Увага!Якщо Ви не розумієте англійської граматику - це не Ваша вина! Вам просто її незрозуміло пояснюють. Ознайомся з Візуальною граматикою і перестань учити правила! Заповни форму нижче і отримай більш детальну інформацію на свою поштову скриньку.
I would like to write an article about using Google for correct writing, but the basic idea is to look up things that you are unsure of.
Let's suppose I'm wondering whether it is correct to write "to have a question for someone" or "to have a question to someone". I can easily answer this question with Google by doing a search on "have a question to" and "have a question for" (note the quotes).
When I search for "have a question to", Google displays sentences taken out of the pages which contained the phrase. In the first few results, I see phrases like "have a question to ask Richard", which is not what I was interested in. So I change the original query to "have a question to you" and find 416 pages. I notice that the first few results are from ESL websites, so they are not reliable.
The search for "have a question for you" returns 28,600 pages. I conclude that "have a question for someone" is the correct phrase.
Sometimes the results are not so clear, and sometimes I have to conclude that there are two equally good alternatives. For example, "time and again" scores 298,000; "time and time again" scores 263,000.
Google is better than grammar books, because the results show REAL contemporary language, not the opinions of grammarians. I don't like prescriptive grammar (ie. grammarians telling people how they should speak) -- I think what is "correct" is what native speakers find natural.
For example, "different than" is objected to by many prescriptivists. Many usage and style guides consider it "incorrect". Google returns 1,090,000 pages (often from very reputable and educated sources like universities and the press). The result for the "correct" option ("different from") is not much higher: 2,720,000. So, for me, both are correct.
You can verify almost anything (articles, collocations), although you should make sure to look for sufficiently general phrases (so that you get enough results). It's no use looking for "I'm reading "The Design of Everyday Things"". It's much better to look for "I'm reading a book"