition which follows this word (baffled by) and try to memorize the two words together, since one depends on the other to be placed correctly in a sentence.
>>>Look around for context. Do you think that baffled means ‘confused’ or ‘happy’? What makes sense, considering the context in which the new word appears?
>>>Now check the word in a dictionary for confirmation and look for more examples:
Baffled , according to the Cambridge online Dictionary, means:
verb [ T ] UK /ˈbæf.əl/ US /ˈbæf.əl/
to cause someone to be completely unable to understand or explain something:
She was completely baffled by his strange behaviour.
So “baffled” means “confused!”
Remember: examples are always very important!
Now, try to make up your own examples, bringing them into your life context whenever it’s possible:
I’m really baffled by what’s going on in Brazil’s political context.
My husband was baffled by our neighbor’s attitude
My friend was baffled when I told her about another friend’s divorce.
The students were baffled by the teacher’s explanations.
Have you noticed how many times I used BAFFLED BY?” This way, I will never forget that ‘baffled’ is followed by the preposition ‘by!’
It might take a little time, but this is how you learn a new item of vocabulary forever: By repeating it many times! Vocabulary exercises given by the teacher after a text can also be helpful, but if you don't go beyond them and make your own effort to memorize the new word, you'll end up forgetting it!
Don't be baffled: look it up!