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Word Type

This tool allows you to find the grammatical word type of almost any word.

  • the can be used as a adverb in the sense of "With a comparative or more and a verb phrase, establishes a parallel with one or more other such comparatives." or "With a comparative, and often with for it, indicates a result in the direction of the comparative. This can be negated with none."
  • the can be used as a determiner in the sense of "Definite grammatical article that implies necessarily that the entity it articulates is presupposed; something already mentioned, or completely specified later in the same sentence, or assumed already completely specified. Compare I’m reading a book with I’m reading the book." or "When stressed, indicates that the object in question is considered to be best or exclusively worthy of attention." or "With a superlative, it refers to the same thing which the superlative applies to." or "When before a body part, it can be an alternative to a possessive pronoun." or "When before an adjectival noun, it indicates all persons within that grouping." or "When before the name of a member of a class, it indicates all things in that class."

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Word Type

For those interested in a little info about this site: it's a side project that I developed while working on Describing Words and Related Words. Both of those projects are based around words, but have much grander goals. I had an idea for a website that simply explains the word types of the words that you search for - just like a dictionary, but focussed on the part of speech of the words. And since I already had a lot of the infrastructure in place from the other two sites, I figured it wouldn't be too much more work to get this up and running.

The dictionary is based on the amazing Wiktionary project by wikimedia. I initially started with WordNet, but then realised that it was missing many types of words/lemma (determiners, pronouns, abbreviations, and many more). This caused me to investigate the 1913 edition of Websters Dictionary - which is now in the public domain. However, after a day's work wrangling it into a database I realised that there were far too many errors (especially with the part-of-speech tagging) for it to be viable for Word Type.

Finally, I went back to Wiktionary - which I already knew about, but had been avoiding because it's not properly structured for parsing. That's when I stumbled across the UBY project - an amazing project which needs more recognition. The researchers have parsed the whole of Wiktionary and other sources, and compiled everything into a single unified resource. I simply extracted the Wiktionary entries and threw them into this interface! So it took a little more work than expected, but I'm happy I kept at it after the first couple of blunders.

Special thanks to the contributors of the open-source code that was used in this project: the UBY project (mentioned above), @mongodb and express.js.

Currently, this is based on a version of wiktionary which is a few years old. I plan to update it to a newer version soon and that update should bring in a bunch of new word senses for many words (or more accurately, lemma).

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