How to use a monolingual dictionary for learning English
The point to consider in using a monolingual dictionary is to not use very old dictionaries. It is almost impossible to learn English using bilingual English to Persian dictionaries and translations. It is almost impossible, in other words, to improve the dictionary every two or three years in order to access the latest words, phrases, vocabulary, and so on. In addition, it is recommended to use different dictionaries for different purposes such as synonyms and contrasting vocabulary, combinatoric vocabulary, visual vocabulary, English vocabulary etymology, and more. Learning vocabulary is one of the challenges we face as a learner. It is recommended that you read the article “Challenges and Problems of Learning English“.
As a first step in using a new dictionary, as an example a monolingual dictionary for sake of learning English, you should read the introductory section carefully to find out important information about keywords, tags, abbreviations, phonetic symbols for proper pronunciation, etc. Not all dictionaries are shared. If you are looking for a word in the dictionary, note that the words are in alphabetical order. So, for example, if you are looking for the word ‘rattle’, you should pay attention to the help terms found at the top of any dictionary page. These words help you find your word much easier and faster.
Information provided by a standard dictionary:
- Definition of words
- Phonetic symbols, of course, given at the beginning of the dictionary and then for each word for the purpose of learning the correct pronunciation of English words.
- Word Components: Whether a word is a noun (N), verb (V), adjective (ADJ), adverb (ADV) or preposition.
- Countable (e.g book) or word countable (such as money)
- The form of the plural and the plural of exceptions, for example ‘children’ for child and ‘women’ for woman.
- Possible Synonyms and Antonyms (if the word has a synonym or antonym)
- Specify the level of vocabulary in the dictionary (formal or informal word)
- In the case of verbs (simple past and passive nouns and nouns of verbs)
- In the case of verbs (possible phrase verbs) for example ‘Bring about’ which means to swallow, or ‘Gulp down’, which means to swallow.
- Examples of words that are usually written in italics.
- The origin or root of the word, which gives more information about the history of a word (not all dictionaries contain this feature).
If your word has several meanings, for example, the word “gas”, the dictionary usually displays these meanings with a number (1, 2, 3, …) just before the various definitions. In standard English dictionaries, meanings and definitions that are more common are usually listed in Number 1. In this situation, when you are learning English, you should note that your focus must only be on one meaning consistent with the actual use of the word in the position.
Digital or paper dictionary?
The last thing to do is save time while learning English. Using electronic versions of cultures installed on your PC, mobile phone, laptop, PC tablet, etc can help you look up the new words in fast. You simply need to customize your vocabulary with Type in the search box. A number of dictionaries are illustrative, and with them you can listen to individual words as well as all examples in a natural, clear voice. You can also use various dictionaries online, including Oxford Dictionary. On our site you can download free Oxford English Dictionary for Android.
What we said in this article:
1- We’ve mentioned the features of a standard dictionary.
2- We set out the expectations we should have for a good dictionary
3- We explained the importance of using a digital dictionary through English learning journey