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  • The Canadian-English Dictionary. Over 500 sold. Not many Canadians, I think, eh? Just

  • joking. It's 500,000, and my name is James from EngVid. Welcome. I'm going to help you

  • today learn to use this thing and not this thing. And there's a reason why, and I'm going

  • to tell you why today because I think it's an important lesson that I don't see people

  • really talk about a lot. They -- in classes, and I teach classes, we mention it. And students

  • always come -- not always. Bad. You're so forward. They usually use an electronic dictionary,

  • but I prefer the paper because today I'm going to teach you how to build your vocabulary

  • using this, something that's a few hundred years old.

  • So let's start off: "Know your dictionary." Do you know what your dictionary -- do you

  • know who your dictionary is or what your dictionary is? I ask you because I'm going to ask you

  • do you know "prescriptive" versus "descriptive"? Most students don't know the difference, and

  • it's a very important difference for you to know. If you're a native English speaker,

  • this is your dictionary. It's good. It's great. It says things like, "'Choral' -- or of a

  • choir. 'Chorale': slow stately hymn tune", and you're thinking, well, if you're learning

  • English, "What did James just say to me?" There are many of these things. "'Retrench':

  • reduce expenditure, cut." You know, like, "What?" Well, this is because it's prescriptive.

  • "Prescriptive". Think of a doctor, you know, the guy who checks your chest, like, your

  • heart. He prescribed something to you, right? Gives you something. But he doesn't give you

  • any kind of extra information. He's the doctor. He's the expert. They tell you and you know.

  • Well, if you have a command of the English language or you speak English, of course you

  • know all the other words they use. "'Critic': Professional judge." I know all these words.

  • I don't have to learn these words, so it's great. But if you're learning English -- and

  • learning English -- and I want to tell you this because a lot of people don't know. You

  • know my name, right? My name is James ESL, right? James. I can't even spell my own name.

  • It's a lie. My name is James ESL. And some of you said, for sure, What is "ESL?" That's

  • a funny name. Because it's not my name. "ESL" stands for "English as a Second Language".

  • That's what it stands for. Many of your teachers use it, and they never tell you what it means.

  • So it means James is teaching English as a second language. And that's for you guys.

  • You have French, Hindi, Arabic as first languages, and you want to get another language. What

  • you need is a descriptive dictionary. What does that mean? Well, let me explain something

  • to you. There is a thing that is long, has a big head, a smile. It has little lines on

  • its body. Its first name starts with M. His last name starts with E. Do you know whom

  • I'm describing? It's Mr. E. Right? I described it to you. An ESL dictionary is descriptive,

  • right? So the first thing you should know is, is your dictionary prescriptive or descriptive?

  • "Prescriptive", like a prescription from a doctor -- it just tells you this is what the

  • word means. It does not give explanation -- it gives an explanation, but no diagrams and

  • no definition, okay? Or explanation. For example, a descriptive one not only tells you what

  • the world is, it gives you an example of its use in speech. It helps you. Maybe even a

  • picture to show you. That's for the ESL. So when you're looking for a paper dictionary,

  • go to your bookstore and ask for a descriptive dictionary because you're studying ESL, and

  • they'll give you the perfect dictionary for you, okay?

  • So what are we going to do next? That's the first thing: Know what dictionary you have

  • because this one will help. Now, I will tell you this, though: Once you start going from

  • the beginning and intermediate, you need the prescriptive because that's what a fluent

  • native speaker would use, and that's what you use. So there's a reason for both. Don't

  • forget that. If you're advanced, get prescriptive. If you're new, get descriptive. Know your

  • dictionary. Next. Does your dictionary use phonetic or

  • does it use syllables to tell you how the word sounds? "Huh?" Well, I investigated because

  • I'm like a reporter -- like Clark Kent, Superman -- and I discovered that not every dictionary

  • is the same. Some use phonetics, and they use the International Phonetic Alphabet. Some

  • of you have studied it in school, right? Where you have those funny little things, where,

  • you know, like the upside down E -- I can't even do it. I think it's like -- and it means

  • something to you people, okay? But in international language, you would use these symbols to show

  • language, right? They use this phonetic alphabet because they know it's international, and

  • people who study languages will also use it. But a lot of English dictionaries just use

  • syllables. They break the word down into, like -- sorry -- numb nuts? Number. Number.

