If you have read this synonym note carefully, you should be able to explain the differences between the reason for looking up cross-references, the purpose of cross-references, and your motive for paying attention to them. Can you do it?
There is more to writing and speaking English than knowing what the separate words mean and how they are spelled and pronounced. Words must be put together correctly to make proper sentences, and the words that are used must be suitable to the time and place at which they are used.
You have already seen how this dictionary labels certain main entries and definitions informal or slang. These labels warn you against putting something unsuitable into a dignified, formal composition or speech. When such a label is not enough to explain exactly how a word can be used, a * note will tell you what you need to know. For example, is it ever correct to use ain't? Here is the dictionary's explanation:
ain't A contraction of: Am not: I ain't going. Ain't is also used for are not, is not, has not, and have not. + Ain't is not considered acceptable English today, although speakers and writers sometimes use it for humorous effect.
This note explains why you may see ain't in books when the author is trying to be funny or when a character is supposed to be speaking nonstandard English. But most people, including your teacher, usually classify a person who uses ain't seriously as untaught and handicapped by poor background. When you know the difference, it is wise to use acceptable English only.
Other * notes help you with still more complicated problems of correct usage. To see how this works, look first at the main entry printed here:
as-tro-nau-tics n. The science and art of flight in space.
Now imagine that you have looked up the cross-reference, and read the main entry for the suffix -ics:
-ics A suffix meaning: 1 An art, science, or field of study, as in mathematics. 2 Methods, systems, or activities, as in acrobatics, athletics. •» Nouns ending in -ics that refer to arts, sciences, or fields of activity were originally plural, meaning things relating to a field. Later they came to mean all such things relating to a field, taken as a single collection, and they became singular: Politics is exciting; Physics is his favorite subject. Such words seldom take a, an, or the. Nouns in -ics that refer to specific details, qualities, or methods within a field are plural and often take articles: The acoustics in this hall are bad; These statistics are from the last census.
The entry for astronautics gives you the basic dictionary information: spelling, pronunciation, and meaning. But to get the most possible information, you follow up the cross-reference and learn about the correct use of words ending in -ics. Do you see the two points this note is making? First, it tells when to use a singular verb and when to use a plural verb. And, second, you learn that ordinarily you do not use a, an, or the with these words when the singular verb is the correct one.
Every time a word ending in -ics appears in your dictionary, it is followed by the cross-reference "See -ics." Usage notes like this give you another reason to look up cross-references whenever you find them.
Parts of Speech
The dictionary abbreviations that show parts of speech hungarian teacher price eur euro ft can help you in more ways than one. Perhaps the most common is something you have never given any special thought to: Take a noun that you know, like cart. Can you use it as a verb, too?
You know that many small children have carts, and you know that you can say, "She will take Junior ágoston to the playground in his cart."
Can you also say, "She will cart Junior to the playground"?
cart [kart] 1 n. A heavy, two-wheeled vehicle for carrying heavy loads, usually pulled by a horse. 2 n. A light, usually two-wheeled vehicle for small loads or for riding: a pony cart; a grocery cart. 3 v. To carry in a cart.BACK