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Why can't dictionaries just tell us what a word means?

Why can't dictionaries just tell us what a word means?

Watch the video in which dictionary users try to explain the meaning of some of the information commonly found in dictionary entries.

How successful were they?

Dictionaries vary in the amount of information they provide about grammar and pronunciation. Some use abbreviations and codes to indicate a part of speech and grammar patterns and most use a form of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to show how words are pronounced.

In the video clips, it was clear that some people could interpret this information quite easily, while others couldn’t understand it at all.

Your task

Should we make the effort to learn the coding systems used by the dictionaries we refer to or is this no longer necessary since most dictionaries we use now are in digital form?
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Understanding English Dictionaries

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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