12-Dictionary Skills

Dictionary Skills
This handout tests your dictionary knowledge and skills. The objective is for you to find
any weak areas in your skills so that you can study and improve.
Q1: What type(s) of dictionaries do you use?
___ Book
___ Internet
___ Bilingual
___ English only
___ Electronic
Q2: What kind(s) of information can you find in a dictionary?
___ Word definitions
___ Information about grammar
___ Word usage
___ Pictures
___ Pronunciation information
___ a prehistoric animal.
___ a dictionary that translates between varieties of the same language.
___ a dictionary that lists synonyms together.
___ a dictionary that tells you slang or colloquial expressions.
___ an antique wooden chest designed to contain important books or manuscripts.
Q4: Dictionaries use codes or abbreviations to indicate the grammar and usage of a word.
How many of the following common English dictionary abbreviations do you understand?
(a) V
___ None
(b) N
___ 1-2
(c) Adj
___ 3
(d) pl
___ 4-5
(e) Infml
(f) vt
___ All
Q5: Write down the Japanese kanji for each of the following:
____ Noun
____ Verb
____ Adjective
____ Adverb
____ Conjunction
Q6: In which of the following ways do you use your dictionary? (Multiple answers are OK)
___ to look for the English word you want to use
___ to check your written work
___ to understand grammar and structure
___ to enlarge your vocabulary
___ to find out how to pronounce a word
Q7: Write down "True" or "False" next to the following statements:
___ When I am reading something and do not know a word, I stop to look it up.
___ When I am writing something and do not know a word, I look up the Japanese word,
and then copy one of the English words that the dictionary shows.
___ I memorize words and definitions from the dictionary to increase my vocabulary.
___ I never look up words in a dictionary when I read. I just guess at the meanings of
words using my general knowledge and commonsense.
___ I do not look up words in a dictionary when I read. I guess at the meanings, but make
it a point to look up a dictionary later to check whether I am right.
Q8: When a word has more than one meaning given in a dictionary, how do you decide
which meaning you want? More than one way may be effective.
___ By thinking about the situation and possible meaning of the word in the sentence and
choosing the best meaning.
___ By looking at the sentence structure. What part of speech is the word in the sentence?
How is it related to other words? Match with dictionary grammar information.
___ By choosing the first meaning because it's the most common.
___ By picking one at random.
Q9: TABOO, in a language context, means...
___ ... a picture on somebody's skin.
___ ... a particular linguistic rhythm or intonation.
___ ... something not normally talked about directly, e.g. death, or something potentially
embarrassing e.g. sex.
___ ... a spell or incantation used in some kind of ritual.
___ ... the pitch or tone (level) in spoken language.
Q10: Does your dictionary provide the following?
___ Example sentences for each word
___ Information about word collocations (e.g. what prepositions follow each verb)
___ Information about grammar
___ Information about whether the usage is British, American, Australian, etc.
___ Information about the context or situation the word is suitable for (e.g., formal or
informal, spoken or written, etc.)
Q11: Of the following spellings, how many are correct?
(a) committee
___ None
(b) recommen
___ 1-2
___ 3
(c) necessary
___ 4-5
Q12: How do you pronounce the following words?
___ cuisine
___ souvenir
___ plagiarize
___ antidisestablishmentarianism
(d) offered
___ All
___ precedent
Q13: Can you add "s" to the following words to make them plural?
___ equipment
___ police
___ furniture
___ water
Q14: Which of the following are correct?
___ ... have sinked
___ ... have come
___ ... have sung
(e) fourty
___ ... have went
Q15: Are the following words American, British, or both?
___ automobile
___ trousers
___ cookie
___ gasoline
___ fruit
___ ... have got
___ pants
Q16: What is the meaning of the underlined words in each of the following sentences?
___ Is there a market for this company's products?
___ I'm new here. Where is the nearest market?
___ This song is really hot!
___ That song is really cool!
___ There's too much chili in this dish - it's really hot!