In yesterday’s post and in another recent post, I talked about how you can use a list of words separated by commas and enclosed in parentheses to search for any of the words in that list. For example, entering (faith, hope, love) will find every occurrence of any of those words. The results are the same as you would get with an OR search such as faith <OR> hope <OR> love). Yet as I’ve explained in those other posts, a parenthesized word list has the advantage of acting as a single search term in a more complex search. Yesterday I showed how such a word list could be used as part of a phrase. Today I want to show how you can constrain such a word list using a grammatical tag.

Let’s say I want to look for a series of words in the Greek New Testament which have to do with seeing or hearing. I could enter it as a word list, (ακουω, οραω, βλεπω), or as an OR search, ακουω <OR> οραω <OR> βλεπω. Both searches will find every occurrence of those Greek words.

But what if I’m really interested in finding these words when they’re used as commands? I want to find where someone is commanded to “hear,” to “see,” or to “look.”

If I’ve entered the search as a word list, all I need to do is add a grammatical tag after it, like this: (ακουω, οραω, βλεπω)@ [VERB imperative]. If I had created the search as a series of OR commands, I would have to add the imperative tag after each of the three words, like this: ακουω@ [VERB imperative] <OR> οραω@ [VERB imperative] <OR> βλεπω@ [VERB imperative].

Once again, either approach will work, but the word list is much more concise. Not only does it require less effort to enter, it is also much easier to follow without getting confused. That becomes especially important when you want to add additional criteria to your search.