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Dictionary lesson


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How to search words in a dictionary

How to search words in a dictionary

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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • In order to learn a foreign language it is essential to be able to use a dictionary well (and so be a good independent learner by:-
    ...knowing the different types of words which make up sentences (verb/ noun/ adjective) ...having the skill to identify/select the correct word(s) from a dictionary ....using the grammatical information in dictionaries successfully to your advantage
  • 3. Masculine – el / un Feminine – la / una A noun is an object or a thing, which can usually be preceded by ‘a’ or ‘the’ in English. E.g. Dog, Table, Bottle. Bear in mind that in the language you are studying, the word for ‘a’/’the’ depends on the gender. You can recognise these in a dictionary by the letter ‘ n ’...and in most dictionaries a m / f (/ n ) will tell you if its gender
  • 4. ..un gat o negr o mi herman a es alt a Las matemáticas son interesant es An adjective is a word which describes a noun. E.g. A short story, the friendly doctor, the wooden table. Remember, in a foreign language, you may have to change the endings depending on the gender of a word. You can recognise these in a dictionary by the letters ‘ adj ’...
  • 5. Most verbs in Spanish end in er / ir / ar e.g. habl ar , com er , sent ir A verb is a doing or action word. E.g. do, went, will, to eat. Verbs that are in the main section of the dictionary are in the infinitive (in the form “to drink”/”to sing”) so if you find a verb in the Foreign Language, you will probably have to change the verb using the endings you have learnt in class. You can recognise these in a dictionary by the letters ‘v’/ ‘vt’ / ‘vi’...
  • 6. Tip – many adverbs in Spanish end in - mente An adverb is something that complements a verb, giving details about how the action was done. E.g. slowly, punctually You can recognise these in a dictionary by the letters ‘adv’..
  • 7. Use your dictionary to find the Spanish for:
    • Birds
    • Table
    • Girls
    • Posters
    • Brothers
  • 8.
    • The essentials
    • Use your common sense – if a word ‘feels’ wrong, it possibly is. If in doubt, look the word up in the opposite section of the dictionary.
    • Read carefully the information from the dictionary about the type of word it is. (Particularly important if you are looking up a word which could be used in two ways).
    • If a word has two or more unrelated meanings (e.g. Bat), the dictionary will generally have two separate entries for it.
    • Always read the examples given under the entry – you may find something useful.
    • If in doubt about plurals, the Spanish – English section of the dictionary (front section generally) will give this information so find your word there.
    • Remember that most of the time, you will not be able to use the verb as it is in the dictionary – it will need conjugating
  • 9. Possibly the most useful thing about the grammar section of the dictionary are the verb tables. In some dictionaries, there is a list of verbs giving the page reference to look for. Present Indicative – actions which you are doing/or do regularly Imperfect – actions which used to happen / things which set the scene (in the past) Perfect – actions which are completed /which can be translated by “I have done/played” in English. The past participle is the ‘eaten’ / ‘done’ / ‘played’ Future – actions which you are going to do in the future / which will happen in the future Conditional – things which would happen if something else occurs e.g. I would go to the dentist if I had toothache.
  • 10. Use your dictionary to find the word for:
    • to help
    • help (support)
    • match (to light a fire)
    • match (football/tennis)
    • bat (cricket/rounders)
    • to fly
    • to book (holiday)
  • 11.
            • Fin