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Can anyone advise on resource that would list verbs most commonly associated with particular words/nouns? I found a website for descriptive words, but haven’t been successful with verbs.

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  • Apologies. This was my first question and I genuinely believed it was related to word usage. I wasn’t aware that resources requests are not allowed. Thank you – Petra Jan 27 '18 at 18:35
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    +1 for courtesy. I'm moving your post to our Meta because it's on-topic there and because we have questions there that aggregate such things' answers. – tchrist Jan 27 '18 at 18:54
  • Are you looking for things like to curry favor or more like to jump the shark? – KarlG Jan 27 '18 at 20:54
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    I think you may find useful the Free Online Oxford Collocation Dictionary for Advanced English Learners. freecollocation.com – user067531 Jan 27 '18 at 21:09
  • @KarlG the reasons for my question are rather less poetic than your examples suggest. Simply feel the need to use more colourful vocabulary when expressing myself (mainly at work, but also outside of the office) – Petra Jan 27 '18 at 22:21
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    @user159691 that’s the one!!! Many thanks – Petra Jan 27 '18 at 22:22
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What you're actually asking for here is something that shows common collocations. Most online corpora that offer searches provide some mechanism for determining these collocates.

One such resource which is commonly used is the Corpus of Contemporary American English, normally abbreviated COCA for short. This is a resource that requires some short learning time to get the most from it, but it’s very good for this purpose and many others.

See this answer for other corpus suggestions.

  • I see, collocations was the word I should have used in first place. Huge amount of new useful vocabulary at COCA. Thank you! – Petra Jan 27 '18 at 22:39
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One very particular method is a corpus search. Google Books, as part of its Ngrams search, allows you to search with (very limited) wildcards.

For example, to see the most common words that follow 'curry', search there for,

curry *

You'll get the history for 'curry powder', 'curry favor', 'curry and', 'curry favour', etc. Notice that it returns any collocation, a few like 'curry and' are probably not what you are thinking of.

There's also a way to restrict the wildcard to parts of speech:

curry *_NOUN

See the Ngrams help page on how to use this. It's not as general as you might hope, but can certainly get you something.

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