English LanguageStart - Smart Words

English Learning & Teaching Resources

It is extremely difficult to find examples of language related sites in the "world wide web", which are not completely plastered with annoying ads. This applies especially for resources related to English vocabulary, synonyms, and grammar! The useful sites listed below are not 100% advertisement free, but use it (if at all) very discreetly - so far (March 2009).

Dialects of the English Language

Some may not like to read the headline - but it is reality ;-)

World Wide Words » Information about international English from a British perspective
A large list of articles, book reviews, topical words, explanation of words that are relatively new and which often have not yet reached the dictionaries, a well-organized list of links to other word sites, etc.

American Slang » from the past (the just elapsed century)
In the early 60's, as today, young people had a different vocabulary and it, as today, drove their parents nuts. A collection of slang words that were used in the sixties and earlier eras.

United Kingdom English » for the American Novice
Sixth Edition, July 1983 "English" to "American" Dictionary. The items in this list were collected while the author lived in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1983.

British Slang » The English-to-American Dictionary
Based on the book (and by the same author): "The Septic's Companion: A Mercifully Brief Guide to British Culture and Slang".

Popular Lists

Gov-Speak » A Guide to Government Acronyms & Abbreviations
This list was created in April 2000 for the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis Library. The author is no longer affiliated with that institution, but has received authorization to re-create and provide continued maintenance for this web page.

Word-Smith » A.Word.A.Day (AWAD) » Educational resources » Vocabulary, Dictionary, Synonyms, etc.
A mailing list: a new word send out via email every weekday, containing some "sponsors' messages" in the non-premium version.

English Resources: Grammar

Hyper-Grammar » a body of rules specifying how phrases and sentences are constructed
An online grammar course at the University of Ottawa's Writing Centre. Covers the basic principles of English grammar: Parts of Speech, Punctuation, Spelling, etc.

Guide to Grammar and Writing » Capital Community College - Connecticut
An online grammar course which covers all sorts of language and grammar topics.

English Resources: Dictionary, Etymology and Thesaurus

Etymology » Online Dictionary » The Online Etymology Dictionary is a dictionary that describes the origins of English language words.

Word-Web » Dictionary and word finder » States on the first page "no annoying adverts". There You GO!!!

ARTFL » University of Chicago » Webster's Dictionary + Roget's Thesaurus + French - English Dictionary + French Conjugator. They use historical editions - but don't be fooled: language is not developing as fast as the internet, older editions are still useful.

One-Look » Reverse Dictionary » The description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word - the Reverse Dictionary will find the word you need (try "expression for emotion").

Classical English ↔ English Dictionary

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) » also with Synonyms, Etymology, Word Usage, ... » concerning the content: simply the best (there is also a CD-ROM available through the usual channels).

Cambridge » Advanced Learner's Dictionary » Also with phrasal words, idioms, etc.

Ask Oxford » Oxford Dictionaries » of English, Quotations, Experts, First Names, etc.

Classical English ↔ German | French| Spanish | etc. Dictionary

Dictionary » LEO (Link Everything Online) » Comprehensive German < > English (French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese) online dictionary.

Dictionary » http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de
Beolingus - Dictionary of the TU Chemnitz (German ↔ English)

Now the pages with superfluous and distracting ads, but still more in middle range of what is considered normal in this industry. Not that I consider advertisement as a total evil - but there is a limit ... (and a plethora of adverts certainly affects the readability and loading time of the page).

http://thesaurus.reference.com » Thesaurus » A service of ask.com and a dictionary is only one click away.

http://www.merriam-webster.com » Synonyms » and also a Dictionary.

http://www.englishforums.com » English Forum » for FAQ.

The Universal Link List for Writers

Writing Links & Links for Writers » Dictionary, Grammar, Etymology, Usage, ...

Online Translators

Microsoft » Online Translation

Google » Online Translation



Homonyms » a few hundred - on 1 page
A list of words, that are pronounced the same, but are spelled differently, and that have different meanings. Example sentences are provided for each homonym.
The intriguing part about homonyms is that they are the raw material for puns, a truly sublime form of humor.


Electronic Books » http://www.gutenberg.org
The project gutenberg ("good mountain") is the first and largest individual accumulation of free electronic books or eBooks (initiated by Michael Hard, 1971). Contains texts (multilingual) and hearing books (predominantly computer-generated) for download:


  • Bertrand Arthur William Russell
  • John Locke
  • Isaac Newton
  • US Government:
  • Copyright Basics
  • United States Congressional Address Book
  • Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Theodor Mommsen
  • Albert Einstein
  • Confucius
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Leonardo da Vinci