One of the important steps in vocabulary learning is to decide if a word is “worth” learning. Will I use it in conversation? Will I need it to understand an important idea or concept? (How is the word “idea” different from “concept”?)

The four words in the photo are pretty useless, unless I use a boat. But the ideas that make the differences (is it built on wood or dirt? Does it stick out into the water or not?) are important distinctions that can help in other areas. Just to think about how words are different can help you understand more about a language.

Here is another example: Smell and Stink. Something can smell good or bad, but Stink means it always smells bad. Now look up other related words like Aroma and Stench. Use a thesaurus (dictionary of synonyms or similar words) to find other smell-related vocabulary.

The important thing is to spend time with your new words.