A monthly grammatical guide to help you build your English skills.

Start Out Simple with Synonyms

Mar 14, 2017

Learning challenging words in English may be one of your study goals. To accomplish this goal, you do not have to start by memorizing the most complicated words you can find. Instead, you can take some common English words and learn their synonyms. You might be surprised to find out the benefits of using this approach.

Benefits of synonyms

Synonyms are words that mean just about the same thing. The words are not exact, but they have very similar definitions. Think of them as twins, but not the identical kind! If you’re studying for the TOEFL® test, learning synonyms can help you:

  • Expand your vocabulary
  • Vary your writing by using different words 
  • Increase your reading and listening comprehension 

Common words to get started

Below are some simple English adjectives you might already know. By starting with words that are familiar to you and learning their synonyms, you can quickly build your English vocabulary.
 

  • Great
    • ​​Definition: very large
    • Synonyms: tremendous, immense, ample, colossal, prodigious
  • Little
    • Definition: small in amount of size
    • Synonyms: insufficient, meager, diminutive, imperceptible, truncated
  • Different
    • Definition: not alike; separate; unusual
    • Synonyms: disparate, distinct, inconsistent, unequal, peculiar
  • High
    • Definition: tall; extended a great distance; elevated in rank
    • Synonyms: lofty, soaring, altitudinous, hovering, upraised 
  • Bad 
    • Definition: not good in quality or character
    • Synonyms: atrocious, dreadful, abominable, fallacious, substandard

Watch your vocabulary grow as you prepare with synonyms. Then keep the preparation going with these official resources from ETS, the makers of the TOEFL® test.