Correct prepositions and collocations in general do not come naturally to a non-native speaker. I had been using www.just-the-word.com to check for right combinations, until it went offline some time ago. Although it was occasionally glitchy, it generally recognised grammatical categories correctly; others liked it too. Now I use https://www.freecollocation.com/, which does not seem to be as good as "JTW".

Question. What are the best public online collocation resources and English corpus search engines?

I expected to find a near-complete list of most useful online resources, but to the best of my knowledge no one has attempted to compile such a list on ell.stackexchange.com. I saw people referring to various dictionaries and to Google Ngrams. The latter is good for historical statistics, but does not show excerpts for the context, as does Reverso or did the aforementioned JTW.

  • I found some links on the sister site, e.g. in this answer. I think it is worth creating a separate question for the list of resources with a wiki-type answer here or migrating it to english.SE. Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 23:17
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    Try inspirassion.com
    – Mohammad
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 0:53
  • @MarcInManhattan Many thanks, as this led me to the answer (below). I don't see much use in deleting the question, and I don't mind if it is marked "closed" by moderators. Unfortunately, I can't accept my own answer for another 2 days, which would be helpful for others, as the question would then appear answered in the search results. I don't see any harm if moderators wait for another 2 days, then I accept my answer, then the question is closed as off-topic. Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


As pointed out by MarcInManhattan in the comments, requests for resources are considered off-topic here. A good reason being that lists of resources can be found here:

Resources for learning English

which is exactly what I was looking for, and it was one click away from What topics can I ask about here? .

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    I read "… requests for resources are considered off-topic here." And "here" is meta, this is confusing unless one visits the edit/migratory history.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 22:32
  • I understand and share your confusion. In my opinion, it is caused by moderators prioritising rules and dispensing their judgements over clarity and convenience. If you open this question on the main site, you will see the question but not this answer, because it was deleted and moved here. Moderators simply could not allow the answer to remain there, because all hell will break loose if someone sees it there or, god forbid, finds it useful or upvotes it! Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 22:55
  • @Mari-LouA We shall thank moderators for giving us opportunity to reflect on our confusion and having this exchange, as we might have spent these minutes on something less useful! Users who have the same question will thank moderators for hiding it at least one click further away, as it just makes the discovery even more satisfying! Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 23:01
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    Please don't blame the moderators, we are just enforcing the rules set out by the community. Long ago, even before I was here, it was decided that resource requests belong on Meta. If that needs to be revisited, we'll do our best to accommodate that.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 20:37
  • @Glorfindel First, there is no blame, I was explicitly thankful :) Second, I made exactly the point you are making: there are rules, and moderators follow them. Try to distance yourself from the situation and get a third-person perspective for a moment: I drew a caricature of a trigger-happy moderator who acts "because rules" and then a moderator comes and plays into it by saying "we are just enforcing the rules". Don't you see the irony? (I am saying this not to start or win an argument, I am just sharing what I found funny. Your comment is appreciated.) Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 21:24
  • I posted a suggestion on Meta: Place a link to resource list into "Helpful links" panel Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 22:08
  • I also noticed that this thread is missing two comments: one by Mari-Lou A and one by myself. What problem does this over-policing solve??? Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 23:51
  • The linked question doesn’t appear to include an answer for collocation resources, as of November 2023.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 22:54
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    @AndrewGrimm See corpora. In particular, English-Corpora.Com, which is not the most convenient resource to use, but in principle it has the collocation functionality, if I am not mistaken. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 0:47

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