About the BNC

The British National Corpus (BNC) is a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent a wide cross-section of British English, both spoken and written, from the late twentieth century. [more]

Here are some of the most popular links to information about the BNC:

Search the British National Corpus online

The British Library currently offers a simple search facility for the BNC, but this service will shortly be withdrawn. Type a word or phrase in the search box and press the Go button to see up to 50 random hits from the corpus.

You can search for a single word or a phrase, restrict searches by part of speech, search in parts of the corpus only, and much more. This is a link to the simple search facility hosted by the British Library.

The search result will show the total frequency in the corpus and up to 50 examples. [more information]

There are other online services offering more advanced search functions (some require user registration):

Please note that we cannot answer queries about using any of these services, which are all provided elsewhere! If you have a service for querying the BNC online, get in touch and we'll add it to the list.