The way that words combine or "collocate" is an important part of how they are used in the English language. Thanks to computers, we now have access to real data about how words are used in written and spoken English. These tools are called concordancers.

Language students should know how to use both a dictionary and a concordancer! These websites can help you check your word combinations so that you can improve the fluency and accuracy of your writing. They are also useful when editing paraphrases.

  • "Just the Word"
    Type in a word and click on "show combinations."  Click within results to see the original texts.
    Just the Word uses the British National Corpus.

  • Corpus of Cotemporary American English (COCA)
    An increasingly popular site. "Enter" the home page, then type in a word and click to discover other words with which it often occurs.