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Hi,

I was looking at my Collins Cobuild Compact English Learner's Dictionary for the word 'exeperience' and came upon a sentence given as an example and it is this:

Experience has taught me caution.

Now, let us concentrate on the word 'caution' if you will.

The definition I have when I look up the same dictionary is this:

Caution is great care taken in order to avoid danger.

If we plug in the definition to the first sentence, it seems it will look like this:

Experience has taught me great care taken in order to avoid danger.

As you can see, it makes little sense. What went wrong? How should I redirect my approach in reading somethings like definitions?
Comments  
Experience has taught me to take care to avoid danger.

You just needed to make it a sensible sentence instead of forcing two unrelated definitions together in an unatural way.
Thank you.

How would a person be forcing two unrelated definitions together in an unnatural way when the only definition the dictionary I have, which is Collins Cobuild Compact English Learner's Dictionary, gave that is sensible is "Caution is great care taken in order to avoid the danger"?

Definition 1: Experience: N-U Experience is used to refer to the past events, knowledge, and feelings that make up someone's life or character.

Definition 2: Caution: N-U Caution is great care taken in order to avoid the danger.

I just mix and matched what seem to be obvious substitutes.
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IMO:

You don't listen enough to the common usage. You're just trying to act rationally, but you don't listen to what happens with the real language, with the real speech of educated speakers or writers.
Because those two definitions were not written with the purpose of being placed directly together. Use a dictionary, yes, but use the information rather than the precise wording. Language is not a jigsaw puzzle with a few fixed parts that slot together perfectly.
Put it this way: I created this sentence using the dictionary definitions of the words. Can you understand it? I wouldn't have a clue what this was talking about ...it just doesn't make sense even though these are the dictionary definitions.

"A pronoun used by a speaker or writer to refer to himself or herself past tense of go preposition or adverb indicating the direction, destination or position of somebody or something the definite article retail business that sells consumer merchandise and sometimes services."

The original sentence is simply "I went to the shop."
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Native speakers do not speak using definitions. Why do you expect the definition to fit in the sentence? What counts is whether the word, not its definition, fits in the sentence or not. I think we can agree on that.Emotion: smile
Add sth a bit off the topic [<:o)]

In China, we have a similar expression among doctors- experience teaches people to be more careful-which means when you're a young doctor, you can handle with the cases quickly without much thought, but as time goes by, you'll tend to hesitate much more before you're sure your decision is the most appropriate. It's not uncommon to find some senior doctors are sometimes very uneasy with their decisions.
yes, rather.
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