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A Comparison of Two English Dictionaries Essay

Studying foreign languages is very difficult although there is a variety of books which can help learners to accelerate that process. Some of the most useful are dictionaries which can assist immensely in expanding our vocabulary. Dictionaries are also very important for linguistic training; however this doesn’t mean that they are of the same quality. This essay will attempt to compare two dictionaries: Longman’s Active Dictionary and Oxford Student’s Dictionary. Both dictionaries are intended for the intermediate level but they don’t have the same features. Longman’s Dictionary has considerably more words and phrases than Oxford’s Dictionary. Oxford’s Dictionary has 42,000 words and phrases, Longman’s has 3,000 more. Also Longman’s Dictionary has a larger number of examples reching up to 25,000. This is 1,500 more examples than the Oxford Dictionary.

In comparing the number of illustrated words the two dictionaries are completely different. For example, Longman’s Dictionary has 16 words illustrated while Oxford’s Dictionary does not include illustrations. However, they have a similar number of appendices, that is, Longman’s Dictionary has five whereas Oxford’s Dictionary has four. Furthermore, although Oxford’s Dictionary is more extensive, the number of pages for both dictionaries is almost the same.

It is clear that although there are some similarities between the features of two dictionaries there are some significant differences too. To conclude, Longman’s Dictionary can offer more to students who want to improve their knowledge of language, including a large number of words, phrases and examples. However, students are the ones who will decide which dictionary they will use.


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