Dictionary tutorial

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Dictionary tutorial

  1. 1. Dictionary Tutorial<br />
  2. 2. For this tour, you will be using three different dictionaries: Webster’s New World Dictionary, The Random House College Dictionary, and The American Heritage Dictionary. <br />Make sure you have these dictionaries with you to complete this activity.<br />
  3. 3. We’ll start with the layout. Most dictionaries are arranged alphabetically. That means they’re in alphabetical order. So if you’re looking for a word that begins with an “a,” you’ll look in the front of the dictionary; likewise, if you’re looking for a word that begins with a “z,” you’ll look in the back of the dictionary.<br />Answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper:<br />1.) In The American Heritage Dictionary, what page is the word “solipsism” on?<br />2.) In The Random House College Dictionary, what page is the word “veracity” on?<br />3.) In Webster’s New World Dictionary, what page is the word “potable” on? <br />
  4. 4. Most people think of dictionaries as places to look up definitions of words. That’s true, but most dictionaries contain a lot of other information as well.<br />Dictionaries can be used to figure out the spelling of a word, as long as you know the first few letters of the word.<br />Answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper:<br />4.) Is the correct spelling “rennaisance” or “renaissance”?<br />5.) Is the correct spelling “ambivalence” or “ambivalance”?<br />
  5. 5. Dictionaries also give the pronunciation of words, but first you have to understand what the symbols mean. Use The American Heritage Dictionary for this exercise. <br />A half circle over a vowel—such as in these examples, ăĕĭŏŭ—shows that it is a short vowel sound. A line over a vowel—such as in these examples, āēīōū—shows that it is a long vowel sound. Compare the difference in the short and long vowel sounds in the following words:<br />Short vowel Long vowel<br />Hat (ă—short a) Cake (ā—long a)<br />Wet (ĕ—short e) Feet (ē—long e)<br />Tin (ĭ—short i) Sign (ī—long i)<br />Hot (ŏ—short o) Comb (ō—long o)<br />Tub (ŭ—short u) Cube (ū—long u), Tune (ū—long u)<br />
  6. 6. Using The American Heritage Dictionary or your own skills, determine whether each has a long or short vowel sound. Please answer each question on a separate sheet of paper.<br />6.) Is the “u” in the word “lumber” a short “u” sound or a long “u” sound?<br />7.) Is the “i” in the word “pi” a short “i” sound or a long “i” sound?<br />8.) Is the “a” in the word “crash” a short “a” sound or a long “a” sound?<br />9.) Is the “e” in the word “net” a short “e” sound or a long “e” sound?<br />10.) Is the “o” in the word “phone” a short “o” sound or a long “o” sound?<br />
  7. 7. Another common symbol you will see in the dictionary is the upside down e ( ), which is called the schwa. The schwa basically makes the sound “uh.”<br />Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.<br />11.) In the word “cinnamon,” what vowels make the schwa sound?<br />12.) In the word “exegesis,” which “e” makes the schwa sound?<br />e <br />
  8. 8. Many dictionaries also show what syllable in a word should be accented—that’s the part of the word that is emphasized. They will use an accent mark (´) immediately after the syllable that is emphasized.<br />Look up the following in any of the dictionaries and answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper.<br />13.) Which syllable is accented in the word “exist”?<br />14.) Which syllable is accented in the word “exit”?<br />15.) Which syllable is accented in the word “malignant”?<br />
  9. 9. Most dictionaries also give you information about the part of speech of a word, in other words, whether the word is a noun, adjective, verb, etc. These will be abbreviated. Here are the most common abbreviations:<br />n. = noun pl. = plural adj. = adjective<br />v. = verb<br />Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper:<br />16.) What part of speech is the word “apothecary”?<br />17.) Considering the part of speech of the word “apothecary,” in which sentence would the word make more sense: a.) The apothecary gave the knight a vial of powder. b.) Do you like to apothecary at the pharmacy?<br />Questions continue on the next page…<br />
  10. 10. 18.) What part of speech is the word “irascible”?<br />19.) Considering the part of speech of the word “irascible,” in which sentence would the word make more sense: a.) The irascible bit my nose off! b.) The irascible hermit bit my nose off.<br />20.) What part of speech is the word “transcend”?<br />21.) Considering the part of speech of the word “transcend,” in which sentence would the word make more sense: a.) She will transcend our expectations. b.) The transcend book is enlightening.<br />
  11. 11. Dictionaries sometimes include information about the origin of a word, that is where the word comes from. Webster’s New World Dictionaryincludes this information. Here are some of the abbreviations used in the book:<br />ME. = Middle English OFr. = Old French<br />OE. = Old English Fr. = French<br />L. = Latin Gr. = Greek<br />Sp. = Spanish <br />Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.<br />22.) What is the Middle English version of the word “destiny”?<br />23.) What is the Old English version of the word “dog”?<br />24.) What is the Spanish version of the word “corral”?<br />
  12. 12. The main reason people use a dictionary is to find the definitions of words.<br />Look up the following underlined words and then, answer each question.<br />25.) The child is a prodigy at the violin. Is the child good at playing the violin?<br />26.) It is imperative that you arrive on time. Is it okay if the person is a little late?<br />27.) The idea of cleaning this mess is repellant. Is the speaker excited about cleaning up the mess?<br />28.) The movie is a little trite. Is the movie profound and uplifting?<br />29.) Percy is extremely credulous. Is it easy to trick Percy?<br />30.) The statue’s visage filled them with fright. Were they frightened by the statue’s face?<br />

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