I have a bad problem, I learned a lot of English words, I am registered on Memrise.com and every day I study new words and review them. Now I have more than 1100 words in my long term memory according to Memrise.

Also, I can read English texts at an intermediate level and understand them. While talking English to my friends I can listen to their conversations but I can't talk because I forget words, so I can't convey my idea. Or even if I find words I can't create a good sentence.

What exercise can help me?

  • 1
    It's anecdotal, but I have learned tons and tons of vocabulary by just reading books. I've learned so much that way that I sometimes mispronounce words that I've seen in print but haven't heard pronounced.
    – Robert Columbia
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 14:38
  • I don't think Memrise is that trustworthy. Always be dubious towards such commercial services since their claims might be bloated or serve their own purposes. The one real way to memorize vocabulary is to use them. You can make your own funny, impressive sentences with the words, which I found most effective, or just write a lot and try to incorporate the words in your writing. Passively going over the words doesn't work so well, I'd say.
    – xji
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


According to Memrise, you have 1100 words in your long-term memory, but according to your experience, it doesn't sound like you have 1100 words in your active vocabulary. Your 1100 words (or so) are in your passive vocabulary (evidenced when you said "I can listen to their conversations..."), meaning you can understand them when they are used, but since they're not in your active vocabulary they're difficult for you to use of your own accord.

Thus, you can't seem to remember the words you want because they have not been frequently enough used in writing or speaking to enter your active vocabulary.

If you wish to expand your active vocabulary, there's a question for that.

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