  • And what they're looking for is vowel sound, not vowels. Don't make a mistake. I've often

  • done it and told students -- I say, you know, "When we use syllables we break it down to

  • units of a word with a vowel." And what I mean to say is "with a vowel sound" because

  • sometimes there will be two vowels, but they make a sound. For example, "ee" or "ei" can

  • make one sound, okay? And that can be in a vowel unit. So check to see if your dictionary

  • is either phonetic -- and that means you're going to need the International Phonetic Alphabet

  • -- or syllable-based, which means they will break the word into units with a syllable

  • sound. Easy? Is that understood? Let's move on, okay?

  • So that's something you're going to look at because this will help you build your vocabulary

  • because knowing what a word looks like and what it sounds like is very, very different,

  • okay? And this is to help you pronounce the word. Remember: Learning vocabulary is (1)know

  • when you see it, (2) know when you hear it, (3) know how to say it, (4) understand what

  • it means. Then you build vocabulary. And this is "know what it sounds like", okay? Next.

  • (C) What part of speech? Well, what is the word? I can spell less "beaty" like "Ned Beatty", but that's not what I wanted to write.

  • When you "beautify" something, it's not the same as "beauty". "He's a right beauty." "She's

  • a beauty." Right? They're different words. So we're asking ourselves, what, what do these

  • words do, right? "She's a beauty", so we're looking at an adjective and adverb. "Beautify",

  • adverbs do a different job than an adjective, right? So the dictionary will tell you how

  • to use it. Remember we said, "What does it sound like?" First part is, it tells you what

  • it looks like, right? It gives you the word, the word. The next one tells you what it sounds

  • like. The next one tells you how to use it, right? "That girl is a beauty." Or "What a

  • beauty she is." Versus, "We need to beautify our house." It's not the same. And you have

  • to know what part of speech to use it otherwise you'll use it badly, okay? Next.

  • We're going to go over to "other possible forms". So other possible forms are -- well,

  • let me correct something I made a mistake on. I said it. I made a mistake because I'm

  • human. I was so busy thinking about the mistake I made with "beauty" I said this was an adverb.

  • It's a verb. So I know you guys who love to catch me, you caught me. Ow, ow, bad teacher,

  • all right? It's a verb, all right? So we've got noun, verb. Now, let's go to "other possible

  • forms", okay? Now, what the dictionary will also do to help you is after it tells you

  • this is a noun or this is a verb -- noun, verb, okay -- it'll tell you other forms.

  • It might tell you, okay, you could do something "slow" or "slowly". Or you can have "pant",

  • which is completely different. "Pant" is [pant like a dog] and "pants", which I'm wearing,

  • but you can't see. You know, I am wearing them, trust me. I'm not doing it in my underwear.

  • E goes naked; I come clothed, okay? So it'll tell you other possible forms that you can

  • use of that word, right? Now, I've given you something to help you

  • with the dictionary, and this is fun. It's a nice, short lesson. I'm hoping it's going

  • to be very useful because even Canadians -- I say "Canadians"; I'm sorry, but a lot of English

  • speakers don't know how to use the dictionary because it's set up in a way they just kind

  • of look for the definition, and they don't know that these things are there to help them.

  • There have been words I've looked for where I've said, like, "discombooblate" because

  • I don't know it's "discombobulate" because I don't understand if it's phonetic or the

  • symbol -- syllable. I can speak English, really. And I had to learn when I started teaching

  • students. When they say, "Teacher, why?" And I go, "Well this is for this. This -- oh,

  • golly, it is." This is very helpful stuff, right? But before I go too far off course,

  • which means away from the subject, I want to give you some tips because this is good.

