Irregular Plural Nouns
-F to -Ves: wolf, wolves
Old English: Mouse Mice
Greek and Latin, continued

Irregular Verbs

Cut Cut Cut
Bend Bent Bent
Dig Dug Dug
Light Lit Lit
Win Won Won
Eat Ate Eaten
Swim Swam Swum

Regular Verbs

/id/ one
/t/ one


Accept Except
Cache Cash
Dam Damn
Gorilla Guerrilla
Jeans Genes


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Vocabulary and Success


One Million Words

The English language has about one million words. And counting!

Don’t let that scare you though: just 1,200 of these words make up 90% of general conversations in English, and indeed all other languages.

To understand 95% of English usage (which includes newspapers, books and business matters) you need to go up to the 4,000 most common words.

But you shouldn’t stop there.

Why not?

Words and Success

It’s because there’s a direct connection between vocabulary and career success — the more words you know, the more money you earn, on average.

Johnson O’Connor, a Harvard-educated engineer, conducted extensive studies on human aptitude and personal achievement.

After more than 20 years of evaluating thousands of people, of all ages, occupations, educational levels, and backgrounds, O’Connor concluded: “An exact and extensive vocabulary is an important concomitant of success.”

Communication Equals Wealth

He believed that education and hard work alone are not enough to achieve great success.

What people also need is excellent communication. And a strong vocabulary is a key ingredient of that.

But does vocabulary really matter?

Think about it.


Ask yourself: who are the highest paid individuals?
Answer: actors and actresses…professional athletes…
lawyers…political leaders…top salespeople…superstar
singers…TV personalities…university professors…
…bestselling authors.

And what do they all have in common?
Answer: all are excellent communicators in one form or another.

Highest Score

Here’s another question: what profession scores the highest on vocabulary tests?

Obviously authors, doctors, editors, journalists, lawyers, psychologists, scientists, university professors, writers, right?


None of the above, though they do all score highly.

The winners are CEOs. CEOs and other top level business executives.

Communication Skills

Part of this is because a large vocabulary allows individuals to communicate more clearly and precisely.

This in turn leads to better people skills and leadership.

Good communication also encompasses reading, writing and listening. Excelling these skills allows people to absorb useful information.

Vocabulary and Intelligence

As a person’s vocabulary expands, so does his or her overall knowledge and intelligence. This is because the mastery of words is connected to the mastery of the ideas that underlie them.

O’Connor explained that words are the tools that individuals use for most thought processes. And, like a craftsman, the sharper a person’s tools, the better are his or her results.

Similarly, words are the building blocks in creative and complex thought patterns.


And finally, fairly or unfairly, whether we like it or not, people on a subconscious level, judge others by what they say — and the words that they use, or don’t use.

Good communication is seen as a hallmark of a winner. It opens doors.

The end result is higher performance, productivity, sales, promotions, income, and career satisfaction.

Low Vocabulary and Low Achievement

On the flip-side, a limited vocabulary can block people on their career paths.

It’s true that energy and ambition can propel young people forward, even with a poor vocabulary.

As we grow older however, the world expects us to mature. Now we are judged by wisdom and experience rather than energy and motivation.

Job Insecurity

Simply put, those who fail to expand their vocabularies get stuck in dead-end jobs.

What’s more, when crunch time comes, it’s usually low-vocabulary employees who get axed (laid off). They then say it was due to favoritism and company politics.

In reality, only about 3,500 words separate low and high vocabulary persons. Yet these 3,500 words can spell the difference between career, financial and social success — and the lack thereof.

Correlation and Causation

Skeptics may argue that correlation does not imply causation. Perhaps upper management necessitates a high IQ, which lends itself to soaking up words. Or a big vocabulary is a by-product of reading and studying business matters.

In an added twist, many successful people have low vocabulary and lack communicative skills; whereas there are people with modest salaries, but who have large vocabularies and a wide knowledge of the world (think teachers).

Nothing to Lose

At any rate it never hurts to expand your vocabulary. Having a command of words would certainly give you a competitive edge over those who don’t.

And the best news it that you have complete control over this.

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1. According to the article, 4,000 words is all you need to know to get by in English. True or false?

2. Was Johnson O’Connor a psychologist?

3. Many of the highest paid individuals…………………

4. Why might CEO’s have the biggest vocabularies?

5. What are some specific benefits of having a large vocabulary?

6. Learning and knowing many words makes a person smarter. Yes or no? If yes, how?

7. Why might people with low vocabularies stuck in dead-end jobs?

8. Do you think having a big vocabulary helps people become successful; or does becoming successful give you a good vocabulary? Or smart people can learn, remember and master anything, including professional skills and many words.

A. How can you expand your vocabulary?

B. Who among your friends and colleagues has the most extensive vocabulary? Is he or she very successful?

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