http://www.engvid.com You shouldn't always use a dictionary! In this video, I'll explain when you should use a paper dictionary, an online dictionary, or no dictionary at all! I'll show how to use your dictionary, and answer the question "which dictionary should I use?". A dictionary is an incredible tool when you are learning a language, but knowing how to use it is very important. If you use the dictionary correctly, you can learn a word's definition, spelling, pronunciation, origin, common usage, as well as what part of speech it is. This is a very important lesson for English learners of all levels, and native speakers too. To see if you understood the lesson, take the quiz: http://www.engvid.com/when-and-how-to-use-a-dictionary/
Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. In today's lesson I want to speak with you about: "How to Use a Dictionary". Now, for some of you, this might seem very obvious. You open the dictionary, you look for your word, there it is, everything's good. But it's not that simple. Now, the reason I say it's not that simple is because a lot of people have a problem with exactly how to use a dictionary, and also when to use the dictionary. You don't always need to go look for every word.
So, before I look at a few examples of when you should look for a word in the dictionary, I want to stress that if you really, really want to build your vocabulary quickly and have a very wide range of vocabulary, use an English to English dictionary. I'm going to give you a couple of examples of which dictionaries to use after, but English to English. Now, I've had many students who use English to whatever language, English to Spanish, English to Japanese, English to whatever language is their native language and vice versa. This is good for a very quick check, but don't make it a habit. Okay? Get yourself an English to English dictionary-you can get the book, I'll show you one in a second-or get online and find the apps for the more common dictionaries. Now, the reason I say this is because you will have to look for meanings of words, and if you don't understand the explanation of the meaning, you will probably learn more words in that explanation and then you can look those up. So you're actually going to build your vocabulary exponentially. "Exponentially", very quickly and to a large degree, without end, so you can go very quickly.
So, let's look at three sentences, and I underlined the words we're focusing on. Okay? "Salivate", "plethora", "mitigate". Now, you may know these words, you may not, but these are a little bit higher end words, they're not very common. So we're going to think about what to do.
First, use context. What I want you to do is I want you to try to guess the meaning of a word before you go to the dictionary. "The hungry dog began to salivate when it saw the steak on the table." Now, most of you have seen a dog, most of you have probably seen a hungry dog. Now, you think of a hungry dog, you think of a steak, what do most dogs do? Even what do humans do? Dogs do it more obviously, they start to salivate. They start... The little wet stuff comes out of their mouths. Right? That wet stuff is "saliva". Dogs have it, you have it, I have it, human beings have it, too. It helps us to eat and digest our food. Now, because of the context, because you have a hungry dog and because you have a steak, it seems pretty obvious that "salivate" means to start emitting or getting... Letting out saliva. Now, another thing to keep in mind: The next sentence will probably use this word, "saliva". So: "The dog began to salivate, and all the saliva gathered in a pool on the floor. So then when I walked by it and I slipped and hurt myself, it's the dog's fault, not my fault." Okay? So, now, do I need to or should you go look at this...? Look for this word in the dictionary? No. You can guess the sentence. You probably are right in your guess of what this means. The next sentence will probably confirm it. Just move on. Don't worry about this word. It's easy. Now you have a new word in your head.
But let's look at the next word: "The forum was a grand success as it had generated a plethora of ideas." Now, you have a forum. A "forum" is where people exchange ideas or where they have discussions. On the internet, there are plenty of forums. At www.engvid.com, there's a forum where you can ask questions, and teachers help, and other students help. So, if the forum has all these ideas and it was a grand success - why? Because it had generated, it had made or created a plethora of ideas. Now, you can probably guess what this means. A "plethora" means many and varied. So, a large amount or a large number, and a varied number.