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Language and study skills

Dictionaries

Advice about the best dictionaries to help with your English.

The best dictionaries today are fantastic and are very powerful learning tools

Dictionaries help you to build up your vocabulary in a completely different way from the old dictionaries. They can also teach you about writing and many other things. Most of the best are published by these companies: Cambridge, Oxford, Collins, Macmillan and Longman.

The dictionary in your mobile phone may be old-fashioned and poor quality: new technology but old (and bad) content. Most hand-held electronic translators have the same problem. You can now get excellent electronic dictionaries and there are links to some below.

A translating dictionary is useful but it is not enough to help you develop a better vocabulary - and learn how to use the new words. You need both a translating dictionary and an English-to-English one.

The best dictionaries are available both in electronic and book form. If you are going to study English seriously, it's helpful to have the book too. You may be able to download the dictionary without buying the book, but it's not always cheaper.

Some of the best dictionaries are now available free online (see links below). They have many excellent extra features, though. You only get these extras when you buy the dictionary.

Dictionary recommendations

Online dictionary pages

The following pages are free to access:

 
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