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  1. #1
    tais_n is offline Newbie
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    Default Help me to choose a dictionary!

    Hello!
    I'm willing to buy a monolingual dictionary as soon as possible. But I don't know which to buy.
    I asked my teacher and in her opinion the Collins Dictionary of the English Language or Collins Cobuild Student's Dictionary are the best.
    The thing is: I've never used/seen this dictionary, actually I only use monolingual dictionaries online, and some that I use and like a lot are Longman, Cambridge and sometimes, Oxford.

    Well, which dictionary do you think it is best for me to buy, as the very first dictionary?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    M, Khalid is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    I use the longman and Oxford dictionaries. From my experience I'd advice you that you better buy the Oxford dictionary.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    It's very much a personal choice.

    I started my TEFL career with the second edition of the Advanced Learner's Dictionary from Oxford University Press. I am now on the sixth edition. I see the eighth edition is out now, so I am behind the times.

    I shall certainly look at other dictionaries when I go out for a new one, but there will have to be something special about them for me to desert my trusted OALD.

  4. #4
    thatone is offline Member
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    All in all, my favorite International English learner's dictionary is Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English. Lots of pictures, examples, accurate IPA transcriptions, and very comprehensible definitions.
    Last edited by thatone; 24-Feb-2011 at 13:37.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    You might try drawing up a list of half a dozen or so words, expressions, phrasal verbs and idioms that have caused you problems recently. Go to a bookshop, and check these in several dictionaries. See which one gives the most helpful answer for you. Also look at the illustrations, tables, study pages and appendices, and see if there is an accompanying CD. If there is, what does it offer?

  6. #6
    JMurray is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    I appreciate that the needs of a learner are different to that of a native speaker, and Fivejj's advice sounds excellent. But for what it's worth, I have relied on my two-volume Shorter Oxford for many years.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    In addition to the suggestions made by Fivejedjon, look up some very common words that have many different meanings, like make/set, etc, and see what information they give for them, so you can get an idea of how detailed they are.

  8. #8
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    wq.denis is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    Quote Originally Posted by thatone View Post
    All in all, my favorite International English learner's dictionary is Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English. Lots of pictures, examples, accurate IPA transcriptions, and very comprehensible definitions.
    Hi thatone,

    I am using longman online dictionary and i am totally satisfied.

    I have just looked up the longman dic. you advised, Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English.

    It is about $70 dollar on the market!! Definitions and example sentences are very understandable but its price is enormously high!

    That dictionary includes anything we don not know yet or offer something worth of $70:)?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    First off, $70 is a very reasonable price to pay for the amount of research an expertise involved in publishing a dictionary. The Longman Advanced Learner's Dictionary has excellent charts of synonyms, collocations, common errors, and usage statistics which aren't all available online as well as the whole dictionary and learner's exercises on DVD. In print editions I personally prefer Longman over Cambridge and Oxford, on the web I prefer Macmillan. These are just my preferences.

    I always advise my students to visit the bookstore and sit down with a list of words as Tdol suggested. I think "take" and "get" are good words to check as you can compare the different ways the dictionaries will organize phrasal verbs. Also, choose a couple of words at random that you don't know and see which dictionary gives a simpler, clearer definition (or use whatever standard is the most important to you, it's your money and your dictionary, after all). Finally, check for rude words! There's a certain 4 letter word that can usually be found on the same page as "fudge." I'm sure you know the word and how many phrasal verbs it makes. Don't you want your dictionary to have the rude words too?

  10. #10
    tais_n is offline Newbie
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    Talking Re: Help me to choose a dictionary!

    Many thanks for all the answers given so far...

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