Unit 2

Using the Dictionary



In the dictionary we find the meaning of words, listed in alphabetical order. When we want to know the meaning of a word we look it up in the dictionary.

Types of dictionaries and encyclopedias

The dictionary for definitions of words is the most common and traditional. It contains the meanings and concepts of words.

The encyclopedia contains all types of information: culture, geography, and history. It also includes all types of human knowledge such as art, mathematics, science, and literature. All of the articles are entered in alphabetical order.

In the technical dictionary we find the meaning of words as they apply to the sciences and the arts.

The bilingual dictionary offers the meanings of words that are equivalent in two languages. This is helpful for translating between languages.

The dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spain gives the rules and meanings for the Spanish Language. Many dictionaries in English keep up with changing usage of words, including the Oxford English Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary and various others.

The alphabet contains all of the letters used in writing. The English alphabet contains these twenty-six letters:

A a   B b   C c   D d   E e   F f   G g   H h   I i   J j   K k   L l   M m

N n    O o   P p   Q q   R r   S s   T t   U u   V v   W w   X x   Y y   Z z.


The first letters found in the dictionary start with the letter a, followed by b, c, d and so on until z. If the first letters are the same, the second letter is used to put them in order. If the first and second are the same, we look to the third, and so on. For example, we see all of the words formed by aa, then ab, ac, ad, af, continuing sequentially.

In the upper left margin of the page appears the first word on that page, and the upper right margin shows the last word. In this way it becomes easy to find the page that holds the word that we are searching for.


Exercise 1:
Fill in the missing letters:

A  B  C  ___  E  F  G  H  ___  J
K  L  ___  N  ___  P  ___  R  S
___  U  V  ___  X  Y  ___  
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A  B  ___  D  ___  F  G  ___  I
J  K  ___  M  N  O  ___  Q  ___  
S  T  ___  V  W  ___  Y  Z
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A  ___  C  D  E  ___  G  H  I  ___  
K  L  M  ___  O  P  ___  R  ___  
T  U  ___  W  X  ___  Z
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___  B  C  ___   E  F  ___  H  
J  ___  L  M  N  ___    ___  Q  ___  
S  ___  U  ___  W  ___  Y  ___  
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Exercise 2

On the lines below, write your full name and address.

Every letter or number is called a character.

How many characters does it take to write your name and address? ____________

How many different letters are in your name and address? ___________

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Exercise 3

First, write the complete alphabet in English using capital letters, and then repeat the alphabet in lowercase letters. Use cursive (handwriting) for the lower case. Donít forget to dot your i and j and to cross your t and x.
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Exercise 4

Write the following words in alphabetical order:

literature, dictionary, alphabet, mural, description, basic, poem, narration, painting, project, objective, paragraph, art, culture, synopsis
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  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________
  4. ___________________________________
  5. ___________________________________
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Exercise 5

Look up the following words in the dictionary and write the definition in the space.
art: ___________________________________________________________________
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expression: ___________________________________________________________________
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instruction: ___________________________________________________________________
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mural: ___________________________________________________________________
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synopsis: ___________________________________________________________________
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Exercise 6

Find these words in the dictionary and write at least two of their different definitions.
Circle the meaning that corresponds to the usage on the Diego Rivera web page.

host: ___________________________________________________________________
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critical: ___________________________________________________________________
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sweeping: ___________________________________________________________________
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fair: ___________________________________________________________________
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mission: ___________________________________________________________________
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Exercise 7

Write two sentences for each of the words in Exercise 5.
Each sentence should use a different definition. (host, critical, sweeping, fair, mission)

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