I'm happy I found this group - please help me!
English is a second language for me.
I'd really like a tool that allows me to compare words and lets me check the one that is correct to the context. For example, I'd like to find out the difference between a "property" and an "attribute".

One alternative is to go to dictionary.com and look-up each word. Then try out the shades of meaning, find the one in each of the words that is appropriate to the context. Then, in this context, select the one that is more appropriate.
This is too much work!
A thesaurus or a word-net is also no help. They suggest multiple words that have a similar "deep" meaning, but they don't tell you how to select the correct one.
An online search engine is also no help. I tried.
Anyone know of such a tool? It can't be that no such a tool exist!

Avi
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Avi Nahir wrote on 04 May 2004:
I'm happy I found this group - please help me! English is a second language for me. I'd really like ... also no help. I tried. Anyone know of such a tool? It can't be that no such a tool exist!

Oh, it exists all right, but it can't be bought in any store. It's called a brain. If you haven't read enough high-level English, you'll never know the difference between a property and an attribute or when to use which.
The only other suggestion I can make is that you dig up the cash to become a subscriber to the Collins Cobuild Wordbank of English. It has millions of found-in-the-wild examples most of the words you'll ever need to know how to use properly.
You can try buying the 4th edition of the Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner's Dictionary Resource pack. It comes with a CD that contains a wordbank with 5,000,000 usage examples.
Tell me, does such a tool exist in your mother tongue?

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, ehziuh htiw rehpycrebyc ecalper.
It exists indeed. It's called "human brain".
The more you use it, the more powerful it gets.
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Arcadian Rises wrote on 04 May 2004:
It exists indeed. It's called "human brain". The more you use it, the more powerful it gets.

We seem to have come up with the same answer. :-)

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, ehziuh htiw rehpycrebyc ecalper.
I'm happy I found this group - please help me! English is a second language for me. I'd really like ... no help. I tried. Anyone know of such a tool? It can't be that no such a tool exist! Avi

If a book counts as a tool, 'Practical English Usage', by Michael Swan is a long-established reference, used by teachers and students and useful for commonly confused groups - opening it at random there's entries for 'by & near', 'elder & older', and 'than, as & that' (as in 'Taller than me; not as tall..').
No tool is going to give you every possible combination of confusable words; as the guys suggest, the only device with that kind of memory handling capablilty and processing power is the supercomputer on your shoulders. I also suspect your first call for the difference between a "property" and an "attribute" might be a dictionary of computing.

Cheers
DC
Cheers
DC
No tool is going to give you every possible combination of confusable words...

It would be interesting if it did exist, though, for all words. How is "banana" not like "earthquake"? What is the difference between "fear" and "sandal"?

SML
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I'm happy I found this group - please help me! English is a second language for me. I'd really like ... is correct to the context. For example, I'd like to find out the difference between a "property" and an "attribute".

Very little, in my mind, except maybe that "attribute" connotes philosophy.
One alternative is to go to dictionary.com and look-up each word. Then try out the shades of meaning, find the ... also no help. I tried. Anyone know of such a tool? It can't be that no such a tool exist!

The American Heritage Dictionary has discussions of this type for certain sets of synonyms. They have one for the verb "attribute" (compared with "ascribe", "impute", etc.) but not for the noun. (Hey, whatever happened to Mike Hardy?) If I remember correctly, Modern English Usage , originally by Fowler, has such discussions too.

Jerry Friedman
Sara Lorimer filted:
What is the difference between "fear" and "sandal"?

People without fear don't run as fast..r
On 4 May 2004 06:26:12 -0700, Avi Nahir (Email Removed) wrote, in part:
English is a second language for me. I'd really like a tool that allows me to compare words and lets ... suggest multiple words that have a similar "deep" meaning, but they don't tell you how to select the correct one.

A thesaurus I have at home (which goes by the title Roget's (Something: 'International'?) Thesaurus (Perhaps Something: 'of the English Language'?) , but I don't know whether "Roget's", like "Webster's", is not a trademark) does help.(1) If you look up 'attribute', it will tell you similar words; if you look up 'property', it will tell you similar words; and if know at least some of the words on either list, you can see which is more like what you mean. (If you don't, you can't.)

I've done this many times (not with 'attribute' and 'property'), but English *is* by first language.
(1) A similar book seems to be the Roget International Thesaurus Indexed Edition , edited by Barbara Ann Kipfer, as near as I can tell from Amazon's "look inside" feature. See more about this book at .

Michael Hamm NB: Of late, my e-mail address is being AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis 'spoofed' a bit. That is, spammers send (Email Removed) e-mail that seems to be from me. Please http://math.wustl.edu/~msh210/ realize that no spam is in fact from me.
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