Learn 10 times more vocabulary by using Word Webs!


Hi. James from engVid.

I would like to help you with your vocabulary.

I'm sure that you've looked at engVid and seen many lessons on vocabulary, from drinking,

vacationing, weddings, all sorts of things.

But when you finish the video, how much do you remember?

And how much do you really understand?

I'm going to teach you today something I call the...

A word web to help you not just remember the words, but truly understand them, and expand

or go bigger than that.

I did a lesson earlier on, on mind maps where I kind of introduced the idea of mind map,

but I didn't really...

I don't think I got into it as much that would actually show you how to use it so that you

can get better with it.

So, I'm going to fix that today.

All right?

So what we're looking at is called a word web.

And if you notice, poor Mr. E is caught up in the web.


And I'm going to do the same with you.

I'm going to get you...

Because this is a spider, and the spider lives in a web, it catches things

and those things can never escape.

I want to do that with your memory and your vocabulary, teach you in a way that you're

going to catch the words and you won't forget.


So I'm going to explain the method here.

So we're going to be clear on the method, then we're going to take a word and use it,

and show you how it works.

Ready? Let's go to the board.

All right, so, word web.

This is a specific form of mind map which means it's one type.

There are many types.


And what they... What they do is they're based on the idea that your brain works a certain way with pictures

and colours.

So, why don't we use these to help you?

And I'm going to do that now.

What you will need, you will need a ax...

You will need an English to English dictionary.

If you really need to get, you know, your language to English, that's fine if you really

need it, but English to English dictionary will be preferable because we want to get

the definition of the word from an English source, not a translated source.


So maybe we should start with your translating dictionary, and then after take the English

word and get an English to English.

The translating dictionary will help you understand the ideas, and then the English to English.

And sometimes you might notice they don't exactly say the same thing.

That'll be interesting for you.

Next, you're going to need access to the internet or an idioms dictionary.

The idioms dictionary will be for later on, and they have them and you can even go online

and look for idioms.

But the joke of it is I said access to the internet.

Well, my friend, if you're not on the internet, you're not watching this video, so I'm assuming

you've got access to the internet.


The next four steps will be this: We're going to take a word...

So, we're going to take one word, whatever the word is, we're going to write out the

definition from the dictionary.

What the dictionary says, not what you think, not an interpretation or somebody giving you

sort of their idea of it.

From that, we're going to follow... Okay?

We're going to write out the words you think of when you see this word.

This is called association.

I think: "Cat", I say: "Dog".

You say: "Milk", I say: "Cow".

I associate.

This is the words that come to me.

I want you to do that because that is part of a natural human process.

You think of something, you think of something else.

You think of: "Mother", you think: "Love".

You think: "Money", "McDonald's"?

Probably not.

But you get the idea. Okay?

So we're going to start with the dictionary definition, then we're going to work with

how your brain works.

I want to have your mind incorporated or use your way of thinking in this.

So you're going to put down your words.

So if it was: "Cow", you might put: "Milk, cheese, and steak".

Mmm, steak.

Then we're going to go out...

Back to our dictionary, we're going to look for synonyms.

If you open any dictionary usually it will say: "This is the word", and then it will

have after it: "Here's a synonym for this word.

Here's another one."

Synonyms, you know, words that are similar.

For instance, height and tall.

How tall is the building?

What is the building's height?

They're not exactly the same, but they can be used in a similar or same fashion sometimes.


We also look for antonyms.

Antonyms are the opposite of the word.

If I say: "Black", you say: "White".


If you say: "Hot", you say: "Cold".

Those are antonyms.

So we're going to go to that dictionary, we're going to have the word, we're going to have

your ideas about the word, and then we're going to add in the synonyms and antonyms.


So if you're looking here, we started off with one word and we're probably up to like 10 or 15.

Finally, we're going to go to our idioms dictionary, or we're going to go on the net and you're

going to put in: "Idioms for, you know, 'Cow' or 'animal'", and it'll put those things up

there for you and you just write them out.

How does this go together?

We look at a lot of words, we put a lot of stuff down, but you don't see the full picture.

We're going to get to why in just a second when we look at why.

So if you're ready, we're going to right now take one word and we're going to make our

first word web, and I'll show you how it all works together.


Let's go.


So, let's do a word web.

We've talked about it, I gave you the steps.

So, we're going to do this together.

