Dictionary skills

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How to use a dictionary

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Dictionary skills

  1. 1. Dictionary Skills 101
  2. 2. Defining words
  3. 3. Make sure the definition of the word you are looking for fits within the context of the situation.
  4. 4. Many words have more than meaning and some of those meanings do NOT FIT in context.
  5. 5. Parts of Speech
  6. 6. As you know, there are eight parts of speech—noun, verb, pronoun, adverb, adjective, interjection, conjunction, and preposition.
  7. 7. If you do not know which part of speech a word is, the dictionary can tell you.
  8. 8. In front of the definition for a word, there is an italicized abbreviation— n. v. adj. adv. This is the part of speech.
  9. 9. Be careful; most words are more than one part of speech so you need to pay attention to which definition you are looking for.
  10. 10. Guide Words
  11. 11. Guide words are the words at the top of the page that give a range of the definitions on that page. It is the easiest way to locate a definition.
  12. 12. Word Origins
  13. 13. The dictionary can also tell you where a word began. This information is at the very end or very beginning of a definition and is usually in brackets.
  14. 14. For example, the word “ghetto,” comes from [It, fr. Venetian dial.] This means that the word was first found in writings that were in the Venetian dialect of Italian.

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