Is there a decent dictionary that includes 搭配, or words that the searched word cannot be used with? I use Pleco, but one of my largest complaints with it is there is really no baseline for how the words are used, other than the few example sentences that are provided. Using Pleco, there is no good way to determine when to use 维持、维护、保持、持续、etc, or any of the subtle differences between 实习、实践、进行、实行, etc.

  • what you are looking for is 词典. words -> 词典,characters -> 字典. – dan Sep 29 at 3:34
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    dictionaries do not teach you how a word is used-- Textbooks do – Tang Ho Sep 29 at 3:52
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    yeah, it's tough to get that much context from dictionaries, certainly not consistently. I can tell you that in Pleco right now, I get more or less of this from different dictionaries - remember it is an app you fill with many different dictionaries ("add-ons"). Of the dictionaries I have in Pleco today I most often get this kind of hint from "Xiandai Hanyu Guifan Cidian". It is all Chinese, though. – Mike M Sep 29 at 4:31
  • Longmans also provides some footnotes to differentiate usage between similar words. But you’d be better off hiring a tutor to go over these types of things. – user3306356 Sep 29 at 4:48
  • find many usage examples at bkrs: e.g. for 搭配 bkrs has 4 screens of examples, synonyms, etc. – user6065 Sep 29 at 23:48

zhTenTen: Corpus of the Chinese Web

中文詞彙特性速描系統(Chinese Word Sketch)

中文搭配助手(Online Chinese Collocation Assistant)

语料库在线(Corpus Online)

Pleco gives better results for this if you look up the English word you want. For example, in your case you already know 练习 and 实习 so you are looking those up and trying to figure out which one to use. But if you look up "practice" in Pleco and look under the DICT or WORDS tabs it's much easier to see the differences. provides the possibility to search for a single character and then getting the most common words with it.

  • it may be a good reference but may not be quite to the point of the question -- getting beyond examples to advice about differentiating synonyms – Mike M Oct 2 at 22:07

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