You notice here I have the steps, so as I go through each step, I'll show you how we

do it and how we come up to this.

And I'll explain to you how this thing here, which seems crazy, will actually help you

not only remember the words but understand the list, because I will give you a list of

idioms or phrases, and you'll understand some of them almost immediately.


So, let's go to the board.

First thing we have to do, as I said, is write out the dictionary definition.

If you have a problem with the word...

The word we're going to use is "shoot".

I'm going to suggest this, although I don't like suggesting it: Go to your whatever language

to English, so if it's Spanish to English, Russian to English, Japanese to English dictionary,

check out what the word means, make sure you understand it, because this is something we

do need to understand.

We're not just guess at it. Okay?

Make sure you understand it, but then take out your English to English dictionary, and

you need to write out the definition.

What does that dictionary say this word is?

In this case, the word is a verb: "to shoot".

And you might say: "What does 'shoot' mean?"

Okay, well, according to the dictionary, it means "to kill", which means end the life

of something, or to hurt, cause pain.

When I do this, ow. Painful.

It hurts me.


Move suddenly in a direction.

So if I'm walking like this and then I change quickly and run, you say:

"James is shooting out. He's shooting."

When you watch the Olympics, the guys are like this, they run,

and then they start running very quickly. They shoot.

If they walk, you're not shooting.

You have to move quickly in one direction.

And third, here's a flower, but before the flower comes out of the ground, the flower

is down here.

Next what happens is the flower comes out like this.

There's no flower yet.

We call that "a shoot".

Once again, it's coming up in a direction, a specific direction.

Later on you'll get a flower.

All right?

But that's called "a shoot". And you say: "What is that?"

That's a shoot for a rose.


Then you get your rose.

So, it says: "Young branch of a plant".

Will you need all of these definitions all of the time?


But it's important you get the majority of them because a lot of our understanding, we

know what these mean, so when somebody uses a phrase or an idiom, our brain goes:

"Ah, dah-dah-dah-dah.

Number two", or: "Dah-dah-dah-dah.

Number seven", and we automatically understand.

While when you're doing it, you might say: "Oh my gosh, I don't understand.

It's just crazy.

What do you mean, 'shoot in my foot' or 'shoot for the skies', or 'what are you aiming for'?

Why you say these things?'"

And we're like: "Oh yeah, you don't know all of the definitions."

So, we've written out our dictionary definition, which was number one, and the definition is here.

Number two, write out the words you associate with it.

Now, I've got a complete diagram here.

You may not, so you might say...

Right off, you might go: "Gun", and you'll write the word "gun", because you know gun,

you go: "Shoot. Gun. I know 'gun'."

I know another one you know.

We say: "Bow and arrow".

When you take it, everybody knows this, and fire.

Well, there are two parts to this.

This part is the bow.

The part that fire is the arrow.

So you might write: "Arrow", and you might write: "Bow".

Now, there are bigger words for this.

Remember we talked about synonyms.

Well, ammunition...

Or, okay, let's talk "weapon" first.

"Weapon" is the gun or the bow.

It is the thing that fires something or shoots.

See? We're going to use the word.

You have the gun, you shoot something.

And what do you shoot?

You shoot a bullet.

This comes out of a gun.

So, you shoot bullets from guns.


Bow and arrows.

You have a bow.

It looks like a really big "D" actually.

It's kind of funny, when you do a bow, it looks like a "D", and you shoot arrows. Okay?

So you shoot arrows from bows.


That's called "ammunition".

A "blank" is funny.

What do you mean: "Blank"?

When you do a test, sometimes it says: "Mr. E __________ goes home."

You'll notice that there's nothing there.

A blank, when you fire a blank or shoot a blank, there's nothing there.

If I shoot you with a blank, then I: "Bang", you'll go: "Nothing happened?" and I go: "Yeah,

it's a blank."

There's nothing there.

It just makes sound.


So when you have ammunition, you can have blanks.

In the army and the police when they practice, they practice with blanks.

They don't want to shoot each other and kill anyone, they just want to practice shooting,

where to shoot, how to shoot.

If you have a gun, you need bullets.

If you have a bow, you need an arrow.

That's your ammunition.

You know something else that can be ammunition?

It's a surprise, but when you think about it you'll understand.


Words can be ammunition.

Ammunition hurt people.

Bullets hurt people.

Arrows hurt people.

Ammunition, if you say to someone: "You are fat", that will hurt their feelings.

