Word phrase search engine for GRE?
October 5, 2014 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way I can search for a word and then be given the most commonly used words before and after it?

I deal with hard vocab best by recalling their use in short cliche/idiomatic phrases.

For example: Callow

Before I remember the meaning of callow I immediately recall "callow youth" from my independent reading. From there I'm able to work it out.

I have already tried all of the top idiom/cliche/phrase dictionaries and none of them pass the "search: callow / return: callow youth" test.
posted by laptolain to Education (3 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Collocations are what you're looking for. You can use the Corpus of Contemporary American English for this purpose.
posted by wintersweet at 6:26 PM on October 5, 2014 [9 favorites]

Best answer: (For example, type in "callow" and search. It'll show you that "youth" is the top word found in collocation with "callow." Click on "youth" for the real sentences.)

Another option might be a learner's dictionary. The online Longman one is pretty good, but I'm not sure at what point your list of words might be beyond its range.
posted by wintersweet at 6:28 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: wintersweet that is exactly what I'm looking for it works just how I wanted

Thank you
posted by laptolain at 6:31 PM on October 5, 2014

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