Mikhail
Looking for a dictionary for associations between words
Hey everybody,

Does somebody know if there is some free dictionary where I can check the typical relations between words? (e.g. you would say "furious citizen", but probably not "furious table" - i.e. some dictionary, where I could check which nouns are usually used with the adjective "furious").

I could find 2 such dictionaries; both are not really what I am looking for:
* https://www.sketchengine.eu/user-guide/user-manual/word-sketch/ - this is a cool this, exactly what I am looking for, but it is not free
** https://skell.sketchengine.co.uk/run.cgi/wordsketch?lpos=&query=meaning - it is the free version of the upper one, but it is too poor (too less results and you cannot adjust it, the words are too simple for me, some search requests return no results etc.)
* https://wordassociations.net/en/words-associated-with/infuriating?button=Search - it is more a statistical frequency of the occurrence of words (e.g. if 2 words appear often together, this site will mark them as "associated", although they may have no grammatical connection, just people use them often together, e.g. the movie "Fast and Furious")

I am looking for such a dictionary, because I like to learn pairs (e.g. "fragrant spices"). I think it makes much more sense for me than to learn the words separately (in this case something like "fragrant dog" could come up by miskake, in the meaning "stink dog" :D ).

Does somebody know such a dictionary?

Regards,
Michael
May 10, 2018 9:55 AM
Comments · 8

I think you are looking for a collocation dictionary, like http://www.freecollocation.com/

The format is a bit primitive but once you work it out, you will be grateful. It's excellent. As a native-speaker and a teacher, I can't fault it. I've never seen an odd collocation in it.

May 10, 2018
And forget thesaurus. That’s just synonyms and synonyms don’t address your questions. Some synonyms don’t match the noun you are using. Thesaurus might tell you you can “ply”a trade, but nobody says that. You “engage” in a trade but “practice” a profession, like law or medicine. You don’t “practice” plumbing, for example. So, this is very nuanced stuff and you have to know it. 
May 10, 2018
That’s one of the best questions I’ve seen. I don’t know do of any English language dictionaries out there for this because I don’t need them as a native speaker. But, you’re right. You MUST match the correct verb to the noun. You can practice a profession or trade in English, but you don’t ”make”a profession in English or trade, but you might say this in other languages. I see people constantly making these mistakes here. You need a good source that gives you examples. Sometimes you can google this online and use the oneline translator, but’s far from perfect. Not terrible, but the technology  is just not there yet. People so often forget this and assume ever language just matches verbs and nouns like in their own. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Good luck, but google stuff and I bet you’ll get a good source. 
May 10, 2018
I dont think that Mikhail is looking for a thesarus so much as some type of poetic dictionary. Sadly, though, I am unaware of anything like this, though he could try auto complete in Google to come up with some (ahem) "interesting" word associations.
May 10, 2018
Roget's Thesaurus of English?
May 10, 2018
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Mikhail
Language Skills
English, German, Russian
Learning Language
German