Dictionary quiz 1

Use the quiz to get to know your dictionary. How quickly can you answer all the questions?

  1. Is there a list of prefixes and suffixes? On what page?
  2. Are there illustrations to show the meaning of particular groups of words (e.g. fruit and vegetables, cars, kitchenware, etc.)? Where are they?
  3. Is there an index of these illustrations so you can quickly find what you want? Where is it?
  4. Is there any general information about British and American English? Where?
  5. Where can you find a list of all the abbreviations used in the dictionary?
  6. Do the entries include examples of the vocabulary used in whole sentences?
  7. Is there a note or extra help on when you should use the word moreover? Is this word in common use today?
  8. Is any information given about how frequently a word occurs in spoken and written English today?
  9. Do the entries indicate which other words are commonly found in combination with the main word (e.g. deep/heavy/light + sleep)?
  10. Is there a guide or note which explains exactly what information is included in each entry? Where is it?

Different types of dictionaries

Using dictionaries can be a little tricky. English-English (or monolingual) dictionaries provide accurate explanations of word meanings and usage. However, they may be difficult for some students to use. On the other hand, bilingual dictionaries may not be very accurate and can prove to be misleading. As many language learners already know, every language has words and ideas that are extremely difficult to translate into another language. In this case, bilingual dictionaries can be particularly deceptive.

Dictionary quiz 2

The following quiz is designed for you to compare different dictionaries. Try the quiz first with a bilingual dictionary. Then do the same with a pocket dictionary. Finally see if you can answer the questions using a large, monolingual dictionary (for example, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English). If you want to try the quiz using an online dictionary, using:

http://www.dictionary.com and http://www.thesaurus.com
  1. What is the opposite of exclude?
  2. How do you pronounce flour?
  3. Do people use hot topic in their essays nowadays?
  4. What different meanings of pylon are there?
  5. What is the name for a male chicken?
  6. When do we use the word good and when do we use well?
  7. What is the most common use of the word shuttle (noun)?
  8. What are the sharp, pointed needles on a hedgehog’s back called?
  9. 9. When is it not suitable to use the expression kick the bucket?
  10. 10. What is the British English word for popsicle?

Think about these questions:

  1. Are all dictionaries the same?
  2. What different aspects of language are being tested by the questions in the quiz?
  3. What information should a good dictionary contain?