Ju asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 5 years ago

(For Native Speakers) What words appear often with "to seek"? And with "to fish for"?


I'd need the intuitions of some native speakers on the words than often "hang out" with either "seek" or "fish for". To help you understand what I mean, if I think of words that go with "play", I would probably say "ball", "children", "toy", "music", and so on.

Would you help me by writing down the top ten words that occur to your mind, and some very basic information on yourselves (gender, dialect of English, and optionally age and education level, if you don't mind)?

Thank you very much!

2 Answers

  • Dave
    Lv 7
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    For 'to seek', that often goes in this phrase like 'to seek a solution'. The reason it does is that English often likes words that start with the same sound (s s, also called 'alliteration'), and that goes back to at least 700 AD and earlier in English. That's an adult sentence. If you want a child-aged sentence, then 'hide and seek' is probably the answer for that. So that depends on the ages.

    For 'to fish for', the most likely answer MIGHT be 'to fish for a compliment' -- that's almost a set phrase in earlier English, or at least very common.

    These are both 'open-meaning verbs', so there are no real 'top ten words' that come to my mind in association with either verb/verb phrase, because language is flexible, and the two you have selected are not bound up in English idioms. ("He was hoist with his own ____." Or "She has a bee in her ____." << There: those two are two 'bound' English idioms. There are only two individual words that idiomatically go there 95% of the time. You can take it to the bank that the right one will appear in either slot, among native English speakers who use them.) But it's not the same with 'to seek' or with 'to fish for'. They do not have such strong associations with other words.

    Source(s): native AmE
  • 5 years ago

    You can seek absolutely anything. There are too many to list as seek can be used for a tangible thing, such as a lost pet or car keys, and intangible, such as a goal in life.

    "We fish for"can be followed by a long list of any variety of fish.

    I'm female from the UK

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