StringNet – exploring will suit you

I was tipped off to the latest version of StringNet by Scott Thornbury recently (in the comments section of this post) and decided to do a follow up on my last post using GloWbE. If you recall I had some students asking about adverb placement in the sentence “That will suit you perfectly”. Looking back I was not satisfied with the off the cuff way I dealt with that. Let’s see what StringNet can show us.

This is the screenshot using search term will suit you:

string-net-will-suit-you1a

you can click on image above

Hmm not much help so far, let’s press the expand icon:

string-net-will-suit-you1b

you can click on image above

Aha, there’s our adverb, but on clicking the blue [adv] placeholder:

string-net-will-suit-you1c

Where’s our adverb perfectly? So I decide to go back to my first screen and go up by pressing the Parent button:

string-net-will-suit-you1d1

you can click on image above

I decide to expand 5 will suit [pers pn]:

string-net-will-suit-you1f

you can click on image above

Ooh I see an adverb placed before the verb suit, clicking on the [adv] I get:

string-net-will-suit-you1g

So I could have told the students that adverbs like probably/not/best/really can come before the verb suit and adverbs like:

string-net-will-suit-you1h

Best/perfectly/down/just/very/better/too follow the verb suit. We can also tell them that adverbs don’t tend to appear with that (though clicking on the examples for the that patterns we find 2 sentences with adverb best).

StringNet uses the British National Corpus which is very outdated, one could use the patterns found with StringNet in a corpus like Global Web based English. The above did take some fiddling about admittedly but I can see StringNet becoming very handy.

Read more about using StringNet and also check their blog.

Thanks for reading.

Update:

Compare search in GloWbe of will  [r*] suit  [pp*] with search of will suit  [pp*] [r*].

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