6

When I look up a dictionary, the example sentences always use small letters at the beginning of the sentence.

For examples:

exacerbate

make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse: the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem | the forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain.

Why not using capital letters in the first letter of "make", "the" and "the" above? Isn't it the rule of sentence?

Or it's just how dictionary does, so there is no need for an explanation?

  • Its online version of the entry is here: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/exacerbate. If you click "More example sentences", you will see some full sentences in the examples. – Damkerng T. Dec 17 '15 at 13:27
  • It's just a convention. No need for an explanation. – snailcar Dec 17 '15 at 22:00
  • You should correct your title: Why do dictionaries ... , not: Who do dictionaries ... – rogermue Dec 18 '15 at 2:31
  • @CoffeDay please do not add the "grammar" tag to the posts. – M.A.R. Dec 18 '15 at 8:21
3

I cannot speak for all dictionaries, but the phrases the dictionary gave you don't necessarily start a sentence, so sentence caps are unnecessary. As JR said, the dictionary is showing an example usage, not an example sentence.

e.g.

The fire lasted for four days; the forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain.

  • 2
    Exactly right; the dictionary is showing an example usage, not necessarily an example sentence. It could be part of a longer sentence: Inflation was rampant, and the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem – J.R. Dec 17 '15 at 18:30
  • Why the downvote? – Nihilist_Frost Dec 17 '15 at 20:44
  • I don't mean to delve into this but I see no reason to downvote this answer. – Alejandro Dec 17 '15 at 21:18

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