English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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2.4 Using several dictionaries to find more information about a word

If you wish to find additional information about a word, you can look it up in more than one dictionary. You will practise this in the following activity.

Activity 5

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Go back to the OneLook [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] page and look up the word strategy in the Collins Dictionary, and in Vocabulary.com. What additional information can you find?

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The Collins English Dictionary gives more synonyms and links to translations of the word in several languages. Vocabulary.com gives more examples showing how ‘strategy’ can be used in a sentence. It also provides other words that are part of the same ‘word family’. These are all the words that have a similar form and meaning. The word family of strategy includes: strategic, strategies, strategically, strategist, and strategists.

These words allow you to express an idea in a different way, perhaps when paraphrasing. For example, the phrase ‘adopt a strategy to deal with a problem’ can be turned to ‘deal with a problem strategically’. A list of all the academic word families is provided by the Academic Word List (AWL) provided by the website UEFAP.

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