When you read a book do you sit with the dictionary?

Even normal books there are words sometimes I'm not familiar with.

I usually sit with my laptop and google or just use the dictionary website. Was just wondering what most people do?

Do you usually know most of the words or ignore a word you were not too familiar with as it's still easy to understand the story even if you skip some words


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Most Helpful Guy

  • In my native language German, I usually don't have to look up anything because I know all the words. The German language has a smaller vocabulary than English and I've always read a lot, so I also just have a big vocabulary in German.

    In English, it does happen from time to time that I come across a word I don't know. This is especially the case because I major in English linguistics and literature. I have to read a lot of literary texts in English, including plays or novels from the 17th and 18th centuries. So when I read a literary text for university, I usually look up words I don't know because it's crucial for my analysis that I really understand what I've read. When I read English novels for fun during my leisure time, I sometimes also jump over words I don't know. However, two advantages I have are that I know French because it's mandatory in Swiss schools to learn it and I know classical Latin because you're not allowed to study any subject from the field of humanities at a Swiss university unless you've passed an exam that proves your proficiency in classical Latin. Together, French and Latin can help quite a lot when confronted with rare or difficult words in English.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Well, if there's a word I don't know, I will look for its meaning on a dictionary.
    But I don't sit with it. And I usually know most of the words.

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What Guys Said 1

  • Only when I'm reading the dictionary... Yes I have read the dictionary and thesaurus like novels at times...

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    • 3mo

      You're serious?

      Uh... isn't that boring?

    • 3mo

      lol sorry I sound silly I meant like you just sit there paging through various sections?

    • 3mo

      Yes, I'm serious. No I don't find it boring. . That is correct, I just read like 50 pages in a row to discover the meaning of various words. I find the thesaurus a lot more interesting because it helps make connections between ideas.

What Girls Said 4

  • My phone's usually within reach, so if there's a word or phrase I'm unfamiliar with, I just look it up on there real quick.

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    • 3mo

      Hmm but on average do you feel there are a lot of words you're not familiar with?

      For example, on one of the pages I'm reading the word, 'dexterous' is mentioned. I've heard it before but had to look up what it actually means.

      It makes me wonder if my vocabulary is weaker than most people even though I am known to be someone who enjoys and was pretty good at English in high school (got an award for receiving the highest mark int he grade)

    • 3mo

      Not really - chalk it up to all the SAT vocab prep I did in high school lol - but I also read a lot of scientific papers and things for work, and have to look up quite a few of the words I come across. It's like another language sometimes.

      I would know "dexterous", but the other day I read "risible" in a book, and I could vaguely guess from the context what it meant, but if you'd asked me to define it, I wouldn't have been able to tell you it means ridiculous or absurd.

      I don't know, but even if it is, it won't be for long if you're taking an interest and looking up any words you're unfamiliar with. So good on you for doing that.

  • I usually highlight the words

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  • No, I assume from context.

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  • Are you a native English speaker?

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