Hello everyone! 😄🌞In this discussion post series I'm answering some of the questions I get asked by students most often. Look below for this week's question & answer.
Student Question: How do I choose the right word to say - without using a translator - when I don't know the exact word I want in English?
My Answer: There are many different ways to choose an appropriate word to get your meaning across when you don't have enough vocabulary to get the exact word. Here are 3 strategies that I find useful:
Use a synonym instead: Sometimes you may know a word that has a similar meaning to the word you don't know but not the exact meaning you want. Use this similar word and maybe give a little extra explanation of what you mean to get your idea across to your listener.
Explain the word's meaning: If you don't know any similar words in English then try explaining what the word you're looking for means in other words to get your idea across to your listener.
Forget about using that word all together and explain what you mean some other way: If you don't know a similar word and you're not sure how to explain what it means in English, try giving an example of the word if you can. If you can't give an example then forget about using that word to get your idea across and move on. Either try to explain what you mean in some other way or just say, "Haha, never mind!" and move on to your next point or continue the conversation in some other way. :)
These 3 strategies can be useful when speaking in any language... sometimes even your mother tongue if you're speaking about a subject you're not familiar with. What strategies do you use when you don't know a word? I'd love to hear them in the comments! 🌞
I hope you found this answer helpful! Please like it if you did. If you have any questions about this week's answer or would like to put in a vote for the question I answer in next week's post please write a comment below! Until next week!😄🌞❤