Vocabulary Word Lists & Phrases

Here you will find vocabulary word lists on a vast array of topics. These lists can be useful for both teachers and students. When we are faced with long lists of words to learn, this can be very daunting and discouraging. Rather than stimulating the learning process, it can act as a deterrent, as the long road (or list) ahead of us seems unattainable.

I have therefore broken up the vocabulary word lists into smaller groups of words, so the task of teaching and learning the words can be done step by step. It is always easier to remember a word when it has another association for us, somewhere for our brain to put it and then relocate it. This can be done by linking words with similar sounding words, with pictures or even with places. So, for example, if I give you lists of words with common factors:

  • book, pen, ruler, sharpener, pencil, eraser (stationary)
  • pen, pencil, pendant, penny, penguin, penicillin (all start with pen)
  • run, jump, skip, leap, dive, roll (verbs of movement)

You will find these much easier to remember than random lists of words:

  • glasses, stumble, number, frozen, school, pipe

So to try and make these vocabulary word lists easier to memorize, I have broken them down into categories, and then even further into sub-categories. Don't try and take on too much in one go, as it is better to remember a few words well, then forget all the words completely!

What is involved in learning vocabulary?

Unfortunately for those of us who are trying to learn a new language, being able to use new words effectively is not a single step process. It's important to get every step right if we want to understand and use our new vocabulary properly.

  1. You need to know the correct meaning, or meanings of the word.
  2. You need to know how to pronounce it, so that other people can understand you, and you can understand others! For example, in Polish, all the letters are pronounced, so when Polish people learn words ending in 'r', their pronunciation will generally be with the 'r' on the end, e.g. wate'rrrr', or flowe'rrr', so when a native speaker pronounces the word without the 'r', the student does not recognise the word!
  3. You need to spell it correctly.
  4. You have to know what part of speech it is, so you can use it grammatically correctly.
  5. You have to be able to use it with the correct collocations (e.g. we would say great pain or severe pain when talking about physical pain, but not big pain).
  6. You have to be able to first of all have a passive memory of it (recognise it when others use it), and then an active production (be able to use it yourself without looking it up in a book!). This normally requires hearing and seeing the word many times in different contexts. That's why revision and continued exposure to the language is so important!

A Systematic Approach

If you want to improve your vocabulary, you have to be systematic about it. One can't learn a few words here and there, and hope for an overall improvement. Taking lessons are obviously one way of achieving this, but if this is not an option to you, there are great resources on the internet. You can work through my vocabulary lists, but if you want more of a targeted approach that is made just for you, you can use www.learnthat.org.

The focus of this website is to teach you vocabulary at your level, and for your specific requirements. The goal of this site is to build up lists of vocabulary just for you, that you can then practice using the quizzes and mulit-media presentations to help you memorize the words. LearnThat Word tracks your progress and gives you regular reviews.

Learning is made easier with origins of words, meanings of prefixes and suffixes, idioms, synonyms and antonyms. There are audio demonstrations of how the words are pronounced, as well as examples of the words in use. 

You can create your own word lists, or use the ready made custom modules. The basic parts of this website or free, or you can upgrade at a small cost to use more of the advanced features.

How to use my Vocabulary Lists

At the bottom of each list of words, you will find a download button, which will take you to my pdf documents with the vocabulary words and their definitions which you can print off.

If you are a teacher you can use these to supplement your lessons on that given topic. You can pre-teach some vocabulary at the beginning of the lesson, to give the students some words to use in the discussions they will shortly be having! You can also cut up the words and definitions and get the students to match them up. You can keep the vocabulary words as flashcards and revise them with the students using some vocabulary games and activities.

I hope you find my vocabulary word lists helpful, and if you want to me to add any more, then let me know on the contact form on my Home Page.

Vocabulary Lists

Academic Vocabulary

School Vocabulary

Photography Vocabulary

Spy Vocabulary


Science Vocabulary

Weather Vocabulary

Travel Vocabulary

Emotions Vocabulary

Useful Phrases

Giving a Presentation Vocabulary

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