Personal Examples

Personal examples are typically complete sentences that use the item text in some sort of personal context. In other words, they are sentences that have particular significance to you. For instance, if you have a sister who is a lawyer and you're trying to learn the vocabulary for professions in Spanish then you might add the following personal example to the lexical item abogado...

Mi hermana trabaja mucho. Ella es abogada.

In English this means "My sister works a lot. She is a lawyer." Or you may be trying to learn law vocabulary so you add the following example to the lexical item pleito...

Siempre mi hermana está trabajando. Tiene al menos 12 pleitos en curso al mismo tiempo.

This means, "My sister is always working. She has at least 12 ongoing lawsuits at the same time." In both examples you are making personalized memory associations with the lexical items. This helps you to recall them when you need to because thinking of your sister and her profession now makes you think of these words as well.

Personal examples also give you a model of how to use the lexical item in conversation or writing. In this way they help build grammar skills. For instance, in the first example notice that it's not...

Mi hermana trabaja mucho. Ella es un abogada. (wrong)

Unlike English, Spanish doesn't use an indefinite article in front of the subject when associating a person to a profession. Therefore, adding un is wrong. But what if you didn't know that and added the personal example incorrectly? This is why it's best to have a teacher check any personal examples that you have doubts about. Fortunately, Personal Lexicon can help you track which examples have been verified and which ones haven't. When the verify personal example option is turned on (the default for all lexicons) then you will see either a checkmark or a red circle next to each personal example. A checkmark means the personal example has been verified. When in edit mode, clicking on the checkmark or red circle will flip the status of the personal example from unverified to verified or vice versa.

For time to time you can easily gather up the unverified examples to bring to your teacher. To do this, simply search for lexical items with unverified examples and then print out those items. Using print preferences you can configure the program to only print each item's unverified examples instead all the information associated with the item.

As you enter a personal example, you will notice the item text gets underlined as soon as the program recognizes it. Any valid form of the item text will be underlined, meaning any conjugation that you've entered for the item, any inflected form as defined by the inflection rules of the lexical type, or any derivation of the item text through the use of optional text brackets. By underlining the item text within the example you can see at a glace where it's used. More importantly, underlined text means that this personal example can be used to build an example usage test.

When the item text within the personal example isn't recognized then check that the form you've used is correct. If you've used a conjugation of the item then make sure that conjugation has been defined properly for the item. If the item text is used in a plural or other inflected form (such as gender inflection) then check that the inflection rules have been properly setup for the lexical type.

It might be that the item text in the example is inflected in an irregular way such that there is no standard inflection rule that can be defined to recognize it. In this circumstance you can mark the item text in the example manually. To do this, select the relevant text and press the F1 key. This should underline the selected text. To clear any manually selected text hit the ESC key.