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Saturday, March 10, 2018

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i've known 'Google Books' for some time, but i've never heard of the other one 'Ngram Viewer'
So thanks, i'll probably be using that in the future.

(The Ngram Viewer is a service connected to Google Books that graphs the frequency of word usage across their book collection)

( i've just discovered it so i'm not sure but) i think it's more helpful ( while using Ngram) to type in more than one word/phrase so that you'll be able to compare the frequency of their usage, how frequently used they are relative to each other.
i typed in only one word, saw the graph, but it didn't make sense to me.

As for google books, first i go to this website https://books.google.com/
then i type in any word/phrase, put quotation marks around them and press enter.
At the top of search results, numbers appear: it is the number of search results. If it is above thousand, then i'll conclude that the word/phrase is frequently used.

If i'm using Google books the wrong way, then i'd be glad if someone pointed out the right way of using it.

wow, it is so much fun!

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=took+a+journey%2Cdid+a+journey%2Cmake+a+journey%2Cgo+on+a+journey&year_start=2000&year_end=2015&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctook%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdid%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cmake%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cgo%20on%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0

whoops, the link is too long, i didn't realize that.

An easier way to use approach Google books:

https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search

You don't need to use quotation marks with this screen, but for IELTS writing set the "content" to books only.

To find the top ten verbs used with a noun such as journey: *_VERB => journey

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_VERB%3D%3Ejourney&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bwas_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bis_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbegan_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbe_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcontinued_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcontinue_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btook_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbeen_VERB%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0

Alternatively: *_VERB a journey

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_VERB+a+journey%2C+*_VERB+the+journey&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bis_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bwas_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btake_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmaking_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bundertake_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbe_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bundertook_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbegin_VERB%20a%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bmake_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmaking_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bis_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcontinue_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bundertake_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcomplete_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbegin_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbegan_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcompleted_VERB%20the%20journey%3B%2Cc0

To find the top ten adjective collocations for a noun such as journey in ngrams use: *_ADJ journey

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_ADJ+%3D%3E++journey%2C*_ADJ++journey&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bwork_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bworth_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blong_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bable_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdistant_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bpossible_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcomplete_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdifficult_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bworthwhile_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bready_ADJ%3D%3Ejourney%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2C%2A_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Blong_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bspiritual_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bfirst_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blast_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmile_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Barduous_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bwhole_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdifficult_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bshort_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bown_ADJ%20journey%3B%2Cc0

A more useful example would be to find out what verb to use with the phrase "formal qualifications":

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_VERB+formal+qualifications&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bhave_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Black_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bhad_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bobtain_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blacking_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Brequire_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Blacked_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bhold_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bacquire_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bpossess_VERB%20formal%20qualifications%3B%2Cc0

This gives us: have, lack, require, obtain, possess, acquire

Here are the top ten compound noun collocations beginning "job" in ngrams, using: job *_NOUN,job- *_NOUN

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=job+*_NOUN%2Cjob-+*_NOUN&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2Cjob%20%2A_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bjob%20satisfaction_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20training_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20opportunities_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20security_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20performance_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20market_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20description_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20descriptions_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20search_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20evaluation_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2Cjob%20-%20%2A_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20seekers_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20training_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20shop_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20creation_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20creating_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20evaluation_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20hunting_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20hunters_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20hunt_NOUN%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bjob%20-%20satisfaction_NOUN%3B%2Cc0

And collocations using *_NOUN job, and *_ADJ job

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_NOUN+job%2C+*_ADJ+job&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bteaching_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bsummer_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bprint_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bpaint_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bgovernment_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bconstruction_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bday_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Boffice_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btime_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Brepair_NOUN%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2C%2A_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bgood_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bnew_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bbetter_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bfirst_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Btime_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bparticular_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bsame_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bspecific_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bgreat_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bexcellent_ADJ%20job%3B%2Cc0

CHECKING YOUR OWN TASK 2 ESSAY

Google books to check our own essays for vocabulary other issues. Just enter each phrase: if someone else has not used it already, there is usually something wrong. For example, phrases from Simon's last Task 2 paragraph:

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=%22When+a+person+is+described+as%22&num=10&tbas=0

https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22this+is+almost+always+seen+as+%22&tbs=,bkt:b&num=10

https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22+a+positive+trait+or+attitude%22&tbs=,bkt:b&num=10

https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22+In+the+realm+of+education%22&tbs=,bkt:b&num=10

https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22to+diligently+follow+instructions+%22&tbs=,bkt:b&num=10

However, doing too many searches like this all at once may result in Google thinking you are a robot and blocking your requests...as I just found out.

Gabi, Lolita

that helps a lot. THanks.

What is this???

Jiya Khan

Google books is a database of English books, reports and proceedings over the past five hundred years. It includes fiction, non-fiction and scientific publications. So, in general, it is a reasonably good guide to what is "natural" (ie Band 9) English for IELTS purposes and easily accessible to students.

