How to Remember English Words – With 9 Advanced Vocabulary Examples

How to Remember English Words - With 9 Advanced Vocabulary Examples

I showed you how to remember English rules with these 11 little drawings. Today, I’m going to show you how to remember English words forever (I hope!) using a special memory technique. Enjoy!

How many times do you need to see a new English word before you really remember it?

Research shows that you usually need to see a word up to 8 times before you remember it. Sometimes more.

That’s not very efficient, is it?

Well, here I come with good news once again.

You can thank me later.

With expensive chocolates.

The good news is that there are ways you can remember English words much faster.

If you haven’t already downloaded it, you can get my free eBook, which explains this technique in more detail.

But to summarise it, all you need to do is create an image in your head that helps you remember the new word.

Today, I want to share some of my favourite ones with you.

Check out the images and remember these 9 words FOREVER! (Probably.)

102 Little Drawings eBook


To Bloom

What does it mean?

A flower blooms in spring. It’s the word we use when the flower opens up and shows its beauty to the world.

Example, please!

“Spring had arrived. The birds had returned from their long journey from Africa, and the flowers were all blooming or soon to bloom.”

How can I remember it?

Think of Orlando Bloom.

As a flower.

#1 To Bloom - "Orlando Bloom blooms."
Orlando Bloom 2014 Comic Con by Gage Skidmore | CC BY 2.0




What does it mean?

It’s similar to “variety.” We use it to talk about a group of different versions of the same type of thing.

Let me explain:

For example, most clothes shops have a range of T-shirts for sale. They’re all T-shirts — they’re all the same thing, but some are red, some are yellow, some are tiny and some have a picture of Mr Bean on them for no reason whatsoever.

Example, please!

“When she got to the States, she was amazed by the huge range of products available in the supermarket. There were 84 different types of breakfast cereal, for example.”

How can I remember it?

Imagine a range of Range Rovers:

#2 Range - "A range of Range Rovers"



To Pour

What does it mean?

When you pour a drink, you move it from one container to another — usually from a bottle to a glass.

Example, please!

“Could you pour me a glass of wine, please?”

How can I remember it?

Well, think about a dinner party full of rich people.

There are the rich people at the table.

But who pours the drinks? Poor people of course!

#3 To Pour - "A poor person pours (for the rich)."




What does it mean?

It means to bring together in a confused mess.

Think about what happens to electrical cables when you leave them alone just for a day.

You put them in the cupboard, and they’re fine and organised.

Then you open the cupboard a day later.

And they’re a mess. Completely tangled.

Tangled cables
Tangled cables by Kazuhisa OTSUBO | CC BY 2.0

Example, please!

“My hair got tangled in the machine. I’m stuck now.”

How can I remember it?

Think about Tango — two dancers “mixing” their arms and legs together. Now think about very complicated Tango.

Tango … tangle?

Sounds the same, right?

#4 Tangled - "Tangled while doing the Tango."




What does it mean?

There are two ways we can use this.

Fraud is a crime.

For example, if someone steals your ID card, goes to the bank, takes all your money out and then spends it all on chocolate clocks, then they’ve committed fraud.

We can also use “fraud” to talk about a person who tries to deceive people with fake claims or fake qualifications.

Like the scientists who told us that smoking was healthy back in the 50s.

Vintage cigarette poster

Or the Nigerian prince who keeps emailing you asking for your bank details so he can give you millions of dollars.

Example, please!

“Oh, don’t read that book about how dolphins can read your future. The guy who wrote it is a complete fraud.”

How can I remember it?

Think about the famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud.

Imagine everything he wrote was complete nonsense.

“Fraud,” “Freud.” They sound similar, right?

Freud 420a.jpg | CC BY-SA 4.0

Want more crime vocab? Click here.



To Gather

What does it mean?

This can mean either lots of things coming together, or it can mean bringing lots of things together.

Example, please!

“In the autumn the kids would go out into the forest and gather mushrooms. Times were simpler then.”

How can I remember it?

Remember that it either means coming together or bringing things together?

“To gather” sounds a bit like “together,” right?

And that’s what you’re doing.

You want to gather things … um … together!

#6 To Gather - "I want to gather them together."



To Smother

What does it mean?

