Searching for parts of example sentences

daal

进士
Hi, I'd like to find example sentences for some phrases, but I haven't figured out how to do so. For example, I'd like to find sentences containing 来说, but when I enter this in the search box, I just see separate entries for 来 and 说. Since these are both common words, there are tons of example sentences for each of them making it hard to find an example sentence including both. Is there a way of searching example sentences for specific phrases that don't have a separate dictionary entry?
 

Shun

状元
Hello, daal.

I'd expect Pleco 4 to support this, but what you could do in the meantime is download one of the large example sentence text files/flashcard lists from the Flashcard Exchange section of these Forums (especially Tatoeba and dict.cn), which all come with English translations (or also in other languages), and search them for compound expressions such as 来说 using a text editor.

I unfortunately don't know of a text editor for iOS or Android that handles >10 MB text files well, but there may well be one. On Windows, you could use the free Notepad++, or on Mac, the free version of BBEdit. With BBEdit, you can also click "Find all" to get a listing of all matches.

Added later: You could also add a compound expression to your user dictionary with the option at the top, open it, and then tap on the SENTS tab. That will give you the ability to search all example sentences from your installed dictionaries for your phrase, so by way of this detour you should be getting exactly what you asked for.

Enter the expression, then tap here:

7BC4D7AA-C624-4050-9A81-129A06825775.jpeg


Hope this helps,

Shun
 
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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Another option would just be to put a # in front of your search term:

#来说

That will search for any entry that contains that expression in its definition, including in example sentences.
 

daal

进士
Thanks, Shun and Mike! Both using the hashtag or creating a user dictionary entry seem like great solutions, but in the case of 来说, neither seem to yield any results. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

Using Shun's suggestion, the sentences tab of the user dictionary yields no results, which seems strange as the words tab yields plenty of results.

Using the hashtag method, #来说 yields the same results as just searching for 来说. For comparison, searching for #得了 works as Mike describes. Other searches, for example #起来 also only yield the main dictionary entries.

Just so you know the background, in the textbook Integrated Chinese Level 2 Part 2, 来说 is shown as part of the phrase 拿...来说 as in 拿北京来说 - take Beijing for example. I wanted to find an example sentence where 来说 was used in a similar manner.
 

HW60

状元
Searching with 来说 I get results in ADS dictionary only, searching with #来说 I get results in FDH, DHD, NHD and PLC:

Screenshot_20210601-105319_Pleco.jpg
 

daal

进士
Searching with 来说 I get results in ADS dictionary only, searching with #来说 I get results in FDH, DHD, NHD and PLC:
Except for PLC and DHD, I don't have any of these dictionaries installed. Nonetheless, the examples from those two dictionaries should be showing up in my search for #来说, but the only thing that shows up is the entry I created for a user dictionary.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Did you try tapping on the dictionary switch icon a few times? Also, is this a half-width #, not a full-width one entered with a Chinese keyboard?
 

Shun

状元
You're welcome, daal. I think what's important, as Mike wrote in a different context, is that you switch the dictionary switch icon to the full "C" symbol. I tried it with 我喜欢他 in the following movie and got it to work all right (I got the stroke direction of the 点 in 我 wrong in the movie, but that was due to the speed of my touchscreen entry).

Mike's suggestion with the # full text search is quicker, but you can get a very clean listing by creating a user dictionary entry, as you can see in the video, that you can refer back to later.

Here are the search results for both methods, and below them is my screen recording:

IMG_4953.PNG 191DC662-BAA7-45CF-B7D0-A56716616A1A.png

The search results are identical, which is a good sign.
 

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jurgen85

探花
I have also found this annoying. Is there a way to skip the individual dictionaries and search full-text in the normal groups by default? Does it have to do with fallback order?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
You can turn on 'integrate C-E fulltext' in Settings / Search Engine to be able to switch to a full text search without inserting that #.
 

daal

进士
I think I found what the problem was. I had Pleco set to traditional characters. After changing to simplified characters, both the hashtag method and the user dictionary method work as they are supposed to. When set to traditional characters, none of the methods work, no matter what I input.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I think I found what the problem was. I had Pleco set to traditional characters. After changing to simplified characters, both the hashtag method and the user dictionary method work as they are supposed to. When set to traditional characters, none of the methods work, no matter what I input.
Hmm... was the search term itself in simplified or traditional? Was it a word for which those are identical or one for which they differ?
 

daal

进士
When Pleco is set to traditional characters, it doesn't seem to matter if I type in simplified or traditional. With 来说 for example, I tried typing both ways and got no results. Same thing when trying Shun's method of adding to the user dictionary and then clicking the sentences tab.
 

Shun

状元
That's strange. I tried entering #来说 in Simplified mode and #來說 in Traditional mode and got the same long list of matches for both, except that the dictionary entries were all converted to Traditional when I was in the Traditional mode. If I enter the Traditional #來說 in Simplified mode, then it only finds matches in the GZH/GZP dictionaries, which seem to be hardwired to Traditional (since they're in 广州话). If I enter the Simplified #来说 in Traditional mode, then I don't get any full-text search matches. I also checked if Pleco for Android might behave differently from Pleco for iOS, which it doesn't appear to.

So perhaps a reset of your settings to the defaults might be worth a try.
 
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