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I am in search of cheap labour.

I am in search for cheap labour.

how do you know which preposition to use?

is it collocation?

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  • "How do you know which preposition to use?" Mostly, you just have to learn them. You search for something, but you're in search of something; you can think about something or on something; you are on good terms with someone but you are in a bad mood, etc.
    – stangdon
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 15:59
  • so,it is a collocation,am i right?
    – tbp
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 16:01
  • I would not exactly call it a collocation, because a collocation means "words usually used together". These prepositions aren't just usually used with these particular words, they go together almost inextricably.
    – stangdon
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 16:23
  • The example sentence is excerpted from a longer quote at ell.stackexchange.com/questions/74414
    – Jasper
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 17:56
  • When words are often used together (eg 'in search of') so that an alternative ('in search by/on/...) is unacceptable (arguably ungrammatical), the string is called a colligation. Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 11:59

2 Answers 2

3

See the following answer:

Difference between “search of” and “search for”

"in search of" is an idiomatic phrase, equivalent to "searching for". These mean the same thing:

I am in search of a good pair of shoes.

I am searching for a good pair of shoes.

Therefore

I am in search of cheap labour.

I am searching for cheap labour.

2

Better would be I am searching for cheap labour as the second choice. From my experience, one searches for something, or is in search of something else.

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