That is ammunition, to hurt someone.


You're going: "Okay, ammunition hurt."

I go: "Yeah", and now we go back.

Where do you use ammunition?

In a weapon.

We've done a gun and we've done a bow.

But what's an antonym?

Because if you noticed, after we wrote out words you associate, I said:

"Hey, let's go to number three: Write synonyms and antonyms."

We've touched synonyms because ammunition can be bullet, arrow, blanks, words, but an

antonym to shooting someone would be "protection".

Protection could be a shield.

If you like captain America...

I do.

Okay, some of you might have trouble seeing, but Captain America, he has a shield that

he uses to protect himself from bullets, or Wonder Woman has bracelets, these things she

wears on her arms, and they bounce off.

They go flying away, and she can stop the bullets.

So we can have protection.

You shoot...

[Laughs] You should use protection on a date.

And I'll leave that alone.

You'll get that a little later on.


So, we've talked about antonyms and synonyms, and we noticed how we went from one word:

"Shoot", and we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Oh, 10 words, and we're not done.

Remember when I talked about hurt?

Well, we have a fancy word for hurt that means "injure".

It's the same thing.

When you get, hurt, ow, you're injured.

You feel pain, and maybe I hurt my arm, I cannot use my arm, it's injured.

You go: -"What's wrong?"

-"I don't know, my shoulder hurts."

I have pain, and pain is usually get when you're hurt.

Pain is that feeling, ow, no good.

No good feeling. Right? So, we have pain when we're injured.

When we're hurt, we feel pain.

So now you've learned three words to talk about: -"What's wrong with your hand?"

-"I injured it last night."

Or: "Ow, I hurt it last night."

or: "God, I feel pain in my hand."

Similar. Not all the same. Right? Good.

But you're getting it.

Now we've gone to 10 to 13 words.

So, not only do you understand if I say somebody got...

I'm going to shoot you, you're going to be in pain, you will probably be injured and hurt.

You will probably want protection. Right?

Captain American's shield.

Right? You might wonder if I'm going to use a bow and arrow, or... Sorry.

A gun and a bow, and shoot you with bullets and arrows.

Now you have an understanding about shooting, when someone's shooting, but let's go a little

further because now I'm going to give you some idioms.

I've given you one example on the board: "to shoot down".

Remember: Does shooting make you feel good or bad?


And usually we say when we feel good, we go up, but when we shoot down, do you think this

is a good thing or a bad thing?

When somebody shoots down an idea, they're telling you your idea is no good and it has

to go.

So you say: "I've got an idea for..."

[Shooting noise]

That's it.

Idea gone.

I just shot down that idea.

We shoot down planes.

Enemy planes, they're flying...

[Shooting noise and plane crashing noise]

Now I'm going to give you a couple more in a list.


And why am I doing this?

Is because what I want you to do is see how they tie together.

I've got like a book here and there's like pages and pages. All right?

But we'll do a few and see if you can catch them.

All right?

We're going to do "shoot".

By the way, "shoot" is a verb.

So what's the past of "shoot"?

Probably don't know this, but it's this: "shot".

Shoot you today, I shot you yesterday.

Shoot, shot.

It's a little shorter because it's gone by now; not as fresh.

Sorry, bad.

Okay, so: "shoot straight".

When we call someone a "straight shooter"...

If I go: "You're a straight shooter", remember what "shoot" means?


If you don't shoot straight, you shoot like this.

This is very confusing.

I want someone that's going to be a straight shooter.

[Shooting noise]

That means when they use their words, they tell you something directly,

the way it's supposed to be.

"I don't like you because you don't like worms."

That guy is a straight shooter.

He could say: "Worms aren't my favourite and I like other things", but he just - boom,

straight at you.

Straight shooters will tell you right to you, like shooting you with a gullet-, a bullet,

but they use their words.

So they do not try to tell stories.

Just one line and done.

Here's another one: "shoot the shit".

Bad word.

I know, sorry.

But if you and your friends-imagine this-are talking about, I don't know, comic books,

you're not really taking a gun and there's a piece of poo-poo and going:

"Bang!" and the poo-poo jumps.

"Bang!" and the poo-poo jumps.


We're not saying that.

We're just saying shooting like talking with our words about nothing important.

So it's a subject that you're just like: "Yeah, that was really cool.

Yeah, that was really cool."

All right?

