Content of the Dictionary of Combinations
The dictionary of combinations gives all the most significant lexical combinations of the headword, grouped by syntactic context, the strength of the combination and, if applicable, the various meanings of the headword.
Significant lexical combinations are made up of two or more words (the base and the co-occurrent words) with a strong, frequent and spontaneous association in the language. How, for instance, can one describe a bright light? It may be a flashing light, blinding light, clear light, brilliant light, and so on. The dictionary of combinations gives you an exhaustive list of the statistically strongest associations, in all the relevant syntactic contexts.
List of combinations
The headword’s combinations are shown in a vertical list. In some cases, longer sub-combinations, such as set of traffic lights in the above figure, are grouped under a combination they contain, in this case traffic lights. You can select a specific combination and then use the Replace button ( in the tool bar) to insert it in your text. When a particular determiner or preposition is part of a combination (wait at traffic lights, bathe in blue light), it means that that function word is significantly frequent in that particular context. You can scroll through the combinations using the vertical keyboard arrows and show sub-combinations using the horizontal arrows.
If a combination belongs to an informal register, a usage label (e.g.: INFORMAL, OFFENSIVE) appears to the right of the combination. If a usage label applies to all combinations in a given sense, it is not repeated next to each combination; instead, it is shown next to the heading that indicates the sense.
Strength of combinations
A blue bar opposite each combination shows its relative statistical strength: the longer the bar, the stronger the combination in comparison with the other combinations in the same context. The strength depends on a combination’s frequency, but also on the uniqueness of the association between the terms.
When a word has several meanings, its combinations are grouped by meaning. The meanings are displayed in green, accompanied by a hide/show chevron.
Combinations are grouped by syntactic context: with adjective, with noun adjunct, with possessive and so on; the number and nature of the contexts depend on the category of the headword. To allow an overall view of all the contexts, only the first five combinations for each context are displayed. You can see the others by clicking on the shaded and x others, if applicable. You can expand or shrink each context using its hide/show chevron. The number of combinations for each context is shown in parentheses after the name of the context.
Combinations are sorted according to their strength by default. You can also sort them in alphabetical order of the first word in each combination by clicking on the title bar.
The hide/show triangle lets you expand or shrink all the meanings or contexts at once, as applicable.
Examples and definitions
Selecting a combination gives you access, in the right-hand panel, to examples of the combination in real texts (with the Examples button, at the bottom) or to the definition (with the Definitions button, at the bottom). In each example, the words in the combination are highlighted. Each example is accompanied by the name of the author and title of the source, if applicable, as well as a link to the source corpus, in blue. This hyperlink lets you open the website of the corpus in your browser with one click.
Web search link
At the bottom of the list of examples is the Web search link, which lets you search for the words in the combination in Google, if you wish to search in more detail.
List of sources link
At the bottom of the list of examples, the List of sources link displays the source texts used in creating the list of combinations and their examples.
The search filter allows you to search a string of characters in a list of combinations. Simply type the characters, making sure the Combinations option is selected in the menu of the magnifying glass. Once your evaluation is complete, click on the x to the right of the search bar to bring back the complete list or begin a new search.
Cross with another word
Suppose you are writing a sentence that combines the verbs to study and to love (Clara studies and loves…), and you want to follow them with a direct object complement that combines well, without having an exact idea in mind. The cross-combinations will allow you to find the perfect complement. To do so, first bring up the combinations of the verb to study (or of the verb to love), then select the Cross with another word option in the menu of the magnifying glass. Enter to love (or to study) in the search bar: Antidote displays all of the combinations that are common to both verbs, from which you simply have to choose the one you prefer: Clara studies and loves literature, film, animals, and so on.
- Cross-combinations give optimal results for two words in the same category (two verbs, two nouns, etc.).
Click on the Options… button to filter the list of combinations based on their value (positive or negative) or meaning (strong or weak). By restricting the display to shorter lists, these filters help you choose the combinations that are most likely to meet your criteria. To go back to the results display, click on the filters button again, then on Disable filters.