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    Frequently Asked Questions

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    About Oxford Learner's Dictionaries


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    Using the dictionaries and grammar materials


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    • What's new on Oxford Learner's Dictionaries for 2020?

      The following are all new for 2020:

      • Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 10th edition: Our Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary has been fully edited and updated for the 10th edition, including new Oxford 3000/5000 icons at headwords and senses, new OPAL (academic vocabulary) icons at headwords, new words, and new usage notes.
      • Topic Dictionaries: Would you like lists of topic-related vocabulary, like Animals or Health? We've updated all of our Topic Dictionaries to help you expand your vocabulary.
      • Text Checker: Check the CEFR level of the vocabulary in any text with our new and improved Text Checker.
      • Design: The design of the site has been updated to give it a fresh, new look, and the top toolbar has been improved to make it easier for you to navigate around the site.
      • Learn & Practise Grammar (Beta): We have added some free grammar reference and practice materials. Please try the sample content and let us know what you think.

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    • What can I find in the Resources section?

      The new Resources section includes a wide variety of useful tools, worksheets and lesson plans for improving dictionary skills or to help with vocabulary, writing or speaking. The resources are grouped under the relevant dictionaries, with an additional section for free resources. If you don’t have access to OALD Premium, you will only see the free resources. If you have OALD Premium or have purchased any of our other titles, you will see your purchased title(s) listed on the Resources home page.

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    • What can I find in the Word Lists section?

      The Word Lists section includes links to our Oxford Word lists, My Word lists and Topics. More information on each of these resources can be found below.

      Oxford Learner's Word Lists

      In January 2019 we announced the release of our new and updated word lists. Please visit the Word Lists page, where you can find links to updated and new word lists, as well as more information about each one:


      The updated Oxford 3000, the Oxford 5000 and the Oxford Phrase List are all aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages to guide you on the most important words and phrases to learn at each level.


      The following features are available on the new word list pages:

      • listen to British English and North American English pronunciations of the words and phrases
      • see part of speech of all words
      • search within each word list using the ‘Find’ search box
      • filter how you view the current list, for example by CEFR level or by OPAL sublist, using the ‘Filter’ button
      • download and print PDF versions of the lists so you can consult or study them offline, using the ‘Download’ button.

      The new OPAL word lists are linked to entries in the Oxford Learner's Dictionary of Academic English, and the OPAL symbols within entries in this dictionary link to the OPAL lists. For example, see the academic dictionary entry for the noun point.


      The updated Oxford 3000, the Oxford 5000, and the Oxford Phrase List are not currently linked to entries in any dictionary. We will add this functionality later.


      Academic Word List Academic Word List symbols still appear in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Academic English and the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. These link to the existing Academic Word List pages.


      My Word Lists

      With OALD Premium access, you can create your own word lists using the ‘Add to My Word lists’ stars inside OALD entries. Then you can test yourself on the meanings of the items in each list.


      Topics

      Build your topic vocabulary with these mini-dictionaries: groups of words related to common subject areas. This learning tool contains eighteen main topics, each containing many sublists that you can use to expand your vocabulary.

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    • What dictionary and reference materials can I find on Oxford Learner's Dictionaries?

      Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries is home to seven dictionary and grammar reference titles. Some of these are available for free, and some are on our Premium site. The Premium content and features are available either with a print book or as a digital-only purchase. For more information on free/Premium features, click here.

      Here is a list of what you can find on this site:

      • Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 10th edition (OALD): a monolingual dictionary for advanced-level learners of British or American English
      • Oxford Advanced American Dictionary (OAAD): a monolingual dictionary for advanced-level learners of American English
      • Practical English Usage (PEU): a comprehensive guide to English grammar and vocabulary usage. Go to PEU home to find out more.

      • Das Oxford Schulwörterbuch: a bilingual German-English/English-German dictionary for German-speaking learners of English. Find out more about Das Oxford Schulwörterbuch here.
      • Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English (OLDAE): a monolingual dictionary covering academic (not general) English. Find out more about the dictionary on the OLDAE home page.
      • Oxford Collocations Dictionary: a learner's dictionary of collocations, showing which words go together in English. Find out more on the Collocations home page.
      • Learn & Practise Grammar (Beta): a collection of free grammar reference pages and practice exercises for learners of English. Find out more on the Learn & Practise Grammar home page.

      Other features such as our new and updated CEFR-levelled word lists, our Word of the Month and other blog posts, and the Grammar and Resources page are free to access.

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    • How can I switch between different dictionaries and grammar materials?

      Use the selector to the left of the search box near the top of every page to switch from one set of content to another.

      • Select ENGLISH to search for words in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD)
      • Select AMERICAN ENGLISH to search for words in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary (OAAD)
      • Select PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE to search for entries in Practical English Usage (PEU)
      • Select GERMAN-ENGLISH to search for German headwords in Das Oxford Schulwörterbuch
      • Select ENGLISH-GERMAN to search for English headwords in Das Oxford Schulwörterbuch
      • Select ACADEMIC ENGLISH to search for entries in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English (OLDAE)
      • Select COLLOCATIONS to search for entries in the Oxford Collocations Dictionary

      Your last choice will be remembered, so when you come back to the site next time, the same content will be selected by default.