So we're talking about something that's not important but we are being direct about it,

shooting the poo-poo, let's call it that. Okay?

You might hear people say that.

Oh, here's one I love: "shoot your mouth off".

Remember I said "shooting", right?

When we shoot, it's a verb, and you use words as weapons?

When someone shoots their mouth off, it's like they're talking at you, but they're like:

"Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da", shooting you with their mouth.

So they might say: "I'm the best in the world, I've always done this, da-da-da."

Athletes do that a lot.


Or promoters for sports.

They might say: "We're the best, the best ever."

You say: "You're shooting your mouth off."

All right?

Now I'll give you a couple more and then I want to let go because we're going to say

present tense was "shoot".

What about "shot"?

Imagine it's dark.

The room is dark, you can't see anything, and you shoot your gun.

And think past tense, you shot your gun.

That means you finished.

Right? Shot.

And it's dark.

There's an English idiom that is exactly that, it means: "They shot in the dark".

If a room is dark, you don't know what's going on. Right?

If you take a shot, you are doing something-right?-you're throwing that bullet out there or those words.

But you don't know what you're going to hit, because it's dark.

You don't know what you're hitting, you're like: [Shooting noise].

"There. Hope I got it."

We say: "a shot in the dark", it means to take a guess.

It means I don't know.

I'm using my words and saying: "I really don't know. I'm taking a guess."

I'm like: "Ah, my favourite colour's yellow?"

It's a shot in the dark.

Dark room with a gun.

Yeah, maybe I hit it, maybe I don't.


You go: "Oh my gosh, I understand."

That's the beauty of the word web.

We're going to take words that you may not understand.

We bridge, which means taking words you know.

That's why I said: "Take your ideas", and we put your ideas together.


So things you know, you can write down, like "gun" and "bullet".

That helps put it in your head so you can remember it.

Then we go to synonyms for words that are not exactly the same.

An arrow is not a bullet, but they're similar, and that will help you remember "arrow", because

you go: "Arrow, bow.

Oh, like old Indians, I understand now." Right?

"Yeah, yeah, yeah."

And then we can add on new ones, like words.

Like words?

And give you a further or a greater definition.

From that, once you start understanding these ideas, like we have: "pain", "injure", "hurt",

that's how we understand "shoot down". Right?

Or "blanks", bullets, right?

Oh, here's a good one: "firing blanks".

Another word for using a gun is when you shoot, another word for "shoot" is "fire".

He shot the gun.


So we can go: "shoot", from "shoot"-right?-"shoot", you can say: "Oh, fire.

Fire your gun."

Hmm? Yeah.

So when we say this, now watch.

"He fires blanks."

"Blank" means nothing, "fire" means shoot, and someone says: "He's firing blanks."

There's actually two meanings for that.

One of them is: What you're saying has no importance, it won't do anything.

They're talking, but nothing's going to happen.


There's nothing there.

Another one is if you can't make babies.

Talk to your doctor.

I'm not a doctor.

I just play one on TV.

Okay, but if you're firing blanks, you can't make babies.


Yeah, there's no power.

Sorry about that, that's a problem.

Or if you're firing blanks, it means you have no power in your weapon.

Your words don't mean anything.

They don't...

Like Superman, they bounce off.

They cause no problems.

Okay? Cool.

So, I've given you a bunch.

There's a lot more just under "shoot", but I think after giving you these ones, you're

like: "Hey, I actually understand that."

I'm like: "Yeah", and you probably don't even know this word.

But in 10 minutes, we can go from not just knowing one word, but look, I added more words,

16 words in 10 minutes.

And the best thing is in five minutes, if you go back when you go to do the test, which

I know you'll do, you'll get it almost perfect because you'll say: "I understand."

And ladies and gentlemen, understanding is greater than knowing.

When you understand, you never forget, and that's the aim of this lesson.

Did I say "aim"? Is that it on the board?

That's another word with "shoot".

Anyway, I've got to get going.

I've shot my load for the day, given you all you need to know.

Don't forget "shoot".

Go over these words, go do the quiz.

And I'm sure you will... Let me see.

Don't shoot me a dirty look.

Don't shoot from the hip, shoot my mouth off.

Oh god, I'm out.

I'm going to be firing blanks if I keep talking anymore.

Have a good one.

I almost forgot.

Go to www.eng as in English, vid as in video.com (www.engvid.com),

do the quiz and don't forget to subscribe.


And thanks for watching.

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