How to use a dictionary effectively
Reasons for using a dictionary
A dictionary is a very important tool for anyone who is learning a new language. With a good dictionary you can do the following:
look up the meaning of an English word you see or hear
find the English translation of a word in your language
check the spelling of a word
check the plural of a noun or past tense of a verb
find out other grammatical information about a word
find the synonym or antonym of a word
look up the collocations of a word
check the part of speech of a word
find out how to say a word
find out about the register of a word
find examples of the use of a word in natural language
To be a good dictionary user, however, it is not enough to know what to use the dictionary for. You must also decide which is the best dictionary for any of the purposes listed above. As well as this, you need to be able to find what you are looking for quickly; you need to be sure that you have found what you were looking for; and, most importantly, you need to know when to use your dictionary. Knowing which dictionary to use
Electronic dictionaries are the best choice for ESL students. Most of them contain native-language equivalents and explanations, as well as definitions and example sentences in English. They can speak the English word to you, and they are easy to carry around. However, they are expensive and easy to lose, so put your name on yours!
A cheaper possibility, if you are going to work at the computer, is to use an online dictionary. A very good one for ESL students is the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Alternatively, if you open Google and type, for example, define: superstitious, you will get a long list of different definitions of superstitious.
A good monolingual dictionary is recommended for students who already have a high standard of English and want to learn about word use. Finding words quickly...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document