Word sketch difference — compare words via their collocations

The word sketch difference is used for making comparisons by contrasting collocations. Three options are available:

  • lemma
    compares the use of two different lemmas via their collocates
  • word forms
    compares the use of two different word forms of the same lemma via their collocates
  • subcorpora
    compares the use of the same lemma in two different subcorpora of the same corpus via their collocates

Word sketch difference

How to use the word sketch difference

Visit the related Quick start guide or gover the mouse over icons, controls and other elements to display the tooltips. Click the highlighted words to learn bout the functions and settings.

Word sketch tooltip

What makes the word sketches difference unique?

The collocates of a word give a good idea about how the word is used, about subsenses, subject area, connotations or register. Comparing the collocations will provide a great insight into the difference in use and meaning. The word sketch difference makes the comparison more effective by automatically generating both word sketches and highlighting the collocates that make the difference.

How does it work?

Sketch Engine assigns a colour to each search word (or a subcorpus) and generates the two word sketches. Then it compares the use of each collocate with both search words or in both subcorpora in each grammatical relation separately.

The colours indicate the search word (or a subcorpus) where the collocate is more frequent. The shade of the colour indicates the strength of the collocation. The white lines in the centre contain collocates without a preference of a green or red word or a subcorpus.

The user can use view options to display the frequencies and scores. The local menu will use the selected collocate as the search word of other tools.

Requirements for the word sketch difference to work well

Rich word sketches with lots of collocates in all grammatical relations are important. Therefore the
requirements are the same as those for the word sketch.