7 Types of Vocabulary Every Parent Needs to Know

A good vocabulary gives a student confidence and assurance in both written and verbal communication, an increased affinity for reading, and better performance at school.

It is important for students (especially younger ones) to be aware of the kinds of vocabulary they will encounter. Generally speaking, there are 7 types (my favorite is #3!):


  1. Synonyms:  words that have similar meanings
  2. Homonyms & Homographs:  pairs that are often confused, and how to keep them straight
  3. Foreign Words:  words that English has “borrowed” from other countries
  4. Misleading Words:  ones that don’t mean what they sound like
  5. Power Words:  words that evoke an emotional response when read or heard
  6. Antonyms:  knowing the antonym increases the chances of remembering a definition
  7. Verbal Analogies:  testing critical thinking through relationships


Vocabulary skills are fundamental in reading critically. The benefits of a strong vocabulary are far-reaching. As an informed parent, you are already aware that the educational landscape has shifted dramatically this past year.

Common Core standards have been implemented, the NJ ASK is no more, and PARCC testing is now being used. Most parents (and students) have expressed surprise at how much more difficult and challenging the new standards are.

As you read together with your child (especially if they are grades 2-8) … make note of which of these types of words they are struggling with. Having your support will encourage your child to enjoy reading, retain more information, and take the time to engage in the content.

For more help building vocabulary skills, check out our Vocabulary Circles!

-Ms. Sarah Kim, MEK Lab Director

MEK Review

MEK Review is the top learning center in North Jersey, dedicated to helping students of all ages begin an incredible success story. With our guidance, students have gained acceptances into the best schools in the country, earned top test scores, prepared for difficult admission tests, and transformed into their best selves in the classroom. To find your perfect solution, explore our programs or book your free consultation with an expert counselor!


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