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As I did before and based on the suggestions, I do google to find matches for the sentences/phrases I'm doubtful about. Some times, although sentences seem to be correct, there are no (or few) matches for them. For example, for "is disagreeable at first glance", there is one exact match in the Google Books. So, my straight question is should I rely on such results?

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    We have special place for questions like this, which are about how to use the site, rather than how to English: [meta]. We'll move this question there so we can discuss it. The short answer is no, Google is not the ultimate authority. There are better ones. But the important thing you're doing, or have learned to do, is research your doubts for yourself, first, before asking others to help you. That's so great and so rare. Now you have a great method for deciding whether to ask about a phrase here: if you looked in Google Books and didn't get many hits, ask away! – Dan Bron May 10 '15 at 13:08
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    (Having said that, please do bear in mind that the likelihood of finding a specific string of words decreases exponentially in tree number of words used. That's the power of language!) – Dan Bron May 10 '15 at 13:30
  • "There are better ones", Can you let me know some of them? – Eilia May 11 '15 at 4:35
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    @You could use COCA, for example, and search for is [adjective] at first glance. Or just search Google Books for the less restrictive string disagreeable at first glance, and ignore any false matches where disagreeable is the last word of a preceding sentence. Personally I don't think "disagreeableness" is a very good match to vision-based metaphoric "glance" (particularly with the copula is; it might work a little better with seems). But that's personal preference/semantics, nothing to do with grammatical "correctness". – FumbleFingers May 11 '15 at 17:12
  • Thank you @FumbleFingers, COCA is a good alternative. – Eilia May 12 '15 at 9:21
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    Native speakers say sentences every day that no one's ever said before. You'll never find any of them in a Google search, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. – snailcar May 12 '15 at 15:14
  • @snailboat, Definitely you're right, however searching could be used for finding common and general structures. – Eilia May 12 '15 at 15:18
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    Yes, you can use corpus evidence if you add in a good dose of thought. But it is in no sense reliable on its own; it does not "check" sentences. – snailcar May 12 '15 at 15:19
  • @snailboat, Agreed! – Eilia May 12 '15 at 15:21

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