I'd like to find results from Google Search containing the following pattern: a phrase initiated with the word because - followed by any word - and ended with a period. For example: "because tired." "because happy." "because awesome.", etc.

Initially I tried inserting the string because * . but two problems arised:

1- The * returns results with one or more words and I'd like it to find only a single word before the period (as it works with Microsoft Word).

2- The . doesn't seem to be recognized by the search engine. So, is there a way to include punctuation in the search?

1 Answer 1



This isn't possible in Google Search, nor any other Google product that I know of, though Google Ngram Viewer can tell you what words show up as the wildcard, but not the context. (In this case, Google Books gives poor but technically correct suggestions, like "because Mr." even with some tweaking.)


Punctuation searches are possible on english-corpora.org (and its Spanish counterpart corpusdelespanol.org), both of which are free to use with an account. In fact, they were built for the type of searching that you're doing. Your search because * . will work as-is, or you can use a more specific search like because NOUN ., or a broader search like because * .|! (using | as a symbol for OR). The results will be grouped by word/phrase, and clicking on a single one will show you the context for every hit in that group.

There are some notable differences from a proper search engine like Google, however. While many of the corpora have billions of words, that is still noticeably smaller than what Google indexes. Other than the News on the Web (NOW) corpus, the results are (and in fact may include dead links). You also can't do a search for results containing multiple words in any order.

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