I am having trouble with picking the right word for the context that I am talking about. To get rid of the problem I practiced to find all the forms of any word that I encountered ever through books, television etc. Even though my problem here is still I have hard times in employing the context-precise words. Is there any best practices to learn and remember as well forever so that I could use that every time I have the right context. Any practical solution would be really appreciated.

And of course I think it's worth sharing that I am Indian. "ESL".

  • Welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange and thank you for posting an interesting question. I have a few comments, though. Could you please reword the title so it doesn't use the word "best"? What is "best" depends on the learner and on the learning goals, e.g. fastest, effective for long-term memory, etc. The title also does not fit the content very well, since "remembering" is very general, while your chosen tags say that this is about speaking. – Christophe Strobbe Oct 19 '18 at 10:39
  • I have made changes to the content as you suggested for the sake of clarity. – bikash das Oct 19 '18 at 10:44

I'd recommend not to start with a single word and try to explore all its usages in different contexts, but to do it the other way around: to explore one context per lesson and learn the vocabulary that applies there.

Memorize sentences that make sense in that context and, in your mind, try to associate them with pictures that clearly belong to your chosen context. Then, when talking within some context, your mind will more easily have sentences and words available that match the context.

If you start from the word and try to learn usage patterns like "I can use it in weather, maritime and banking contexts, but not in public transportation", you'll ask your mind to do things it typically isn't good at: applying complex if-then-else patterns during fluent speech, or remembering whether the "not" applied to "public transportation" or "banking".

But the human mind is very good at learning associations, e.g. between the words in a sentence, or between pictures and words. So help your mind to build the associations between the words of the context vocabulary and a picture of the context.


I find making myself create sentences with the vocab helps. If you have a language partner have them review some of the ones you’ve created, and so on. It sounds tedious but straight memorization doesn’t engrain the concepts as much for me.


I'm in the situation of learning japanese (not actively at the moment) and helping my coworker with Luxembourgish. I thing one of the best was is to ask if there is a rule on what word to choose. Best example is the diffrence between "a" and "an". "An is only used if the next word has an "A", "E", "I", "O" or "U" in front of it. I am not sure right now if you also use "an" in the case of words beginning with a "Y" but I think so. At least when the "y" is pronounced like an "I".

Although I can't think of any fitting example to proof my "Y"-theory/rule right now.

  • Welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange is not a forum (see the tour) and that answers should actually answer the question. This is not really the case for what you posted. (In addition, the described rule for "a" versus "an" is not correct.) – Christophe Strobbe Dec 5 '18 at 19:34
  • Please explain it to me then cause that was the rule I was taught in my English lessons at school – VarmintLP Dec 6 '18 at 12:41
  • The choice between "a" and "an" doesn't depend on the spelling of the next word but its pronunciation. See “An hour” or “a hour” and a / an - adjective - noun. – Christophe Strobbe Dec 6 '18 at 16:08
  • true. I mean now that you mention it I get what you mean. Maybe I missremember it then OR it was because the teacher was speaking in english and I missunderstood her because my english wasn't as good as now and using a / an is already second nature since about one or two years. – VarmintLP Dec 7 '18 at 7:18

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