Many of my students are in love with Mr (or Ms) Google. When they find a word they don’t understand, their fingers switch on the phone and tap into Google translate. This is wrong for two reasons.
One. Depending on how important the task is, you can try guessing the meaning from context. Let me use sibling as an example. If you alreday know it, fine. If not, look at this sentence:
I have 3 siblings – 2 sisters and a brother.
From the context, you should be able to guess what sibling(s) means. If you still have problems, go to the next step …
Two. Use an English-English dictionary. There are so many free dictionary apps and websites whch are made for learners of English. Here are the links to my favourites:
- Cambridge: Cambridge Dictionary | English Dictionary, Translations & Thesaurus
- Macmillan: Macmillan Dictionary | Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus
- Collins: Collins Online Dictionary | Definitions, Thesaurus and Translations (collinsdictionary.com)
Let’s get back to sibling. If you look up the word in the Collins dictionary, this is the definition you will find:
Your siblings are your brothers and sisters.
There. A short and clear explanation. You can undertand it in English, without having to translate into your own language.
So go on, download an English dictionary app now and start using it. Read, think and understand in English!
Do you know of another good dictionary? Tell me about it in the comments box at the bottom of this page.
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Interested in learning and practising English online but not sure how it works? For a free trial lesson, message me on WhatsApp: 0035679664664 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and your time zone.