The main meaning of smother is to kill someone by covering their mouth and nose so they can’t breathe anymore.

Cheerful stuff, right?

But there’s a more common use that’s a bit less deathy. (By the way, “deathy” isn’t actually a word.)

When you smother someone, you show too much love for them.

In fact, you show so much love for them, through hugging and kissing usually, that the only thing they want to do is run away.

I often think about overloving grandmothers and their grandchildren trapped inside their massive hugs.

Example, please!

“When the kids returned home from their mushroom picking, their worried mother smothered them with hugs and kisses.”

How can I remember it?

What happens when you remove the “s” from “smother?”

You get “mother.”

Imagine a smothering mother:

#7 Smother - "His mother smothers him."




What does it mean?

We usually use this word for someone who is hoping to get a certain position — someone who is applying for a job or someone who is standing for election and hoping to become a minister.

Example, please!

“Not many people voted in this election ’cause no one really liked any of the candidates. They all looked like wooden zombies.”

How can I remember it?

Before a candidate goes to that job interview, or before he makes that important speech, he stands in front of the mirror repeating:

“You can do it … you can do it … can do it … candoit… candidate…”

#8 Candidate - "The candidate can do it."




What does it mean?

Do you remember school?

Did you ever fall off something or hit your head on something or get punched by someone?

When your skin gets hit somehow, what colour does it turn?

It goes purple, sometimes, right?

That purple thing? That’s a bruise.

Example, please!

“Wow! That’s the biggest bruise I’ve ever seen. How did you get it?”

How can I remember it?

Think about Bruce Willis.

He gets bruises in more or less every film he’s done, right?

Bruise Willis?

#9 Bruise - "Bruce Willis ... or Bruise Willis?"
Bruce Willis Comic-Con 2010 by Gage Skidmore | CC BY 2.0

Magic, right?

OK. Let’s check. How many words can you remember?

  1. A person who pretends to be an expert but isn’t
  2. When a flower opens up
  3. Move liquid from a bottle to a glass
  4. A lot of different items of the same type
  5. Purple marks on your skin (from a minor injury)
  6. Mixed together in an untidy way
  7. Somebody who is applying for a position
  8. Bring lots of things to one place
  9. To almost kill someone with love

Answer in the comments (no cheating!).

Did you find this useful? Do you know any people (or reindeer) that might also benefit from this? Then BE AWESOME AND SHARE! Spread the knowledge!

17 thoughts on “How to Remember English Words – With 9 Advanced Vocabulary Examples

    1. Wahey!

      Excellent work — nice one!

      Now the next step is for you to go make your own images for new words.

      I’d love to know how well it works (and what kind of crazy images you create). Let me know!

  1. Thanks.
    How soon will the bloom smother all that gloom and doom?
    Can you arrange the colours of the rainbow in order?
    “Pour me some more!”, said Edgar Alan Poe.
    They’re gathering round to untangle The Gordian knot.
    Not only Sigmund Freud would be greatly annoyed if the rhyme was such fraud.
    Poor candidate ended up with a fool’s mate.
    Tattoos are not a bruise.

      1. I’m glad you like it, thank YOU for the inspiring post(s). The fisherman drawingsof yours are very helpful indeed.
        And I did polish my… ‘rigmarolish’:
        “I’d rather smother my father and mother than gather with my brother.” — this morbid whimsical tosh is quite a tongue twister, huh? 😉

  2. Thank you very much for the advise. The visuals can really help, yes. When I was at school, I tried reading and reading more but it was not efficient for me. When I told this to my English teacher, he told me to try new things, like writing, moving while learning, listening, etc. I tried different ways and I found that I can learn best when I hear the new vocabulary. Since than, I speak new words loud to memorise.
    I mean that every person is different. I will certainly follow your advise and use it for my new vocabulary. I will let you know how it goes.

  3. It was really great for me because I am studying English for IELTS exam and I really need a good way to memorize words. For those who are in a situation like me I wanna to share my experience. Among all application I had, there is an app which it’s really useful. I can memorize and learn a large number of words with a little fun. Called “WordUp”. I wanna strongly recommend to use it. This app will help you to learn words and realize when or where you need them to use. You can learn the root of each word, synonyms and all conditions of a word!
    It’s available at

    Good luck everyone.

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