SKILLS | Using online resources (Lexical Tools)
LANGUAGE FOCUS | Collocations and Lexical Chunks
1) The first site is Ozdic.com, an online collocation dictionary.
You can discover, for example, what adjectives have a tendency to describe advice:
Let's say you want to check 'constructive advice', 'helpful advice' and 'excellent advice':
You can infer from this result that helpful might have a stronger connection. It should be pointed out that the database searched is taken from books and not spoken English.
You can also use Netspeak to find out the same results:
So, try this out when you are not sure which word combination might sound the least awkward.
Now, you might ask yourself which noun frequently collocates with constructive:
3) My other favourite resource is Youglish.com for pronunciation. This site allows students to hear a word or phrase used in a multitude of contexts. One word that gives my students some pronunciation trouble is hierarchical. Click to hear a sample.