Depending on the circle you’re traveling in, you will communicate accordingly. If you’re talking with a business colleague you wouldn’t call him or her your “homie.” Likewise, if you’re at a church gathering, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll engage in a conversation about the latest gangsta rap song that’s killin’ it on Spotify.

Different environments with different people call for different conversations so it’s important to know how to respond appropriately to each one. How you communicate is a reflection of how you are perceived. The lack of a strong vocabulary will keep you from bringing your A-game to a job interview, business meeting, or networking event. Communicating with good grammar is essential to success in your professional career.

When my daughter was in college, I constantly reminded her that conversations with her Professors had to be different than conversations with friends. She needed to elevate her vocabulary verbally and in written form so she would be taken seriously as a student who was trying to excel. On the other hand, there is no need to throw around $10 vocabulary words if you’re hangin’ out with your friends and just chillin’.

Learn to be bilingual so you are able to cross communication zones effectively. Learn to be adaptable in whatever environment you find yourself in.