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Is there such a thing as an online preposition dictionary?

For example, I want to use the word "interpretation" but I am not sure of its preposition. I don't know if the correct preposition should be...

Our interpretation with the text.

or

Our interpretation on the text.

or

Our interpretation of the text.

In this case, I think "of" is the correct one but I am not sure because they all sound quite okay to me. I know some dictionaries give sentence examples, which show the prepositions. But the problem is not every word in the dictionary has sentence examples.

So, I am wondering if there is a specific dictionary that I can look up for the preposition of a word.

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You can look the words up in sentence.yourdictionary and wordnik where you find a lot of example sentences and most times you know which preposition you have to take. –  Em1 Mar 26 '12 at 12:46
2  
In your examples, of is the correct one. Compare: interpretation of interpretation with and interpretation on –  Em1 Mar 26 '12 at 12:48
    
@Em1 Thanks, I didn't know I could search this way. "interpretation with" returns with no examples. "interpretation on" has only one example but I still don't see the difference in meanings with the different prepositions. –  xenon Mar 26 '12 at 12:55
    
In the example on the website, "on" doesn't go with "interpretation" but with "put". That sentence is somewhat difficult to parse. The whole clause is "the paranoiac who chooses to put his interpretation on the surliness of his employer". When you use the verb "put" you generally need a preposition with it. You can't just "put the bread". You have to put the bread somewhere, e.g. "in the oven", "on the table", or "away". What the clause means is that the paranoiac is interpreting the surliness of his employer in his own (presumably unjustified) way. –  Peter Shor Mar 26 '12 at 13:35

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You're looking for "just the word". Your query would result in this output.

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That is a really useful dictionary! Sadly, the system appears to be buggy and unstable. I tried a few searches on the site and the results page doesn't load correctly for certain words. The result page may take a long time to load and then display the page with only the search box. –  xenon Mar 28 '12 at 14:59
    
+1 This is very good. –  Pouya Jun 18 at 8:51

Try The Collins Cobuild Grammar Patterns 1: Verbs. This is based on a large corpus of usage, and organizes the verbs by syntactic group. Including which prepositions to use with each.

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It would have been great if the website has a search function. Nevertheless, a very useful list of verbs and prepositions. Thanks! –  xenon Mar 28 '12 at 15:01
1  
It seems the link is down. Could you please check it? –  Pouya Jun 18 at 8:48
    
@Pouya: Fixed. Thanks for the headsup. –  John Lawler Jun 18 at 16:22

This online dictionary has some usage examples for most words. While a small handful of examples won't definitively answer your question every time, you can at least gain some assurance that you're not using the wrong preposition.

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The Pattern Dictionary of English Prepositions (http://www.clres.com/pdep.html) provides a complete sentence dictionary for all prepositions, including all single-word prepositions (such as of) and phrasal prepositions (such as in spite of or because of).

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Interesting dictionary, but it appears that I could only search for prepositions. Most of the time, I think we are looking for the preposition that fits to another word. It would be great if that dictionary could allow users to search from a word and fit the possible prepositions for that searched word. –  xenon Sep 14 '13 at 4:30

A habitually occuring sequence of words is termed a collocation. More than a few collocation dictionaries have been published, but free online versions exist, too. I recommend this one:

ozdic.com - Oxford Collocation Dictionary Online for Advanced English Learners

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