Dictionary is a book containing meanings of words ranging from words beginning with letters A to Z along with examples of different parts of speech in sentences. For learners at a beginning stage using or consulting a good dictionary could be of great help especially when translating one language to another. Go through this post if you are a beginner, learning English as a second language or a foreign English speaker.
To identify the language in which a dictionary you need depends on which language you are fluent enough in. There are various types of dictionaries available like English to Spanish and vice versa, English to Chinese and vice versa, English to French and vice versa, English to Italian and Vice Versa, English to German and vice versa, English to Japanese and vice versa, English to Russian and vice versa and so on. Choose the one that you are comfortable enough with.
Now choosing the right dictionary is the first step towards your goal to learn, speak and write English fluently. But wait, this is just the beginning. To be fluent enough in a foreign language you need to read and listen to contents in English as well.
You may have a look at the link given below to one of my posts in this regard.
Read and listen to contents in English on TV shows or movies in English and note down the words that you don’t know the meanings of in a notebook that you can carry with you. Now, look up the words or phrases in a dictionary (English to your native language or Eng to Eng) if you have one in your leisure and note the meanings in the same notebook. Revise them as frequently as possible if you need faster improvement in your skills in English. I personally prefer for Eng to Eng dictionaries because the more you go through English contents the faster your skills improve. To make this happen you have to ignore and work hard with your difficulties.
You may follow the links given below for discussion in-depth.
However, let me not get distracted. Today’s topic is the advantages of using a good dictionary right?
There is a hand full of the benefits of using a dictionary. The first and most important of all that I feel is
1. Proper Spelling of Words
Using a dictionary undoubtedly helps us know the proper spellings of words, especially when they are used in different parts of speech.
For example, The word “Advice” is a noun but “Advise” is a verb.
Apart from this knowing the right spelling would help one to write phrases, sentences properly. It is highly beneficial especially to students who are learning a language and helps them to enrich their vocabulary as well.
2. Parts of Speech
As I mentioned above that different parts of speech of the same word are used in different ways in sentences, a learner should know the part of speech a certain word belongs to. It may be a Noun, a Verb, an Adverb or an Adjective. Learners especially students should know the different parts of speech of each word they come across and how to use them in sentences. Nothing on earth but a dictionary is the one friend who can help you out in this matter.
For example: Let’s take the word “fast”. Here I have mentioned examples of two sentences using the word “fast”.
- He runs fast;
- He is a fast runner.
Now in the first sentence, the word “fast” has been used as an Adverb but in the second one the same word “fast” has been used as an Adjective.
However, not necessarily all parts of speech belonging to a word have to have the same spelling. Different parts of speech of a word generally differ in spelling.
- I lodged a complaint last night. (Here the word “complaint” is a Noun)
- I complained to the Principal about the fact. (Here the word “complained” is used as a verb – past form)
In order to speak English fluently, the right utterance of words is necessary. Learners or students of English language could have ample benefits in this regard with the help of a dictionary.
Online dictionaries and apps are available showing the proper pronunciation of words with the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
4. Examples in Sentences
Dictionaries comprise not only of words but also of using those words in sentence examples. These examples help new learners to form clear ideas of how and where exactly to use those words in sentences.
For example, The word “hope” is a verb and should be used after its subject like “We hope to win the contest”.
Again just as I told earlier, sentence examples can help learners understand how to use different parts of speech in sentences.
For example: “He solved the problem easily.” (the word “easily” is used as an Adverb)
But in “He solved the problem with ease.” (The word “ease” is used as a Noun)
5. Talking dictionary
Certainly in today’s busy world reading or consulting dictionaries has significantly decreased owing to our lack of leisure. It takes much time to look up words in a dictionary. Advancement of technology has managed to deal with this issue with the advent of talking dictionaries which you will find to hear the right pronunciation even for different nationalities with just a click of a soft button (see the image given below). Those are actually voice recordings of people reading the same word in different accents to give the user a concrete idea of the pronunciation.
Apps, online and talking dictionaries take much less time while looking up a word or information but it’s good to grow a habit of reading and consulting dictionaries.
6. Usage of Words and Phrases
Using a good dictionary enriches you with the knowledge of using phrasal verbs or group verbs, phrases, idioms, prepositions, transitive or intransitive verbs, different parts of speech of a single word etc. You will also find these things in example sentences in a dictionary.
7. Guessing the Meaning
Once you are familiar enough with your dictionary and you know how a word is to be looked up, try to assume the meaning from the context of a word if you don’t know it. Do it as frequently as possible and then take your dictionary only to confirm it. Such kinds of exercises would make you flexible, perform well and grab the language skills relatively faster.
Last but not least, we commonly take the list of abbreviations given in our dictionaries for granted. Don’t forget to take them under your concern for they may prove very useful when needed.
Below are links to some online lists of Abbreviations
However, the dictionaries I mentioned above are both on and offline. Although online dictionaries are easily available and they are free nowadays, each and every person should keep a paper dictionary with him or her for it’s an asset to a language learner.
We will have an in-depth discussion on this topic of online vs. paper dictionaries but for now,
Bye and have a great time.
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