I’ve read that the average educated native English speaker has a vocabulary of roughly 20,000 words by the time they reach adulthood. Certainly, this number is naturally lower for non-native speakers. In a globalised & more connected world, it’s becoming quite clear that the English language is establishing itself as the language favoured for communication. It’s undeniable that broadening one’s lexicon and grammar can help express themselves better and thus flourish more in their professions. So I’d like to use this article to showcase two extensions I believe will boost anybody’s vocabulary and writing skills.
Extensions to Improve Your Grammar & Lexicon
Ever found yourself in the situation of opening a new tab to paste the word you want to lookup? Dictionary by Google is a free extension designed to help with that problem. Once you install the extension from the Chrome Web Store you’re ready to start learning. Double click on any word or phrase you’d like to lookup and the extension will display a pop-up above the selection with the definition.
Additionally, it can read out the pronunciation of the word by clicking the microphone icon next to the word. This tool is also helpful to non-native speakers because you can also set your language preferences to 13 different languages including French, German, and Chinese. Another noteworthy feature is the ability to set trigger keys if you don’t want it to pop-up every time.
You’ll also be happy to find an option to clear or download all the words looked up as a CSV file from the settings menu by selecting the respective buttons.
Next is a powerful service that’s available both a Chrome extension and a native app for MacOS users. With features like punctuation check, grammar correction and sentence structure checks, Grammarly aims to help you to write better. There is a free and premium tier:
A free account comes with 150 critical error checks to start you off and will always help with basic grammar and punctuation errors. Other features of the free tier include the ability to add words to a personal dictionary and the option to select between American & British writing styles.
But a premium subscription gets you more advanced features like vocabulary enhancement, plagiarism checker & professional proofreading. It’s priced from 29.95/month to $139.95/month if billed annually. While it may seem like a huge ask, it’s a huge blessing and fair proposition to professionals like lawyers, authors, or a doctoral student whose job relies more heavily on these premium features.
If you still think that Grammarly is a bit rich for your wallet or think you could do without the premium features, I implore you to give Hemingway Editor a shot. It’s a free web editor that does most of Grammarly’s core functions barring its premium features. Unlike Grammarly, Hemingway Editor’s PC app comes with a one-time purchase of $19.99 but has unique features like publishing directly to WordPress & even support for HTML tags.