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  5. "J'ai besoin d'un dictionnair…

"J'ai besoin d'un dictionnaire pour y chercher un mot."

Translation:I need a dictionary to look up a word.

July 22, 2020



Is the y needed to indicate looking for the word in the dictionary (looking there).


Yes. Actually you shouldn't need y to translate the english sentence as it would mean in it, which is not in the original sentence.


I debated mentally, and decided to translate y. I submitted

  • I need a dictionary to look up a word in it.

It was accepted. In real life I probably wouldn't say "in it". But it seemed appropriate for a French lesson.


Yes, the literal translation would be something like "I have need of a dictionary, to search (in) it for a word". So there should be something in the English translation to indicate looking in the dictionary. The English is translated from the original French expression, not the other way around.


What's the difference between to search and to look up?

  • 2340

If I search the dictionary for the word "letter", I'll probably encounter it on the first page, in the description of A (first letter of the alphabet).

If I look up "letter", I'll open the dictionary somewhere in the middle, work my way towards the entry "letter" and I will find that "letter" has several different meanings.


this seems like a pleonasme to me


susan- what is "pleonasm"?


Un pléonasme est une répétition, dans un même énoncé, de mots ayant le même sens. Prévoir à l'avance

Comparer entre eux

Collaborer ensemble

Monopole exclusif

Une heure de temps

Panacée universelle

Apanage exclusif

Reculer en arrière

Prédire l'avenir

Monter en haut

Descendre en bas

(From the app Améliorez votre français !)


so, a redundancy?

  • 2340

Yes, a "redundancy in wording". But redundancy doesn't sound negative. If something is a pleonasm, it is by definition unnecessarily wordy, which makes it harder to follow. It's something you typically want to avoid, especially in writing. Although in some places redundancy is desirable, e.g. in speeches.

In this case, it's not exactly a pleonasm. "Un mot" implies it's "one word", while you could also need a dictionary to look up e.g. twenty words. So the second part is not really redundant. And the first part also isn't. I could also look up a word in an encyclopedia or online instead of in a dictionary.

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