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TIP #52 - This tip was sent on the week: 7th - 13th Aug, 2005

This tip applies to the following programs:

  • ESI Professional

How to Add A New Word to the Dictionaries? - Part IV - Adding Phrases


We are constantly receiving questions such as: “Can I add new words to the Dictionary?” and, “Will my added words also work in ESI?”


We have recently started to receive variations of these same questions, such as: “Can I add whole phrases to the dictionary?” and “ Will ESI be able to use the phrases I added? “


Yes, you can do all that! AND Yes, ESI will use your added entries!


There is an important caveat to be added here, however: ESI will use your added entries if, and only if, their parts of speech are correct!


This is especially true of phrasal entries. When you add a phrase, you have to take special care assigning it a correct part of speech. Otherwise, it might end up as being completely useless from ESI’s standpoint. It will be visible from the dictionary, but ESI will perhaps be unable to read it because its part of speech is incorrect and won’t fit the syntax of your text.


This is something that can be learned only with practice and study. Sometimes, it is very difficult to know which part of speech fits better inside a particular phrase. If you consult a regular dictionary, you will find that phrasal entries are not assigned parts of speech. These are given only for single-word entries.


The corollary for this week’s tip: Consult Word Magic’s Dictionary. Our dictionary will always give you the correct part of speech of a phrase, be it a phrasal verb, a noun phrase, an adjectival phrase, an adverbial locution or simply a ‘standalone’ Phrasal Expression, which we classify under “Phrases & Sayings” and identify it in the Parts of Speech Box with
the symbol Int.


You may now say, “How can I consult TDT or ESI’s Dictionary if I am trying to ADD A NEW phrase? Obviously, I will not be able to find it there!”


Sure enough, you will not find the NEW phrase that you are trying to add. But you will find lots of similar phrases and constructions that you can use to guide you. Use whatever similar entry you find in our dictionary as a guide and you will –with a little patience- surely learn how to select the proper part of speech of ANY new phrase that you intend to add. This will also serve you as a practical drill in your own native language plus enhance your intuitive understanding of the laws underlying Syntax.


In our next Tips we will delve a little deeper into this little-known issue using plenty of examples.

NOTE: To view an index of all tips click here. To download the complete collection of tips click here.

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