Firstly, we recommend a bilingual dictionary for non-native English speakers. Word Reference is an excellent online dictionary that is also available as an app. It is famous for its very detailed definitions, examples, common phrases, idioms and phrasal verbs. In addition, this website provides a useful forum where you can ask your own questions or read comments of other users in case of you don’t find what you are looking for.
Pons is another bilingual dictionary, but a bit different than Word Reference. The website is much more user-friendly, it’s a great online tool to translate chunks of text and, unlike Word Reference, you can also use the listening option for phrases and not only for words. However, we should say that Pons Dictionary is less detailed. It is up to you to decide if you prefer one or the other.
As a beginner or at an intermediate level, you will probably want to use a bilingual dictionary to get a translation in your native language. However, it's important for upper-intermediate and advanced English learners to regularly use an unilingual (English-English) dictionary to find accurate definitions, expand your vocabulary and be completely immersed in the English language. The Oxford dictionary is simply one of the best of its kind due to its language expertise and its efforts to constantly update its database with the latest language trends.
Thesaurus.com is an amazing tool for finding synonyms and antonyms which is also available as an app. It is an essential thing to have in your ‘toolbox’ if you want to get a rich vocabulary base. It also great for understanding the meaning of complex words. Moreover, a thesaurus is highly recommended to any translator or writer as synonyms and antonyms provide you with a much more creative writing style and help you to avoid constant repetition and uniformity.
This proofreader will be your best friend if you fancy writing regularly in English. With this online tool, you will be able to correct your work easily. You just need to copy the text that you want to proofread and paste it into the website. Then, spelling, grammatical or writing mistakes will be displayed in three different colours with a solution for each of the mistakes. It goes without saying that, even after using a proofreading tool, it’s important that you read over your work one more time to double check that everything is perfect.
Linguee is a unique translation tool which is very helpful for using phrases correctly. Compared to traditional online dictionaries, Linguee contains about 1,000 times more translated texts, which are displayed in full sentences. With its contextual translation examples, it will show you how to use difficult words and expressions concretely in context. Even very rare phrases or specific technical terms are part of its database. Another advantage of Linguee is that it shows the source websites where it gathers its data from.
This online dictionary is edited by Merriam-Webster, the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in the USA. Among its trusted products and services, the website provides lots of examples of how a word can be used and sometimes it even provides pictures. Furthermore, Learners dictionary offers the possibility to play lots of games with various topics which is a fun way to study a language!
Everybody knows that the Cambridge English exams are internationally recognised in the academic and professional world. If you are interested in passing one of their exams or if you are very motivated to self-study English, it’s a brilliant idea to use this multipurpose website. Lots of great resources and tips from experts are available for free to test your English, learn more about the language and of course, to prepare you for the exam.
The MacMillan Sounds App is an interactive tool that will help you with your pronunciation. It lets you select wordlists for different topics and play a recording of every word in both American and British English. You can also record, play back and compare your pronunciation to the recordings on the app. Additionally, the tool includes a quiz section and an interactive phonemic chart. All in all, it is a great tool to help you sound just like a native.
In an English speaking country, slang is common in everyday speech between most native speakers. So it may be beneficial for you to learn what certain slang words or phrases mean and how to use them in a conversation. The Online Slang Dictionary is an excellent repository, constantly updated with some of the most popular uses of informal speech, jargon, neologisms, idioms, slang words and figurative speech. But be careful when using slang words, as they may not always be appropriate depending on your situation!
Some interesting vocabulary:
|chunks of text (N)|
= pieces of text, from several words of text to a whole paragraph of text
= it is so well known that I shouldn’t need to say it
= specific word(s) that are used in a specific profession/culture/context and are not usually known or used by other people
= to explain briefly
= when you have a plenty (a good amount) of the tools/equipment you need
N = noun, V = verb, Adj. = adjective, Adv. = adverb, I = idiom