To some extent an examiner marking your writing is comparing your English writing with all the formal English they have read over the years. You can do roughly the same thing by searching Google books. If the phrase you are using comes up (in the right context) you can be pretty sure it is fine for the exam. If it does not come up at all, then either the phrase is too long, or the vocabulary choices are poor, or there is a grammar error such as a missing article, or the wrong preposition.

It seems IELTS is not about "creative" or flashy writing, it is about convincing the examiner that you can write bog standard formal or semi-formal English well, so if no-one has used your phrase before, IELTS is not the place to try it out.

If you wish to write a Band 9 essay, then it would be worth checking to see if the phrases you are using are "natural", unless, of course, you are so close to the exam you wish to do a timed practice run.

https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search

Jiya khan

in addition to a great answer by Lolita

our (ielts candidates) goal is to be able to speak, write like native speakers: to produce natural sounding english. For example, native speakers say 'lions roar', not 'lions shout'. So the obvious question is how do we know whether native speakers say 'lions roar' or 'lions shout' or what can we do to make our spoken/written english sound more natural. One way is to use 'Google books and Ngram' (get into a habit of using them regularly).

i would type in the word 'lion' and then get something like this:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=*_VERB+lion%2C&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2C%2A_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bsleeping_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcrouching_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Broaring_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bwounded_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bis_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bcharging_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bdying_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bare_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bwas_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmeans_VERB%20lion%3B%2Cc0

relatively higher lines indicate the word/phrase is used more frequently, which makes you confident to use that phrase in your own essay or while speaking

(i've used the trick suggested by Gabi)

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=lions+roar%2Clions+shout&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clions%20roar%3B%2Cc0

( Note: Ngram could not find 'lions shout', which means native speakers do not say it)

When I can really realize that I'm a good reader or fast reader???

Can anyone suggest?

Raju

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "realize", or "good" reader. IELTS band 6/6.5 represents a "competent" user - perhaps someone who can read an English newspaper without a dictionary, or understand the news on TV. The next band up (7.0/7.5), a "good" user, would mean that your could understand more complex texts such as a first year textbook at university, although you might need a dictionary for the technical words.

How to get there and how long it will take depends on you, your situation, and motivation. It is a marathon, not a sprint. My suggestion would be to read widely but also find reading topics that interest you personally to underpin, nourish and sustain your motivation and effort.

Reading IELTS topics (and answering questions) all the time can be very dull, demoralizing, and demotivating as the months roll by. At the moment I am reading a novel about a lingerie shop, and another detective novel, and enjoying them both. Why not?

This is a wonderful article.

Thanks @Lolita

Reading books or articles is more comfortable than solving particular reading problem. In fact, we love to get the ideas instead of think about them.

why i found these tools inconvenient . For example i once read that 'make friendship' is a bad collocation and this program shows it as a good one ! confusing !!

@menan
You were misinformed, or only told part of the truth.

Sometimes Ozdic is easier to use as in the example below:

http://ozdic.com/collocation-dictionary/friendship

The truth is that 'make friendship' is okay if used correctly. It needs either an adjective in front of friendship, or after it. For example:
1) His constant sarcasm made deep, close friendships difficult.
2) The break-up made friendship with her sister impossible.

Using a simple asterisk will show this in ngrams:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=make+friendship+*%2Cmade+friendship+*%2Cmake+*+friendships&year_start=1960&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2Cmake%20friendship%20%2A%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20with%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20and%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20a%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20between%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20possible%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20impossible%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20choices%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20the%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20bracelets%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20friendship%20last%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2Cmade%20friendship%20%2A%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20with%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20between%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20and%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20impossible%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20a%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20difficult%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmade%20friendship%20easy%3B%2Cc0%3B.t2%3B%2Cmake%20%2A%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bmake%20new%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20lasting%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20close%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20personal%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20lifelong%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20peer%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20deep%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20the%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20real%20friendships%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bmake%20valuable%20friendships%3B%2Cc0

The root of the issue is a particular usage of "make", where it means "cause to be". Here make is followed by a noun and then an adjective/noun/participle. See verb meaning #7 here:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/make#Verb

Examples:
The citizens made their objections clear.
This might make you a bit woozy.
Did I make myself heard?
Scotch will make you a man.

ok got it , thanks for your comprehensive explanation ..@sandi

Hello,

Those explanations are quite helpful actually.

May I ask you a bit of the topic ?

Is there anyone here ever use or continue to use ANKI flashcards ?

Thank you
Best
Levo

@Levo

Flashcards have their uses, but, for me, hearing the sounds of the words in a context is the best, so I prefer listening to the same speech over and over and copying the pronunciation.

this is amazing, thanks Gabi for pointing this out, I've never heard of Ngrams before, I rely on google search with quotation marks.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/info
I still learning how to maximise the usage of ngrams!
Also I found Grammarly quite helpful especially with articles.

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