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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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Information Technology-Related Verbs

There are many verbs that are important to know in order to understand information technology. In this unit, you will see many of these verbs in use.

The following verbs are among the most important and common verbs for discussing information technology-related topics.

calculate (verb) To perform mathematical operations, such as adding and subtracting numbers

I use my spreadsheet to calculate how much money I spend each month. It is very useful to have computer software that can do mathematical calculations.

A spreadsheet with calculations
A spreadsheet with calculations

command (verb) To give an order or instruction to the computer

The programmer has to command the computer to do many things.

A DOS prompt and command
A DOS command

control (verb) To be in charge of something; to make the decisions about how something works

An operating system, such as Microsoft Windows or Macintosh OS X, is used to control your computer. These types of operating systems control the interaction between the software and hardware on your computer.

edit (verb) To change or alter the written word or an image such as a photo or a drawing

WordPerfect and Word are common types of word-processing software that you can use to edit or change your writing.

Editing a Word document
Editing a Word document

filter (verb) To show only the wanted parts of a group

A database management system can filter a list of customers, so you only see customers who bought something last month. Other software can filter incoming e-mail so you don’t see junk mail.

Junk mail in an e-mail program
Unfiltered e-mail

install (verb) To copy a program onto a computer

The operating system lets you install software onto your computer so you can use it.

manipulate (verb) To change or alter information or data

When you manipulate information or data on your computer, you can create something new from an old photo or document.

A photo being edited
Manipulating a photograph in Photoshop

program (verb) To make a set of instructions that tell the computer what to do

It is possible to program the computer to respond to spoken commands.

provide (verb) To give or supply something

There are several companies that will provide an Internet cable connection. They can give you unlimited access to the Internet and e-mail.

run (verb) To begin a program

In order to run a program, you must first install the software. Then the program will start when you click on the icon.

A program being installed
Running a program

search (verb) To look for specific information

There are many ways to search for information, but one of the best methods is to look for information using a search engine like Google or AltaVista.

Google search engine
A search engine

send (verb) To direct a message or file to another place by using a computer and an Internet connection

My teacher will send the assignment to me by e-mail.

Sending an e-mail message
Sending an e-mail message

simulate (verb) To make something that is similar to real life

Many computer games simulate real-life situations, such as driving a race car or playing a card game.

Simulating a card game
Simulating a card game

write (verb) To copy information to a CD, file, or disk

When you write something onto a disk, it is copied from your computer file to a disk.

Writing a file
Writing a file