      Please note that the selector will only show the content you have access to. If you don’t have access to OALD Premium, you will only see English and American English in the selector. If you have OALD Premium or have purchased any of our other titles, you will also see your purchased title(s) listed.

      You can also click on DICTIONARIES in the top toolbar. This contains links to the individual home pages for each of the sets of content listed above.

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    • How do I look up words and grammar entries?

      Choose the content you want to search in from the selector to the left of the search box. Start typing the word you want to look up. Words will appear under the search box as you type. You can either select one of these suggested words or finish typing the word you want and press ‘Enter’ or the Search button. The best-matching entry will be returned. When you are using our dictionaries, you can look in the Other results list to see other close matches for your search word.

      If you're using a desktop browser, when you're reading a dictionary entry and don't know the meaning of a word in it, double click on the unknown word to look it up in the same dictionary. Please note, this feature is not available on mobile devices.

      For detailed help with looking up entries in Practical English Usage, please refer to the PEU quick start guide.

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    • I don't know how to spell a word. How can I look it up?

      Don't worry. Spell the word as best you can in the search box. A spellchecker will suggest a list of words that you might be looking for based on what you've typed. Choose your word from that list to go to the entry.

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    • What other information can I find out about a word?

      Many dictionary entries include synonyms (= words that mean the same thing) and opposites. Key symbols also indicate whether words and meanings are part of the Oxford 3000/5000, or OPAL.

      In addition, there are often Usage Notes, which contain lots of different types of information about how the word is used in context, for example the grammar of the word or what other words should be used with it.

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    • How can I find out about the symbols used in dictionary entries?

      Symbols and labels used in our dictionaries are explained in this Guide to Symbols and Labels.

      Back to FAQ Contents.


    • How do the My Word Lists tests work?

      With OALD Premium access, you can create your own word lists using the ‘Add to my word lists’ stars inside OALD entries. Then you can test yourself on the meanings of the items in each list.

      You can choose to take a test from the My Word Lists home page or from an open word list. Your test will include all the items on your selected word list, in random order. You will be shown a definition and will need to enter the corresponding headword, idiom or phrasal verb. Your answer will be marked immediately when you press ‘Submit’. Select ‘Next’ to proceed to the next question in the test, or ‘Quit’ if you want to leave the test without saving your progress.

      Sometimes, when you press ‘Submit’ and your answer is marked wrong, you will see an ‘I got this right’ button. It is possible that your answer may in fact be correct but has been marked wrong because it does not exactly match the dictionary form. For example, you may have entered the answer be the cat's whiskers which does not exactly match the dictionary form be the cat's whiskers/pyjamas but is nevertheless correct. In this case, you could use the ‘I got this right’ button to have your answer marked right. (Note that the ‘I got this right’ button only appears when you have incorrectly answered a question on an idiom or phrasal verb that contains punctuation, such as brackets or slashes.)

      If you do not know an answer, you can choose to skip the question. If you press ‘Skip’, the correct answer will be shown and you will receive a score of zero for that question.

      When you reach the end of a test, you will be shown how many of the total number of questions you answered correctly. You will also see this score as a percentage next to your word list on the My Word Lists home page.

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    • What content is free to access and what is not?

      You can access any entry in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary completely for free. The full A-Z content of both dictionaries is available on the free site, in addition to:


      There are a number of extra features available as part of OALD Premium, including the iWriter and iSpeaker. OALD Premium can be accessed with a purchase of some editions of the print dictionary, or as a digital-only purchase. You can find out more OALD Premium features here and buy an access code here.

      Practical English Usage is not available on the free site, but you can find a list of free sample entries on the PEU home page. Full access to Practical English Usage and the accompanying Diagnostic Tests is available with the purchase of a book + access code, or as a digital-only purchase.

      Das Oxford Schulwörterbuch is also available on the free site. It is accessed with a code that comes with the print edition of the dictionary. Find out more here.

      There are sample entries from the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English and the Oxford Collocations Dictionary on the free site, but a purchase is required to access the full dictionaries.

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    • I have an access code: how do I redeem it?

      If you have an access code for a premium product, select ‘Redeem’ from the top of any page. You will be redirected to the Oxford University Press site account.oup.com/redeem where you can enter your access code in the middle of the page. In order to complete the process you will need to sign in to your account if you already have an Oxford ID, or register to create a new account if you do not.

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    • I have already redeemed a code for a premium product, how do I access the premium content?

      If you have already successfully redeemed a code on account.oup.com/redeem, then use the ‘Sign in’ button at the top of any page of Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries to sign in with your Oxford ID. You will then be able to access all your premium content, for example by selecting your dictionary in the search box selector to look up a word, or by going to the Resources home page to access any of the premium resources you have access to.

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    • How do I see what premium products I have access to?

      Once you are signed in, click or tap on your initials in the top right-hand corner of any page and select ‘Go to my account’. You will be redirected to the Oxford University Press site account.oup.com/myProfile/learningMaterial where you can see all your premium products listed with details about your length of access.

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    • How can I contact the Oxford Learner's Dictionaries team?

      Are you having problems logging in, problems with your account, or problems accessing our premium features? Do you have a question about the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary or our other dictionaries and grammar & usage content? If so, please contact Customer Support:

      By email: eltdict.help@oup.com

      By telephone: +44 (0)1865 521498

      The Customer Support team is available 08:00 - 17:00 GMT, Monday to Friday.

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