Have you been preparing for competitive and government exams in India? Then you must have heard of the Black Book Of English Vocabulary. Authored by Nikhil Gupta, the book will let you add a wide range of English words to your arsenal and improve your English as a whole. Today, I’m going to talk about aspects of the book as well as the way it enables readers to advance their English studies. Read to the end if you want to know whether the book deserves your attention.
Table of Contents
Key Strengths Of The Book
- One-word substitutions: Also known as single-word descriptors, one-word substitutions allow people to quickly convey complex ideas, provide descriptions and so on. In his book, Gupta included hundreds of sentences alongside at least four of their one-word substitutions. For example, “write or carve words on stone on paper” can be substituted by sketch, imprint, affix, inscribe, …
- Translation: In most of the cases, it’s easy to get the point across by explaining things in the mother tongue of the other party. In several sections of the book, besides an explanation of a word is its translation in Hindi
- Root words: Similar to the way that a house is made up of various parts, the English language contains structures that can be switched and swapped to create words. Experts call such structures English building blocks and the book boasts over a thousand of them.
Content Of The Book: Outlines
For your information, Nikhil divided his book into four main parts: SSC’s previous year’s one-word substitutions, the Hindu vocabulary, special words and practice MCQs.
Part A: SSC Previous Year One Word Substitutions
The first part of the book lists all the one-word substitutions( OWS) that have been repetitively asked in the previous SSC examinations. For the sake of convenience, Part A is further subdivided into two sub-parts: Part A1 and A2. Part A1 records the top 500 one-word substitutions, starting from ones that have appeared the most in the SSC exams. If you like cramming, the part should prove handy since the words have been arranged according to the number of their appearances. In the case of Part A2, it comprises about 3500 OWS and to ease navigation, they have been arranged alphabetically.
Part B: The Hindu Vocabulary
If you have a habit of reading The Hindu Newspaper, you should notice that it uses an assortment of complex words. These vocabularies and their meaning have been captured in part B of Gupta’s book. In addition, there is a good chance that you will come across the same words in the Cloze test of the exam.
Part C: Special Words
Unlike the previous part, Part C is a collection of more technical vocabularies so it demands more attention from the readers. Examples of words listed in the part include,
- Forms of worship e.g. idolatry, necrolatry, geolatry, etc.
- Forms of government e.g. monarchy, gynarchy, Aristocracy etc.
- Foreign words and phrases e.g. in Latin, German, Spanish, French, etc.
Part D: Practice MCQs
Every time you learn something, it’s necessary to measure your understanding and an evaluation test is the best way to do so. Here, Nikhil put together 50 short tests including the recently tested ones to help you determine the extent of your understanding.
How To Get The Most Out Of The Book
Once you have your copy of the book in your hand, don’t read it like a newspaper. If you don’t know how to use the book, you will struggle to remember things you have read at the end of the day. To ensure that you can keep the words in your mind and recall them in times of need, you should implement these measures:
- Pay attention to context: To be able to grasp the meaning of new words, memorize them in context. By doing so, your brain can establish a long-lasting connection between the word and its meaning.
- Note it down: Taking notes is a well-known technique to improve memory as whenever you write down something, the brain processes and commits to it. If you have a hard time remembering a word, don’t hesitate to note it down.
- Create flashcards: People forget things all the time so while studying English, you should create a flashcard for revision. For example, you can use sticky notes: put down the word on the front side and its definition on the back side.
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