• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



Vocabulary Basics for Business is intended for adults who wish to improve their English vocabulary. The most common reason for needing to increase or broaden vocabulary is lack of experience with reading. Not surprisingly, thoughtful reading is key to developing a broader vocabulary. Read as much as you possibly can read—anything that interests you, whether magazine or novel, textbook or junk mail, a newspaper or a cereal box, e-mail or Web pages—read.

When you read, watch for unfamiliar words or phrases or words used in unfamiliar ways. Try to determine their meaning by the other information you are given in the sentence or paragraph. Re-read a paragraph and state it in your own words. Start by thinking, “This paragraph says that…” or “This probably means….”

Re-read. If you find reading a textbook somewhat difficult, read a few pages and then go back and read them again. Many times your knowledge of the topic will increase as you read further, so that when you re-read earlier material you understand it more easily and clearly.

Using a dictionary to check the meaning of a word is worth the time. Keep a dictionary handy. Look up meanings of words that you come across in your reading and then use that meaning to re-state the information in a way that is clearer to you. Looking up words just for fun is not necessarily a useful exercise because you do not see or hear the terms used in a sentence or paragraph—that is, “in context.” Your understanding and your memory are much better when you see a term in a specific context.

One of the important ways that this book will help you increase your vocabulary is to teach you ways to think about what you read and about words and their relationships. In that way, Vocabulary Basics for Business is a tool that supports and facilitates—that is, makes easier—the vocabulary development work you do through your reading.

Vocabulary Basics for Business approaches vocabulary development in two ways:

through strategies, or plans, for building vocabulary, and

through reading, understanding, and using specific words.

Your primary goal in “Section 1: Clues from Context” is to learn to determine word meanings from surrounding information. You will use your common sense to ask questions about what you read that will help you decide what it means. You will notice and interpret “signals” that may help you understand a new term. The signals include definitions, comparisons and examples, opposites and contrasts, and cause and effect. The approaches are not difficult, but they are often overlooked.

The strategy you will learn in “Section 2: Word Families” is to examine how words are related, how they compare with one another and how they differ, how their meanings are similar and what they have in common. You will contrast words and groups of words in a lesson that uses words related to communication. In a lesson that presents words related to sizes and amounts, you will examine relationships among words that share a common idea; that is, you will put words “in order.” In a third lesson in this section, you will examine shades of meaning among words that share a concept or idea. In this case, you will compare and use words about importance. Taken together, the three lessons in Section 2 will help you learn to compare and contrast words, categorize them, and put them in order as strategies for thinking about new words and becoming more familiar with them. These lessons depart from some of the traditional approaches to vocabulary building, so have fun with them.

The strategy you will learn in Section 3 is word analysis. You will become familiar with a basic set of prefixes, roots, and suffixes—word parts. Knowledge of the meanings of word parts and how they combine to form various words will give you a distinct advantage when you encounter new words or new uses of words.

In “Section 4: Troublemakers,” you will practice using words that are often confused or misused, from accept through prerequisite. These terms, like others throughout the text, are presented in various contexts to reinforce and clarify their use by example.

You will learn and use specific business terms in the final eleven lessons of Vocabulary Basics for Business. This section includes topics that are common to most businesses, including human resources, sales and marketing, accounting and finance, shipping, business computing, and leadership. You will encounter target business terms in sample business documents such as ads, announcements, memos, letters, and spreadsheets. The goal for Section 5 is not for you to develop a thorough mastery of a huge number of business terms. Rather, you will master a reasonable number of terms common to the business areas and be introduced to others. You will also learn how some everyday terms have particular meanings in business contexts.

Each section of Vocabulary Basics for Business opens with a short introduction and a self-assessment that will give you a preview of the lessons in that section. The answers to the self-assessment are presented immediately after the questions.

The lessons have many questions and exercises to help you understand and practice the strategies and terms. Answers and explanations for all of these are included in the book, with the exception of the five review chapters.

Too often students have been asked to acquire or extend their language without connecting it to their lives, interests, and other learning. Building vocabulary should be an adventure beyond the classroom, not an exercise limited by it.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint