Print

French

Using a dictionary

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Next

A bilingual dictionary can help you in your revision, but looking up words effectively takes some practice.

Surviving without a dictionary

While dictionaries are useful for revision, they are not allowed in the actual exam, so it is good to have some strategies for coping without a dictionary.

Sensible guesswork

This means that you should have strategies for understanding French without using a dictionary. For example, it is often possible to make a sensible guess at the meaning of a word if you understand the rest of the sentence: 'Dans son jardin il y avait des poissons dans un petit bassin.' (bassin = pond)

More than one way to say something

Strategies also exist for communicating in French without a dictionary. This is because there is usually more than one way of expressing an idea. For example, if you wanted to say that someone was single but you did not know how to say 'elle est célibataire', you could use the alternatives 'elle n'est pas mariée' or 'elle n'a pas de mari.'

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Next

Back to Exam Skills index

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.