Dictionary POS

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 15 08:33:11 UTC 2008

My students of course don't make mistakes like that, because I teach them
determiners and how to use them.  But from my personal experience learning
Chinese, if I can find the part of speech for a word listed in a Chinese
dictionary (most of them don't list them), I still have very little idea how
to use the word.  For example, it may say a word is a verb, but I have no
idea if it is transitive or intransitive.  Example sentences can help, but
they seldom list all of the possibilities.  Often, even when there are many
ways to use a word, all of the example sentences illustrate only one way.
So if I was not a native speaker of English and I looked up "some", while I
might avoid constructing sentences like the examples I gave, calling "some"
an adjective bears the implication that it can be used like other

I'm always interested in looking at materials, so sure, if you have
recommendations, send them my way.

I've been looking at a lot of dictionaries lately too, and in addition to
Oxford and Collins, Longman also has determiners.  I hope to see more and

Collins seems to be the best that I've seen so far for parts of speech
because they have verbal valency patterns and more detailed info about nouns
and adjectives that are keyed into their Grammar Patterns series of
reference books and textbooks.

>Date:    Sun, 13 Jan 2008 11:39:37 -0500
>From:    Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG>
>Subject: Re: Dictionary POS
>On Jan 9, 2008, at 22:52, LanDi Liu wrote:
>>  And calling it an adjective implies that you can say things
>> like "I have this some book," and "This apple is very some."
>Every dictionary I've checked since you wrote that--15 from nine
>publishers--has multiple parts of speech for "some." If your students
>are making that mistake then they haven't been taught how to properly
>use a dictionary, such as a) recognizing the differences between parts
>of speech and b) using sample sentences given in dictionaries for
>models in their own writing. I can recommend an online course if you'd
>Collins dictionaries do, by the way, use some of the parts of speech
>that you mentioned.
>Grant Barrett
>Double-Tongued Dictionary
>http://www.doubletongued.org/ <http://www.doubletongued.org/>
>editor at doubletongued.org <editor at doubletongued.org>

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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