Advanced Vocabulary: Words to INSPIRE ✨

Lesson Overview

Expand your vocabulary and start using these advanced English words to talk about your English-learning journey. I hope this lesson inspires, motivates, encourages, and empowers you to keep going!

Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey everyone I’m Emma! Welcome to another mmmEnglish lesson.

Now I know that many of you are desperate to expand your vocabulary and start using more sophisticated English words so today let’s focus on some words that can inspire. Inspire you and inspire the people around you.

In English, there are many ways to say the same thing. You know a lot of simple vocabulary already which is awesome but if you want to earn the respect and the attention of people around you, using interesting, thoughtful and meaningful words is definitely something that you want to work on.

Words are powerful man! And the words that you choose to use tell people a lot about the type of person that you are. Expanding your vocabulary and using inspiring words can make you more successful in business, in school, in life, right? Your words can make others want to be around you. They command respect. People are more likely to trust you or to follow your advice if you use powerful words. And the words that you use don’t just affect others, using powerful and positive and inspiring words will also have a positive impact on you.

Today I’m going to give you six inspiring words that you should learn and start using as soon as possible. I’m going to show you how to say them because really, if you can’t pronounce these words correctly, it’s difficult to deliver an inspiring message, right? I’ll tell you what they mean and I’ll show you how to use them correctly.

Make sure you turn on the subtitles down there if you need to and if you would like to translate this video for your friends or for others in your country, well that would be pretty damn cool too. The link to do that, to translate the video is in the description.

1. inspire

Alright let’s start with the word ‘inspire’. Yeah if you’re going to inspire people with your words, you’re going to have to know how to use them, right? If you inspire someone, you make them want to do something, you make them feel confident and excited to try something. Maybe something new or maybe something that they haven’t done in quite a while.

Let’s start with pronunciation first. Inspire.

So that middle syllable is the stressed one. In my accent, you can’t hear that final R sound but you would in an American accent. And in the past, it’s ‘inspired’. Now that final D is a soft D sound So when it’s spoken, you hardly hear it. Inspired. So hear how the air doesn’t come out.

  • I feel inspired by her.

Not inspired by her but inspired by her. So I’m catching that sound before I release it. So someone can inspire someone to do something, right?

  • A friend inspired me to run a marathon.
  • The orchestra inspired her to study music.
  • His brother inspired him to travel the world.

Right? So if someone inspires someone else – so the structure is always the same, right? But you can also be inspired by something.

  • She was inspired by her boss.
  • I was inspired by the speech.

Who inspires you? Is there someone in your life who makes you excited to do something and makes you want to do something? Tell me about that person in the comments. Tell me who inspires you. You can also say that they’re an inspiration or that they are inspiring.

So if you’re thinking of someone who inspires you, try to use all of these words, all of these words from the ‘inspire’ word family to talk about them.

2. motivation

Now when you’re feeling inspired, you may need some motivation to help you take action, right? Motivation is the reason why you want to do something. It’s all of the things and the feelings that make you keep working hard to reach your goals or to finish something. You want to become a more confident English speaker for a purpose, right? It could be to get a better job, it could be to meet people from other countries, to study abroad, maybe you’d love to travel. These are all reasons or your motivation to learn the language, okay?

So motivation is like a better, more sophisticated way of saying reason. You can ask people

  • What’s your motivation for learning English?

Now there’s a lot of syllables to pronounce here. Motivation.

So words that end in -tion like this one are usually stressed on the syllable before last so it’s motivation. And listen to that last syllable as well. Motivation.

That last syllable is unstressed, the vowel sound reduces right down to the schwa so it’s short and low in pitch.

  • My sister Jill works full-time and she studies medicine at night school.

And that sounds crazy, right? But her kid’s education is her motivation for studying at night school.

Now you’ve got the motivation let’s expand your vocabulary a little because we can use the verb to motivate, to motivate someone to do something, to also express these ideas.

  • She needs people around her who motivate and inspire her to succeed.

There are also two adjective forms that you need to know, the -ed and the -ing forms.

  • motivated
  • motivation

  • As soon as I lost a few kilos, I was motivated to lose more. His speech was really motivating.

There is another adjective, ‘motivational’.

  • He’s a motivational speaker.

So I’m curious. What or who motivates you to keep going? Tell me about that person in the comments. I want to take a quick minute to talk about a project that I’ve been working on.

It’s called The Ladies’ Project. Now The Ladies’ Project is a community especially for women who are learning English and what makes this community so special and why you might be interested to join it yourself is that our goal is not to push you to sit exams or to get another certificate.

Our goal is to inspire you to build confidence and to keep you motivated and to transform you into the confident English speaker that you dream of being and we do this by helping you to meet other women who are just like you. We have conversation topics and lessons that allow you to have really meaningful, interesting conversations every day about things that are really important to us as women. Not like stuff in a textbook, you know what I mean?

So The Ladies’ Project is not an online course, it’s not another language app, it’s a community, a social network with real people, amazing, inspiring women from all over the world. We all want to have the courage to speak in front of strangers and to express our thoughts and our opinions, right?

But you know what? Becoming a more confident English speaker is not something that you can do alone. The Ladies’ Project is a place where women from lots of different cultures can safely meet speaking partners online and feel comfortable to speak in English while they build confidence together. One conversation at a time.

If you follow this link up here you can take a tour of The Ladies’ Project. I’ll show you what it’s like inside and explain a bit more about the amazing benefits of being part of this community.

