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June 11, 2016


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Yes, I did. Thanks a lot.

According to Longmans, "numerous" is in the top 3000 words used in writing - about three times more common than "worldwide", and ten times more common than "globally" - so why did you highlight "numerous" in your vocabulary list?


A lot of people seem to be commenting on this blog about what they think is 'common vocabulary' or not. Here's an answer.

1. 'Less common' is not simply judged by how often that word occurs in native English. In fact, words that occur outside the top 3000 or 5000 words will often be 'wrong' because they are NOT commonly used and will sound unnatural.

2. When I look up 'numerous' in my list of 10000 words, it is number 2295, surrounded by words like 'substance' 'implement' 'enforcement' and 'inspire'. I would rate these types of words to be 'less common' as well. Any word outside probably the top 1000 could easily be 'less common'.

3. Many words are 'less common' when they are used in different contexts or with different words around them. For example, a student recently used 'slow' as a verb in the expression 'to slow climate change'. This is clearly less common but still very natural.

4. 'Less common' also means 'less commonly used by lower language users'. There are many words and expressions used by natives that are rarely or never used by learners of English, and we know them. I would certainly agree with Simon that the word 'numerous', while used in native speech or writing, is not frequently used by English learners, even at relatively high levels. We see expressions like 'a lot of' or 'many' but 'numerous' only seems to occur more often at the very highest levels.

Judging vocabulary is not a science, and people will disagree sometimes, but overall, experienced language teachers and assessors have a pretty good idea of vocabulary that demonstrates high levels, and often it is vocabulary that may look simple.

I hope you all enjoy the good vocabulary Simon brought to the table. These words and collocations are not only useful for the IELTS test but helpful for preparing you for your future life as well.

Less common words are often using by native speaker and advanced learner, but not by lower English levels
Numerous people will use the bicycle to transfer to slow climate change

Slow climate change
A mere 8 percent
A Massive78 percent
The future higher education lies in balance
A dramatic differences

hi simon i feel difficulty in writing task 2 nd in vocabulary ..plz gve me advice to imprve thz module..

How best to improve transportation
Is "best " here a verb?


No, just think of "how best to do something" as a fixed phrase. Just use it like that. For example,

- people have different views about how best to improve...
- the study looked at how best to treat the illness
- we wanted to find out how best to solve the problem

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