TOPIC 3: USING A DICTIONARY
It is a kind of a book or reference that containing words of a language, arranged alphabetically and showing class and uses. Or, dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often arranged in alphabetical order. We often use a dictionary to look up a word. We do this when we do not know what the word means. Dictionaries are organised to help us look up word easily
For example, to look up the word ‘dormitory’ in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2005, do the following:
1. Find the section for letter D, it starts on page 336.
2. Go through the pages of letter D slowly, as you turn the page look at the word written at the top of each page.
3. Study the word, noting the alphabetical order. For example: page 369 has "dark" which starts with DA, Page 406 has "dig" which starts with DI; Page 430 has DO.
Finally, we reach page 436 which has “doormat.” On this page, in the right hand column the 7th Century is dormitory.
Each word defined in the dictionary is called a Head word. Head words are written in bold or using a different colour. They are followed by information about the word. Dictionaries show the pronunciation and meaning of a word. They also show how the word is used and give examples of sentences using a word; in some cases the plural form is given.
Pt- past tense
Importance of Dictionary Book
1. Gives meaning of words
2. Shows words of the same meaning
3. Shows words which mean the opposite
4. Show the classes of word (verb, nouns, objectives)
5. Show how words are used
6. Show how words are made
7. Show how words are pronounced.
Synonyms: words, which mean the same, a called synonyms
Examples: -Angry - mad Cried - shouted Huge - big Hate - dislike Clever - bright
Antonyms: A dictionary also shows words which mean the opposite words which means the opposite are called antonyms
1. Hate - like
2. Ugly - beautiful
3. Slow - fast
4. Friendly - enemy
5. Strong - weak
A dictionary also shows how words are made. This is called word formation
A noun can be made from a verb or from an Adjective
Example vacate (v) – vocation (N)
Some Nouns end with
(i) …………….. ion (examination)
(ii) …………………ty (beauty)
(iii) ………………….ness (politeness)
(iv) ……………………ce (importance)
Some of the objectives end with
(i) ………... ous (poisonous)
(ii) …………. Al (trial)
(iii) …………..ic (electric)
(iv) ………….. an (African)
(v) ………….. ful (helpful)
A dictionary shows how words are pronounced English words are pronounced differently from Kiswahili. The way the English words are written is different from the way they pronounced.
Example: see – pronounced as /si/ and not see
Write the following words as they are pronounced in the dictionary
Example: King –/KiÅ‹/
(i) Sing =
(ii) Cheek =
(iii) Cart =
(iv) Chest =
(v) Dish =
Show differences of pronunciation of the underlined words.
1. Please sit on the seat
2. I left my hat in the hut
3. Pull the boy from the pool
4. Do not hurt my heart