The W/n connector

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The W/n connector

Use the W/n connector to specify that a single word or phrase must occur within n number of words of the other. For example, the query apple w/5 pear finds any document that contains “apple” within five words of “pear.” The following table shows examples of search requests using the W/n connector.

Search request

Meaning

(apple or pear) w/5 banana

The words “apple” or “pear” must occur within 5 words of the word “banana.”

(apple w/5 banana) w/10 pear

The word “apple” must occur within five words of the word “banana,” and this must occur within ten words of “pear.”

(apple AND banana) w/10 pear

The words “apple” and “banana” must occur within ten words of “pear.”

A related connector is PRE/n, which specifies that the first expression must occur before the second expression. For example, if you type (apple AND pear) pre/5 banana, the words “apple” and “pear” must occur five words before the word “banana.”