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BETTER WAYS TO BUILD YOUR VOCABULARY

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A vocabulary is said to be a new word. That is, any word or a piece of writing that is new to the reader is a vocabulary. Consider the following example:

Bade’s life is fleeting.

In the sentence above, the word that may be new to the reader is fleeting. Fleeting is, therefore, a vocabulary. In other words, vocabulary is seen as a difficult word. Any word that is not easy to understand in pieces of writing is also a vocabulary. Consider the following example:

That is a gormless statement.

The only word in the sentence that is not easy to understand is gormless. Gormless is, therefore, a vocabulary.

 [Ache] as a Noun

This is a continuous feeling of pain in a part of the body. Consider these examples:

(i)         I have headaches.

(ii)        She is suffering from a stomach ache.

[Ache] as a Verb

This implies to feel continuous pain. Consider this example:

(i)         All the joints of the part of my body are aching me.

Aching is used as a continuous verb form helped by the auxiliary (are).

[Action] as a Noun

Action as a noun is the process of doing something in order to make something happen, or dealing with a situation. Consider the following examples:

(i)         Comrade! This is the time for action.

(ii)        Your actions sometimes determine who you are.

In the example (i), ‘action’ functions as the headword in the prepositional phrase for action in the sentence. Also, in the example (ii), ‘action’ functions as the head word in the noun phrase your action of the sentence.

[Action] as a Verb

It is to make sure that something is done or dealt with. Consider these examples:

(i)         Relax, your case will be actioned very soon.

(ii)        Make sure you action my request immediately.

‘Actioned’ in the example (i) is used as the passive verb form in the sentence. in the example (ii) ‘action’ is used as a lexical verb.

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[Angle] as a Noun

In the case of a noun, ‘angle’ is the space between two lines or surfaces that join, or the direction that something is learning or pointing in when it is not in a vertical or horizontal line. Examine these examples:

(i)         The table leans at the second angle.

(ii)        I searched all angles of the room in order to get a broom.

‘Angle’ in the example (i) serves as the headword in the prepositional phrase at the second angle of the sentence. In the example (ii) as well, angles serves as the headword in the noun phrase: all angles of the room.

[Angle] as a Verb

Here, it connotes ‘to move or place something so that it is not straight or not directly feeling someone or something.’ Examine the examples below:

(i)         Ada angled his chair in order to gaze at Bukky’s face.

(ii)        The table was angled across the parlour.

In the example (i), ‘angled’ is used as a lexical verb. Also, ‘angled’ in the example (ii) is used as the passive verb form which is helped by auxiliary (was).

[Rival] as a Noun

It means a person, company or thing that competes with one another in sports, businesses, etc. Examine these examples:

(i)         The antagonist in a play is a rival to the protagonist.

(ii)        The Nigeria’s team has been a rival to the Argentina’s.

In the example (i) and (ii), ‘rival’ functions as a complement of the sentences where they are used. So, it is a noun.

[Rival] as a Verb

‘Rival’ as a verb connotes ‘to be good or impressive to something or someone.’ Examine the following examples:

(i)         Your performance in my subject rivals me a lot.

(ii)        Super eagles rivaled Nigerians when they beat Argentina.

‘Rivals’ and ‘rivaled’ in the examples above are lexical verbs inasmuch as they perform the actions of the sentences where they are used. ‘Rivals’ connotes impresses while ‘rivalled’ connotes impressed.

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[Barracks] as a Noun

‘Barracks’ are large buildings or group of buildings for soldiers to live in. Look at the example below:

(i)         A troupe of soldiers was ordered to be back to barracks.

‘Barracks’ is used as a noun. It serves as the headword in the prepositional phrase to barracks of the sentences.

[Barracks] as a Verb (1)

‘Barracks’ as a verb means ‘to shout criticism or protest at players in a game.’ Look at this example carefully:

(i)         The Nigerians supporters usually barrack at their opponents during world cup tournament.

‘Barrack’ in the example above is used as a lexical verb, doing the action of the sentence. It connotes ‘shout criticism or protest at their opponents during world cup tournament.’

[Barrack] as a Verb (2)

In this case, ‘barrack’ means ‘to shout encouragement to a person or team that you support.’ Look at these examples:

(i)         The Super Eagles were barracked when they scored 2-0 against their opponent.

(ii)        Obinna was barracked as she convinced the audience by reasonable points.

‘Barracked’ is used as the passive verb form helped by auxiliary verb (was) in the two sentences above. It means ‘encouraged by shouting.’

[Abstract] as an Adjective

This is what happens not in real person, thing or situation or existing in thought or as an idea but not showing a physical reality. Study these examples:

(i)         The teacher adopts abstract methods in the classroom.

(ii)        Everybody can shoe love, though love itself is an abstract.

In the example (i), ‘abstract’ is used as an attributive adjective modifying the noun methods. in the example (ii) ‘abstract’ is used as a predicative adjective since it occurs after the auxiliary (is).

[Abstract] as a Noun (1)

Here, ‘abstract’ implies a short piece of writing containing the main ideas in a document. Study the example below:

(i)         My project includes a reasonable abstract.

Abstract in this case modified by the adjective (reasonable).

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[Abstract] as a Noun (2)

It means in a general sense which does not refer to a particular real person, thing or situation. Study this example:

(i)         Phonetics is not taught in the abstract but it is based on practice and drilling.

Abstract’ in this case is a noun which functions as headword in the prepositional phrase in the abstract of the sentence.

[Abstract] as a Verb

In this sense, it connotes to remove something from somewhere. Study these examples:

(i)         The students are asked to abstract the main idea from the passage.

(ii)        Defaulters’ report cards should be abstracted from others.

In the example (i) ‘abstracts’ is used as the non-finite word to abstract. But in the example (ii), it is used as the passive verb that is helped by the auxiliaries should be.

[Dirty] as an Adjective

This means ‘not clean.’ Study the following examples:

(i)         Ayo is too dirty.

(ii)        The girl wears a dirty shirt.

‘Dirty’ in the example (i) is predicative adjective because it appears after the auxiliary (is). In the example (ii) it is an attributive adjective that modifies the noun (skirt).

[Dirty] as a Verb

‘Dirty’ as a verb implies to make something or somebody dirty. Study the following examples:

(i)         Wole has dirtied my shirt.

(ii)        Those children dirty my room with rough papers.

‘Dirtied’ in the example (i) is used as a perfective verb form because it follows the auxiliaries (has). Also, ‘dirtied’ in the example (ii) is used as a lexical verb which stands alone with a clear meaning.

Deola Adelakun

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