Dear all, are you using good English dictionaries?
Dictionaries are very important tools for both English teachers and students. They make things clearer, give valuable information about vocabulary, and in many cases help teach grammar.
With that said, you should know
how to choose your dictionaries.
There are some excellent English-English dictionaries, such as the Unabridged Merriam-Webster, that can make the learner run away in horror... It is simply way too big and complicated for the average learner.
Actually, it can even be way too big and complicated for the average English speaker!
Other dictionaries can be too small. They may have too little words, and too little information for each word. So they can have little or no use.
The trick is to select the perfect one for you.
You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the definitions clear to me? Can I easily understand them?
- Does it give enough example sentences? (These are highly helpful.)
- Does this dictionary have most of the words I am looking for?
- Can I get it together with a handy CD? How about an online version or a smartphone application? (This can actually be very useful and time saving!)
There are other features that make a dictionary more worthwhile, such as many illustrations, usage notes, grammar notes, and other cool extras - so you might want to look for those too.
Did you know many good and popular dictionaries have a free online version?