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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

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DOette

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b_adger

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel0457

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rlando
  • 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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susan567051

this seems like a pleonasme to me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Z814doUD

susan- what is "pleonasm"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pakjim

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karen49841

so, a redundancy?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rlando
  • 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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