  • This gives you power like a super power. You can use this and go, "I can learn words without

  • the use of any other human being. Read, see, and hear." But how about we build, because

  • that's what the nature of this lesson is, to build our vocabulary. So let's go over here.

  • Ready? Tips. Tip No. 1: Look up words you

  • hear every day, and then look at the words above and below the word to understand prefixes.

  • This sentence makes no sense whatsoever. But it does because I'll explain it. What I mean is,

  • every day, when you're learning English, you're going to learn a new vocabulary word

  • or whatnot. And what I want you to do is take that word, write it down, then go home, open

  • your paper dictionary, okay? And then look at the word, but look at the word above and

  • below because -- I'm going to give you one right now. I'm looking here, and it says -- I'm

  • looking at "implore". It means "beg", which means to go, "Please, please, please, please

  • come back to EngVid and see James! Please! I beg you!" Okay? So "implore". Then, I look

  • down at "imply". Then, I look at -- it says "implicit". And each one I get the idea that

  • there's something inside. Then I realize "im" means "inside" or "in". Ooh. That was interesting.

  • So then, I start looking down and there's "impossible" and "importune", "impose", "impostor",

  • "impotent". I'm not impotent. Maybe the worm. He's soft, but not me. Anyway. Well, what

  • I'm saying is, all of these "im" words are in here, and I start going, "Oh, my gosh.

  • They all kind of have a similar meaning." It helps me build my vocabulary faster because

  • I learned what's called a "prefix". A "prefix" means -- "pre" is before -- something in front

  • of a word that gives meaning to the word or adds meaning to the word, right? And that's

  • what we're doing. We're learning it, so it helps me build my vocabulary by learning prefixes.

  • Kind of cool, huh? How about the second one? Let's go to the

  • monitor. He's going to talk again. Ready? Actually, it's not a monitor, it's Mr. E.

  • You've always wondered what I sound like, and yes, I have a sexy voice. So, the next

  • thing you want to do -- tip No. 2 is: Randomly -- "randomly" means not in order, just whenever

  • -- for 2 or 3, 2 or 3, and try to make sentences. What the heck does that mean? Well, Mr. E,

  • that's why I'm here. What Mr. E meant to say was this: Randomly take, take -- Mr. E -- 2

  • or 3 words, okay? I want to make sure you can see it because I'm running out of room

  • here. So I'm just going to put 2 or 3 words -- and try and make a sentence with it. So

  • I've got "word" -- S. See? Two mistakes. Are you happy now? Bad, bad James. Okay, look.

  • So look at randomly for 2 or 3 words. And just open up the dictionary, and you take,

  • "bloom", and then take "incentive", and then take "platinum". "As an incentive for my blooming

  • business, I got a platinum card." Oh, he teaches English. That's right. I do. What I'm saying

  • is you take two or three words randomly, right? And you try and make a sentence with them

  • using the rules you find from the dictionary. Is it a verb? Is it an adjective? Put them

  • in place. That will help teach you syntax. So here are two ways you can, by yourself,

  • use this book by yourself and work on your English, learn things that you haven't been

  • taught, and then prove or, as I said, build your vocabulary. Do you like that? Our little

  • moderator, Mr. E, that voice of his, will be back -- right? -- to help you build your

  • English vocabulary, syntax, conversation skills, grammar, and whatnot. I like that word. It's

  • my word of the day. Anyway. Thanks a lot. Mr. E -- out. Know your

  • dictionary, and know yourself, and you'll be victorious in every conversation you have.

  • Know only -- shut up with the Sun Tzu already. Okay.

The Canadian-English Dictionary. Over 500 sold. Not many Canadians, I think, eh? Just

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How to use your dictionary to build your vocabulary

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    稲葉白兎 posted on 2015/06/25
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