Want to make your English conversations more interesting? Check out this fun English vocabulary lesson that will teach you how to spice up your vocabulary. Let’s be frank, no one wants to be monotonous or appear dull! So how do we progress from having a restricted yet functional English lexicon to a thrilling one? Simple, we pick out the terms we are likely to use the most in day-to-day dialogue and we learn their equivalents. For instance, in lesson 498 we took the word “Good”, which you would likely use frequently while talking in English, and we expanded it into an exciting list of alternative words. Today we do the same for the adjective “Big”, and as usual we will give lots of interpretations and examples to help you determine when to use the substitutes best!
To improve your spoken English fluency so you sound more like a native English speaker. You need to expand your knowledge and understanding of the English language. This means you need to expand your English vocabulary. Smart English language learners focus on high frequency English words when learning to speak English. 20% of the effort gets you 80% of the benefits!
This approach can result in a limited range of words to use in your conversations. You can still make yourself understood and you can convey your ideas most of the time, but every now and again, you will hit problems. We talked about this efficient approach to learning vocabulary in lesson 597. For some language learners, this can lead to another problem. Using this approach, you can get too comfortable, you get used to working with a smaller range of words. It’s practical, and it works, but it can be a little boring for people who are listening to you.
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Putting time and effort into learning new, more engaging English words will:
- Make your conversations more interesting, which will increase your confidence in speaking and communicating in English.
- Demonstrate that you have a good understanding of English so you make a good impression in a professional setting.
- Allow you to engage more effectively in conversations with native English speakers.
- Help you recognize and understand unfamiliar words and phrases, aiding in comprehension of more complex conversations.
- To increase your understanding of English grammar, pronunciation, and sentence structure.
Overall, using more difficult English words can be a great asset when speaking or writing in English. It can help you sound more professional and knowledgeable, and can also help to make your writing more engaging.
Thrilling Convey Engage Efficient Interpretations Synonym Large Gigantic Gargantuan Enormous Immense Humongous Colossal Vast
Hi there. Today let's do some more work on 'not using boring words', not using the basic ordinary English words for things, and instead on developing your vocabulary further. I did a podcast number 498, where I did this same exercise with words for 'good'. So I gave you a lot of different synonyms for 'good', which will help your English language learning.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
These podcasts will help you sound more like a native English speaker and less like a beginner at speaking English. So let's develop your vocabulary. Let's make it more vivid, not boring. And today I'm going to do words for 'big' or 'large'.
Useful in everyday conversation, but also will elevate your level of English for any IELTS or similar English language tests.
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So today, let's continue working on making your vocabulary vivid. Let's continue helping you speak English in an interesting way.
It's one of the things that's really noticeable about beginners in a language. They've got a restricted range of words and it's very noticeable on adjectives. So words we use to describe nouns.
And given the podcast I gave you last week where I was talking about 'high frequency words', there's nothing wrong with this. But if you want to take your learning a stage further and become an intermediate speaker of English, rather than a beginner, then knowing a greater variety of words, especially adjectives will be really helpful to you.
English always has a number of words for the same thing. 'Synonyms', if you like. So today here goes for ' synonyms' or 'words, which mean the same', synonyms for 'big' or 'large'. So 'big' B I G is a default word. It's one you'll already know. A mountain is 'big'. The N H S is 'big'. The land mass of Russia is 'big'. The other very normal default word for this is 'large', L A R G E.
' Large' and 'big' are pretty much the same. If anything, 'large' is a little more formal and 'big' is a little more informal. In a newspaper article, I think the word 'large' would tend to be used, but you may also find 'big'. So remember that word synonym? S Y N O N Y M. And it means 'a different word, but with the same meaning'.
Here are some sentences for you, which include some synonyms for 'large' or 'big'.
- It's a giant tree!
- They owned several gigantic houses.
- The mountain was huge.
- There was a humongous gap between the platform and the train.
- Her car is enormous and difficult to park.
- The building was colossal.
- It is with immense gratitude that I receive this donation.
- That was a gargantuan meal that you cooked.
- The auditorium was vast and silent.
So let's go through those adjectives. They're often used interchangeably. That means you can replace one with another and there's not much difference in meaning. They're not completely interchangeable though.
