Using An English-English Dictionary
If you do not already own or have access to a good English-English dictionary, you should buy one from a local bookshop or order one at once. A good deal can be learned from a dictionary which will help you to write effective business letters. A good English-English dictionary gives lists of a great many words in the English language and amongst other things it can tell you the following about each word.
You can see the letters which make up the word and their order. That is, the spelling of the word which you should try to learn so that you will always be able to spell it correctly. It is a good idea to copy out in writing the spelling of a word which is new to you as that action will help to fix the spelling of that word in your memory.
In some cases one English word can have more than one meaning. Sometimes those meanings are similar. But that is not always the case. The meaning of a word might be made clear in a dictionary by comparing it with other words which have similar meanings. Sometimes examples are given of how to use the word. Quite often a dictionary also gives associated words.
For Example… if you look up the word long, you might also see longer and longest.
All the words in an English-English dictionary are listed strictly in alphabetical order, that is, in the order of the letters in the English alphabet: A, B, C, and on through to Z. First there is the group of words which begin with the letter A. Next there is the group of words which begin with the letter B. Then there is the group of words which all begin with the letter C, and so on until the last group - whose words all begin with the letter Z.
When you first start to use a dictionary, you might not be able to find at once the word in it - or even the page in it - that you need. To help you overcome this problem as soon as possible, you should read very carefully the following points.
Make sure you know the order of the letters in the English Alphabet.
See how the words being explained are shown.
See the alphabetical order of the words explained.
Make use of the help provided by the dictionary.
Practise finding words.
Find new words.
Choose the relevant meaning of a word.
Build up your own vocabulary list.
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