How do you deal with unfamiliar words?

Use this forum for book and reading discussion that doesn't fall into another category. Talk about books, genres, reading issues, general literature, and any other topic of particular interest to readers. If you want to start a thread about a specific book or a specific series, please do that in the section below this one.
Post Reply
Posts: 152
Joined: 04 Jul 2019, 06:27
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 34
Currently Reading: Heartquake
Bookshelf Size: 116
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Altitude Journals by David J Mauro

Re: How do you deal with unfamiliar words?

Post by MrunalT » 12 Sep 2019, 11:26

I mark or write down all the unfamiliar words I encounter in a book. First I try figuring out the meaning from the context, then refer a dictionary to check how wrong/correct I was. And then I like to construct different sentences using those words and weave them into my conversations until I am sure they are a permanent part of my vocabulary.

Aditi Sapate
Posts: 265
Joined: 26 Apr 2019, 02:18
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Barnyard Buddies Meet a Newcomer by Julie Penshorn

Post by Aditi Sapate » 15 Sep 2019, 09:11

When I initially started reading, I used to be intimidated because of the number of unknown words. Sometimes I used to look them up, sometimes I used to be lazy and let them go. But sometimes I find myself using certain words, and when someone asks me what it means, I can't really put the meaning into words. But when I look the word up later, I realize that it makes sense and fits the situation. Really, such is the power of words and the power or reading!

User avatar
Posts: 117
Joined: 17 Apr 2019, 23:11
Currently Reading: The Cult Next Door
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: First Lessons by Lina J. Potter

Post by Reynaa » 25 Sep 2019, 15:01

I look them up in a dictionary or use context clues as to what the author means. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, I actually love looking up definitions of unfamiliar words. They are usually items that are obsolete now but were used in that era. I love learning about these types of objects so it adds more fun to the books for me.

User avatar
Posts: 233
Joined: 15 Jul 2019, 00:38
Currently Reading: Becoming
Bookshelf Size: 58
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Post by Inkroverts » 29 Sep 2019, 23:23

When I was younger, I'd look up the dictionary and jot down the words in my vocabulary bank. But these days I just sort of guess the meaning of the words using the general context of the paragraph. It's more efficient this way. And sometimes I even remember how the use these words.

User avatar
Posts: 176
Joined: 24 May 2019, 23:34
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Currently Reading: The Cult Next Door
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Shadow's Voice by Natalie Johanson

Post by Nym182 » 09 Oct 2019, 16:32

First of all I commend anyone who actually puts in the effort to learn new words so that's awesome!

I follow very similar steps as you do actually! I first try to figure out generally what the word means via context clues. But if I am totally in the dark, I go to a trusty dictionary online and look up the definition and synonyms.

One thing I need to work on is how to pronounce certain words I have learned primarily through reading.

For Ex: I know what a trebuchet is (it's like a type of catapult) but in my head I always thought of it as tre-bu-chet. My husband and I were talking the other day and he started talking about "tre-boo-ch-a"s and I was like whhhaaaat... then in kinda hit me I've been thinking that word wrong the entire time haha

I've actually heard that that is a common thing for people who have primarily gained their vocabulary via reading!

Post Reply

Return to “General Book & Reading Discussion”