So the first sentence, 'it's a giant tree', T R E E. The word 'giant', G I A N T. It's a noun that's a word for a very, very large being. The sort you meet in children's stories or perhaps in Tolkien. A magically large person like Gulliver from 'Gulliver's Travels', perhaps if you know that book? So when we use 'giant' as an adjective, we mean similarly large. Something that's much bigger than you would expect, giant size. We get this on packaging. It's a 'giant pack' of whatever it is you're buying.
And similarly, the word 'gigantic', G I G A N T I C. It's a related word and it comes from a similar word stem in Latin as' giant'. If you suffer from the medical condition 'gigantism', it means you're a giant. You're abnormally big and large.
If there's a difference in use here, then possibly you're more likely to use 'giant' or 'gigantic' about physical items rather than in an abstract way. But that's not a firm rule.
Similarly, the word 'gargantuan', G A R G A N T U A N. ' Gargantuan' is also related to giants. Apparently it comes from a novel by the French writer, Rabelais, and one of his heroes is the giant, Gargantua.
Apparently this giant had an enormous throat. It's your throat down inside there, what you used to swallow with. And Gargantua would eat people. And this word may come from 'garganta' - don't know how to pronounce that, but that's a word in Spanish or Portuguese, meaning 'throat'.
So presumably Gargantua had a big throat so that he could eat people! Maybe that image will help you remember the word 'gargantuan'.
- The mountain was huge.
- There was a humongous gap between the train and the platform.
So these words are also related. 'Huge' is H U G E. That's much more common and probably pronunciation is the biggest challenge with that word, relating its spelling with its pronunciation.
If you don't know the word 'huge', do have a look at how it's spelled H U G E. ' Huge' and 'humongous' - slightly less common.
So 'humongous', i f anything is probably slightly bigger than 'huge'. If something is 'humongous', it probably shocks and astounds you with its size. Watch the spelling on 'humongous' as well. H U M O N G O U S, 'humongous'.
Next 'enormous', E N O R M O U S. That is a good all-round word for 'very large', and it's probably one of the more common ones. 'Elephants are enormous'. It's slightly more usual as well to use ' enormous' to describe abstract things, abstract words - so words at an ideas level.
There's also a noun to go with 'enormous' - 'enormity', E N O R M I T Y. ' The enormity of the problem just became clear', for instance.
Colossal, C O L O S S A L - that's another one. And the association of this word is fairly obvious. If you think about buildings in ancient Rome, you'll think about The Coliseum, for instance, the one that contained lions sometimes. And Colossus, C O L O S S U S means 'an enormous statue' in ancient Greece.
The Colossus of Rhodes is an example. So 'colossal' is used to describe physical and abstract things that are very large. You could talk about a 'colossal task' or 'colossal job', or a 'colossal debt', even. That's topical, isn't it?
A photograph a colosseum in Italy. Want to make your English conversations more interesting? Check out this lesson on how to elaborate on basic words to add more colour and flair to your language.
The next one, 'immense'. I M M E N S E. Again, 'very large'. This one, 'immense' is more often used of abstract nouns perhaps, but it doesn't mean you can't use it for physical things as well. You might say 'It gave me immense pleasure to work with him. Or 'He felt immense pride in his work'.
And the last example I gave of words for 'very large' - ' The auditorium was vast and silent'. That's a quote from Jim Morrison and The Doors. A good 1960s band, if you know them? Vast, V A S T - another adjective, meaning 'very large', but 'vast' is more often used of empty space. A warehouse might be 'vast' or 'there are vast distances in outer space'. You might also hear 'vast' used for quantity as well. 'Vast sums of money' is a phrase, or 'vast amounts of rubbish'.
Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript
So a quick rundown again of those words. Different words for 'large' or 'big' - synonyms?
- immense and
Listen to this podcast a number of times until you are comfortable that you know all of these words, so that you recognize them when you hear them, but perhaps also so that you can use them when you speak. That is enriching your vocabulary, making your vocabulary more vivid in English. Have fun with it. Surprise people with these words that you've learned!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
- Podcast 498: Stop Using Boring Words And Say What You Mean
- Podcast 597: High frequency vocabulary words
- Coliseum vs. colosseum
- Words or expressions of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning
- Gargantua and Pantagruel
- Colossus of Rhodes, statue by Chares
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