To apply, you do need to be a woman. You need to have an intermediate English level or higher and you’ll also need to register a credit card. The Ladies’ Project is a paid community.

I’m completely thrilled to be finally mentioning The Ladies’ Project here on my channel. It’s something that I’ve been working on for quite a while now, something that I’m really passionate about.

And guys, dudes, I know that this project is not for you but if you have a female friend or a family member who you want to help them to develop some confidence using English, then I’m sure they’d love to hear about The Ladies’ Project. And I would love your help in sharing it.

3. courage

Learning a new language, using big words, speaking out loud, all of this takes courage. Now courage is the ability to do something even though it might be scary or dangerous or difficult at times. It relates to your emotional strength. To do something that you are scared to do, so it’s kind of similar to bravery.

Hands up if this is a little difficult to pronounce. There are quite a few different ways to pronounce the OU in English words. I talked about them in this lesson actually.

Courage. In the word ‘courage’ we use the as in ‘up’ vowel sound. This is the strongest syllable so you need to make sure that you’re pronouncing it right. And the final consonant sound might be a little tricky too. The sound. So to make it, I’ve got my tongue behind my teeth and pushed up to the top of my mouth but the edges of my tongue are pushed or pressed up to seal the sound in. Okay before the air gets released. Notice the movement in my lips as well. Courage.

Now the verbs ‘have’ and ‘find’ are often used with the noun ‘courage’.

  • He has the courage to do the right thing.
  • She found the courage to stand up and speak at the rally.

Now it’s definitely worth knowing the adjective ‘courageous’ as well. Courageous.

  • She’s a very courageous woman.

4. encourage

And if someone doesn’t have the courage, well you can, of course, encourage them, right? Encourage sounds really similar to courage. The pronunciation is almost the same but the meaning is a little different. If you encourage someone, you give them hope and confidence and support to achieve something. You don’t just tell them that they can do it but you help them to believe that they can. By encouraging someone, you can help them to find courage that they need. And again, we encourage someone to do something.

  • Their cheering encouraged me to finish the marathon, even though I was exhausted.
  • Her parents encouraged her to study medicine.

So now let’s expand a little. Something or someone can be encouraging, okay?

  • That was an encouraging sign. I think we’re on the right track!

You can also use the noun ‘encouragement’. And you can use it with verbs like ‘give’ and ‘need’.

  • I think she needs a little encouragement.
  • Her teacher should give her some encouragement.

So it’s an uncountable noun, right? It’s really common to hear this word used with a quantifier like ‘some’ or ‘any’,a little‘ or ‘a lot‘.

5. empower

To empower someone is to give them the strength and the confidence or the authority to do something.

  • The Ladies’ Project empowers women to speak English with strangers.

Even the word itself sounds powerful. Notice that the first vowel sound is actually a short sound even though it’s spelled with an E. It’s ’empower’. So the second syllable is the stressed one. And that final syllable is unstressed, it’s the schwa sound and you don’t hear me say that. Empower.

And surely you’ve noticed the word power in there, right? To empower someone is to make them stronger and more confident to do something and it’s often used to talk about giving power or strength or control to someone who doesn’t have it.

But don’t be confused. If you are empowered, it doesn’t always mean that you are powerful. These two words have quite different meanings. So for example:

  • The CEO wants to empower his management team to make strategic decisions for the company.

What makes you feel empowered? Or have you ever empowered someone else in some way? You’ll hear the -ed and the -ing adjective forms here. So something can be empowering and you can also feel empowered, okay?

And it’s worth knowing the noun ’empowerment’ as well. Empowerment.

  • Education is a tool for empowerment.

These words and their word families are challenging, challenging to pronounce and challenging to use these different types of words correctly but if you’re still here you’re still working hard, then you’ve got perseverance.

6. perseverance

So someone with perseverance keeps trying to succeed even when it’s difficult. Even when things are hard, they keep going. When they get stuck, they find a way around it. When they fail, they try again, they don’t give up. So perseverance, it really isn’t something that you can learn. You either have a really strong desire in you to achieve something or you don’t.

So I’ve got a question for you. Do you have the perseverance to become fluent in English?

Can you keep going even when it’s difficult? Since you’re here and you’re practising with me I know that you don’t give up easily. You have perseverance or determination. You’re very determined. Or tenacity, you’re very tenacious. These are all synonyms of perseverance.

Let’s focus on the pronunciation for a second. Perseverance. That third syllable is the stressed one. Don’t forget that consonant sound at the end, that double consonant. Perseverance. Now it’s really common to hear the verb ‘persevere’ in difficult situations, right?

  • She chose a difficult career path but she persevered and she graduated with the degree that she wanted.

Can you think of anything that you have persevered through? Any of the mama’s out there, well, you’ve persevered through childbirth, right? Anyone who’s failed their driver’s license several times before, maybe before they finally got it, well you persevered as well.

So I hope this lesson has inspired you to be a little more courageous with your English vocabulary and that you’re motivated to use these words again soon. If you’re feeling a little uncertain or a little unsure about how to use some of these words, then practise by writing some sentences in the comments below so that I can check them for you.

I’ve also got a little quiz over on the mmmEnglish blog so you can test what you learned here today. The link is in the description below this video or there’s a link somewhere around right now.

And now it’s time for our next lesson. See you in there!

Links mentioned in the video

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