English Vocabulary: 5 verbs to make you sound smart

I’m here to help you sound smarter! In this English lesson, you’ll learn five advanced verbs that will make you sound more intellectual. These verbs are perfect for your academic essays, but you can use them in a conversation at work, or in a discussion with your friends. Check out my other lessons on nouns (http://www.engvid.com/5-nouns-to-sound-smart/) and adjectives (http://www.engvid.com/5-adjectives-to-sound-smart/) to sound smarter. Take the quiz and test your understanding. Once you know these words, practice your advanced English vocabulary by writing sentences with these words in the comments!


Hey, guys. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this vocabulary lesson on: “5 Verbs to Sound Smart”. Now, you may have already checked out my lesson on five nouns to sound smart, five adjectives to sound smart; and today, we’re looking at the verbs.

So, from the top, we have the verb: “ostracize”. All right? So repeat it after me: “ostracize”. Okay. So what “ostracize” means is to exclude someone, generally from a social group like a family, or a team, or any kind of religious group as well. So to exclude, shun, or snub them from a specific group. So, for example: “He was ostracized for his beliefs.” So this person had different beliefs than the other people in his social group, and the other people in his social group basically pushed him away and didn’t allow him to return. They looked at… They looked down on him like he was less than them. He was ostracized; he was excluded from the group. So, again, you can be ostracized for your beliefs, you can be ostracized for something you say, you can be ostracized for something you do. So, for example, if you follow, you know, a system of faith, a religion that tells you that you have to act a certain way, if a person doesn’t act that way, they could be ostracized by members of their religious community. Okay?

The next one: “garner”. So think… Look at my hands. “Garner”, which means to get, to acquire, to earn. You can also think of it as to collect. So, the example we have on the board is: “They garnered a poor reputation.” So this group of people basically acquired a poor reputation for their beliefs or their actions. You can also, for example, garner evidence. Like if you’re a police officer, you can also garner information. So you can say: “We have been trying to garner, collect, or get, or acquire as much information as possible.” Or: “The police haven’t garnered enough evidence to, you know, send the suspect to jail.”

Next, we have: “contemplate”. Now, some of you might be familiar with this word because it’s similar to something, you know, in a Spanish language, for example. And: “to contemplate” means to consider or to think about something. So, for example: “We have contemplated moving to a new city.” So this could be a family or a boyfriend and girlfriend, or a couple and, you know, they have: “Hmm, okay, we have talked about it, we have thought about it, we have considered, contemplated moving to a new city.” So if you’re having a difficult time making a decision or it takes you a long time to think about the process of decision making, you can use the word: “contemplate”. Okay?

Next one is: “differentiate”. So you might already see the word or hear the word: “difference”. Right? In this word. “Differentiate” is the verb form of: “difference”. So to be able to tell the difference, you can differentiate between two or more things, or people, or objects. For example: “I can’t differentiate between my twin cousins.” An important thing to remember about differentiate is if you want to talk about and mention the two things you are comparing, you can use the preposition: “between”, so you differentiate between “A” or “B”, or “A” and “B”. Okay? So to be able to tell the difference. My twin cousins look the same, I can’t differentiate between the two of them.

And finally, we have the verb: “fluctuate”. This comes from the noun: “fluctuation”. So “to fluctuate” is to change or vary, usually at regular intervals. So the sentence we have on the board relates to the stock market. For example: “The dollar has been fluctuating”-has been going up, going down, changing, hasn’t been stable-“a lot this month.” So if something is constantly changing; going up, going down, going left, going right – it is fluctuating. So what are some things that can fluctuate? We can talk about the economy, you can also talk about the weather. So you can say: “The weather has been fluctuating a lot this week.” You can also talk about, you know, your beliefs or the things you say if they’re inconsistent with one another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *