FAQ Online Dictionary

Here you can see all the questions and answers that our users – and possibly also you yourself – have asked (and had answered) about the Online Dictionary. Not found what you are looking for? No problem! Just get in touch directly with our online department at info@pons.com. Your questions will be answered directly. If you have any questions about specific products, please contact our customer service department at kundenservice@pons.de.

Using the PONS Online Dictionary correctly


How is an entry structured?

The PONS Online Dictionary entries are structured in the same way in all languages. The keyword is the uninflected form: infinitive for verbs, nominative singular for nouns and adjectives. Some entries have additionally examples in conjugated or declined forms. Words that belong to more than one word or verb category, e.g. to run as a transitive verb (to run sth – to manage) and as an intransitive verb (to run – the activity) are shown using one or more Roman numerals (I, II, III, …) as in a printed dictionary. Words that have numerous meanings (e.g. run) are shown using one or more Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, …) as in a printed dictionary.

The grey header, where the keyword is, also includes grammatical information about the word, e.g. the word category.  German nouns are accompanied by the genitive and the plural forms, pronunciation and the gender. Irregular verbs are accompanied by the base forms, pronunciation and verb category. This information can vary according to the language and word category. Examples can be found in the entries themselves or under the heading ‘Example’, directly under the search box.

What does the information following the keyword mean?

Information about grammar, style and context usage of the word are in the grey heading following the keyword. For example, information about plural forms, specific forms of conjugation, use of the word in specific situations (formal or informal language, ...), use of the word in a specialised field (IT, medicine, …) or in a particular region (northern/southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland …). Certain regional information is highlighted with a flag, e.g. examples of American, Australian or British English, for Canadian English and French, for European and Brazilian Portuguese as well as German from Austria or Switzerland.

What do the abbreviations in the PONS Online Dictionary mean?

Common abbreviations are used in the entries, e.g. jd, jdn, sb, qq, qu, for jemand, jemanden, somebody, quelqu'un, qualcuno and etw, sth, qc, qu for etwas, something, quelque chose, qualcuno. Roll-over an abbreviation with your mouse and an explanation appears in a small info-box.

How does the pronunciation function work?

You can activate the pronunciation function in the target language for every word. The word is spoken when you tap on the pronunciation symbol (loudspeaker following the word). In some languages there are also regional variations of the word (e.g. Spanish pronunciation vs. Mexican pronunciation). Ensure the loudspeaker on your computer or smartphone is turned on before tapping on the pronunciation symbol.

How do the verb tables work?

There are verb tables showing all the forms of given verbs in many languages included in the PONS Online Dictionary. The table can be found on the right of the entry in the source language for every verb (e.g. singen). Use the ‚more‘ button to call up all the available forms. To get to the verb table in the target language (e.g. cantar), tap on the word in the target language in the entry. You can then see the table for the verb in the target language (cantar).

Giving feedback to the online editorial team


How can I give general feedback on the PONS Online Dictionary?

No dictionary is perfect, that’s why we are always pleased when you send us constructive tips. You can send us your comments, suggestions and criticism via mail to info@pons.com. We would like to thank you in advance for this. If you want to send us feedback about a particular entry, just use the feedback form which can be found by tapping on the envelope symbol at the top on the right above the ‘i’ of every entry in the PONS Online dictionary.

How can I pass on a mistake that I find in an entry?

Please use our feedback form to tell the PONS editorial team about an error or misuse of a dictionary entry. The feedback form can be found by tapping on the envelope symbol at the top on the right above the ‘i’ of every entry in the PONS Online dictionary.

Take part! Mein PONS and OpenDict


What is My PONS?

My PONS is the login section on pons.com. This is where you can see all the information about purchases, your training products or the dictionary entries in OpenDict that you have written and saved. Additionally, you can activate codes from purchased print products here that enable you to use PONS online products free of charge and ad-free. You can create your own personal access to the PONS Online Dictionary and immediately start looking up words in the My PONS section.

What is OpenDict?

OpenDict (Open Dictionary) is our user dictionary, that is integrated in the PONS platform and our own PONS entries. You can also submit entries here or add and enlarge existing entries. You have to register on pons.com first in order to share in OpenDict.

How can I write my own entries in the PONS Online Dictionary?

Open Dictionary (OpenDict) is the part of the PONS Online Dictionary that can be added to by our users. You can either write new entries yourself or add to existing entries if you think there is a translation missing. Every PONS entry can have an OpenDict entry added to it. An OpenDict entry can also be enlarged on by other users. Please note that entries which are against or user terms and conditions will be deleted by PONS.


In order to add an entry into the dictionary you have to be registered and logged in. Tap on the button ‘Compile a new entry’, that is at the bottom of each entry, in order to write a new OpenDict entry. Your name appears when you have written an entry.


The PONS editorial team checks all new entries. This can, in certain circumstances, take some time. Our aim at PONS, is to grow with our users and to ensure that the information we give is professional, correct and user-friendly for everyone. Therefore, we ask for your understanding that we add to, re-structure or otherwise optimize the dictionary entries in OpenDict.

How can I have an entry removed or changed?

You cannot delete any entries yourself, but you can suggest that entries in OpenDict (our user dictionary) are changed or deleted, e.g. when an entry is inappropriate or includes out of date information. You can recognise a user entry by ‘User entry’ written in the grey header following the keyword. You can suggest the deletion of an entry by completing and sending the form that is accessible via the pencil symbol in every OpenDict entry.

About PONS Online Dictionaries


How up to date are the PONS Online Dictionaries?

Many of our online dictionaries are regularly updated by our editorial team. The many user entries (OpenDict) also mean that our essence is permanently being extended. Unfortunately, we cannot offer this service for small dictionaries or languages with few learners. If you want to write dictionary entries, inform yourself under ‘How can I write my own entries in the PONS Online Dictionary?’

Why isn’t there a PONS Online Dictionary in the language I need?

If there isn’t a dictionary for a language you need, it is because we haven’t yet found an economical way to provide this dictionary. We regularly check the possibilities of including new languages and combinations of languages in our online programme.

Why is the PONS Online Dictionary smaller in some languages?

In some languages there is only a small amount of data in the PONS Online Dictionary available. These dictionaries include the essentials from the glossaries of our printed travel dictionaries. We believe that it is better to offer something, however small, rather than nothing. In our comprehensive dictionaries, that are based on our printed dictionaries which are regularly being extended by our editorial team, you also have the possibility to send us suggestions of words that should be included or to write your own entries for missing words (How can I write my own entries in the PONS Online Dictionary?).

How to use the PONS Online Dictionary search function


How does the search work?

The search function in the PONS Online Dictionary finds single words or common word combinations or phrases. Searches for complete sentences or texts are not successful. Please use the PONS Text Translation System for this.

Umlauts and other diacritical signs such as ä, ö, ü, é, á, ú, ã, õ, ą, ę, ć, ç, ł, ñ, ń, ś, ź, ż can be typed in as follows: a, o, u, e, a, u, c, l, n, s, z. If the PONS Online Dictionary cannot find a direct equivalent of the search word, an orthographically similar word will be given. For example, Müsli as well as musli is found or when you search for cafe you are given (in the English as well as the German dictionary) the entry café (for English-German) as well as Café (for German-English).

There is also a virtual keyboard that includes the special characters in the language being searched. If you tap on the keyboard symbol in the search box and then on the appropriate flag, you can insert the symbol you are looking for that isn’t available on your own keyboard. Particularly useful: you can find the sounds of the Chinese Pinyin transcription when you go on ‚AltGR’ after you have selected a language combination with Chinese and tapped on the Pinyin flag.

Next to the search box there is a list where you can select the language direction for your search. Using the arrow, select a particular language direction, e.g. German into Spanish. Whereas the circular double arrow shows that both directions will be searched at the same time, e.g. Spanish-German as well as German-Spanish. If you select the language direction on the start page or general dictionary page (e.g. https://en.pons.com), it is saved so that next time you use the dictionary the same language direction will automatically be selected.


If you start by typing in an URL where a particular language direction is stated, e.g. URL https://en.pons.com/translate/german-spanish , this setting (search German -> Spanish) will be used when the dictionary is used again, even if the search mode has been changed in the meantime.

Ads in the PONS Online Dictionary


Why are there ads in the PONS Online Dictionary?

The PONS Online Dictionary is a free product with editorial content that has been compiled by numerous colleagues. The content is made available to our users free of charge, but we have to make money from it. This is done through ads, which means for every user that uses the ad-blocker we don’t earn any money. This is the same as if we would give away our dictionaries in book shops. Unfortunately, this isn’t economically viable. Therefore, we have a co-operation with a partner who ensures that when ad-blockers are used, ads are still shown. We still don’t earn much money, but it helps us to cover our costs and cushion the loss caused by users using ad-blockers. Perhaps you now understand why we cannot and don’t want to refrain from using ads.  To use the PONS Online Dictionary ad-free see Is there an ad-free PONS Online Dictionary?

Is there an ad-free PONS Online Dictionary?

We understand that the ads in the PONS Online Dictionary disturb our users. In order to be able to keep the website it has to be financially viable. If we removed the ads, we would have to charge our users. We hope we have found a compromise so that our website can continue free of charge. Nevertheless, if you want to use the PONS Online Dictionary ad-free, you can purchase our printed dictionary that contains a code so that you can register online and use the PONS Online Dictionary ad-free. Please note that this ad-free use is restricted to the language combination that you have purchased. You can enter the code in the log-in section of Mein PONS.

What is the difference between the PONS Online Dictionary and the fee-based app?

The difference between our fee-based apps and the PONS Online Dictionary are not in the basics of the vocabulary. The free online dictionary is the most up to date and is kept up to date by our users and our editorial team.  User entries are checked by our editorial team. PONS Online Dictionary is financed by ads and can only be used online, as the name suggests. The fee-based app is not constantly being updated, but it can be used offline and it is ad-free.

How can I have inappropriate ads removed?

We have tried our hardest that our partners do not sell advertising space for products and services that are on our prepared blacklist, e.g. for weapons, gambling, tobacco products, spirits, etc. Unfortunately, ads still appear which are against our beliefs and from which we distance ourselves. If there is an ad which you find offensive, please tell us (if possible with a screenshot and also tell us the language you were searching) to info@pons.com.

Add-ons for the PONS Online Dictionary


How do I get the ‘intelligent online dictionary’?

The intelligent online dictionary is an extra function for desktops. It can be used when you purchase a print product with an online code. The intelligent dictionary is ad-free and includes more information, pictures, videos and text translation examples as well as translations and examples for each word. You can enter the code from your purchased print product in the log-in section of Mein PONS.

How do I export words from the PONS Online Dictionary into the PONS Vocabulary Trainer?

You can transfer words directly from your PONS Online Dictionary into the PONS Vocabulary Trainer. Tap on the plus icon (+) in your dictionary following the translation and then on ‘Preselect for export to vocabulary trainer’. The word is then saved in a list with other words from the dictionary that have already been collected. The words can then all be imported at once into the Vocabulary Trainer, you have to select the language and the target unit. If you have not yet set up any units in the language, the entries will be saved in the standard unit ‘My lessons’.

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