What is the best way to implement the method to learn abstract phrases?

You've been learning bunches of simple words with pictures in Anki or with our app, and suddenly you run into an abstract word like "apparently" or an abstract phrase like "in terms of." How do you handle this sort of content?

For those of you learning with Anki, you'll want to find an example sentence for the abstract word/phrase (i.e., "It's going to be hard to justify replacing our graphic design firm in terms of cost"). Ideally, you'll want a definition, too (i.e., "In terms of: regarding something, concerning something"). 

Once you have these ingredients, you can use them to build flashcards like this:

Screen_Shot_2019-01-22_at_10.33.26_AM.png

That should allow you to retain the abstract phrase pretty well. If you want to make your flashcards even more effective, you can:

A) Make the example personal [i.e., come up with an example yourself and get it corrected by a native speaker]. The more interaction you have with the sentence you’re using, the more likely you’re going to remember it in the way you want.

B) Make sure you’re using two flashcards at least for the word/phrase (you want a comprehension flashcard with ONLY the abstract word/phrase on the front side (i.e. you'll ONLY see "in terms of" on the front) and an example/definition on the back (i.e. the back side has both the example sentence and the definition")

C) Expand your definition a bit if you’re getting it confused with another word, or put in bold the chunks of the definition that distinguish it from the other word. 

Here is an example that Gabe wrote in an earlier blog about this:

 

Be aware that there are many more picture options than the ones included:

"__ should we do with abstract words like feelings or academic vocabulary?" [Picture of fancy question mark]

"What __ we do with abstract words like feelings or academic vocabulary?" [Picture of student writing]

"What should we do with __ words like feelings or academic vocabulary?" [Picture of abstract art]

"What should we do with abstract words like feelings or __ vocabulary?" [Picture of blackboard in classroom]

"What should we __ with abstract words like feelings or academic vocabulary?" [Picture of pencil]

"What should we do with abstract words __ feelings or academic vocabulary?" [Picture of arrow sign]

"What should we do with abstract words like feelings __ academic vocabulary?"  [Picture of slash "/" ]

"What should we do with abstract words like feelings or academic __?" [Picture of lots of words]

In the app

For those of you using our app, you won't need to go looking for an example sentence, since we have those supplied for you. We've instructed our translators to group abstract phrases like these together, so you can make flashcards for "in terms of" rather than needing to make a flashcard for "in", another for "terms" and another for "of". 

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