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  1. #1
    jasonlulu_2000 is offline Senior Member
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    earlier

    When I first entered university, my aunt, who is an English professor, gave me s new English dictionary. I was surprised to see that it was an English-English dictionary, also known as a monolingual dictionary. Although it was a dictionary intended for non—native learners, none of my classmates had one and, to be honest, I found it extremely difficult to use at first. I would look up words in the dictionary and still not fully understand the meaning, I was used to the earlier bilingual dictionaries, in which the words are explained both in English and Chinese ,I really wondered why my aunt decided to make things so difficult for me. Now ,after studying English at university for three years, I understand that monolingual dictionaries are better in learning a foreign language
    As I found out, there is in fact often NO perfect equivalence between two words in two languages. My aunt even goes so far as to declare that a Chinese “equivalent” can never give you the exact meaning of a word in English!

    Are the two underlined words "earlier" and "declare" used naturally in this context?

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason


  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Re: earlier

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    When I first entered university, my aunt, who is an English professor, gave me s new English dictionary. I was surprised to see that it was an English-English dictionary, also known as a monolingual dictionary. Although it was a dictionary intended for non—native learners, none of my classmates had one and, to be honest, I found it extremely difficult to use at first. I would look up words in the dictionary and still not fully understand the meaning, I was used to the earlier bilingual dictionaries, in which the words are explained both in English and Chinese ,I really wondered why my aunt decided to make things so difficult for me. Now ,after studying English at university for three years, I understand that monolingual dictionaries are better in learning a foreign language
    As I found out, there is in fact often NO perfect equivalence between two words in two languages. My aunt even goes so far as to declare that a Chinese “equivalent” can never give you the exact meaning of a word in English!

    Are the two underlined words "earlier" and "declare" used naturally in this context?

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason

    Using "earlier" the way you do indicates that all dictionaries published prior to the monolingual one given you were bilingual. This is not the case. You may use the word "earlier" in this context this way - "I was used to the bilingual dictionaries I had used earlier..."

  3. #3
    jasonlulu_2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: earlier

    Thanks!
    What about the second one 'declared'? Does it make sense in this context?

  4. #4
    Route21's Avatar
    Route21 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: earlier

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    Thanks!
    What about the second one 'declared'? Does it make sense in this context?
    As an NES but not an English specialist:

    Yes. She was effectively making a declaration of her beliefs.

    Regards
    R21

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