I would like to have insert mode completion for sentences rather than lines in vim.

C-x C-l completes lines, but cannot complete sentences that do not start with a new line.

For example:

I have a dog. My dog's name is Spot.

I want to be able to type:

My dog

then hit a key to complete the sentence.

What is the best way to do this? A thread with the same title did not have a solution.

2 Answers 2


Try C-x C-u. You will need to define the completion as described in the complete-functions section of the vim help. Type:

:help complete-functions

To see this section. Similarly,

:help i_^X

(where ^X is the C-x character) will show you the section that describes this mode. Keep in mind that sentences typically end with the pattern /. /. Good luck.

  • Thanks. This is currently a bit beyond my level of knowledge, but I'll post if I find a specific solution. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 2:06

I modified my thesaurus completer to do sentence completion. Some enhancements would be Complete using PWD/, Gutenberg/books/, Better regex using context around cursor.

" What: Complete sentence
" Usage: :so % <CR> Get sentence[press C-x C-o]
" How:  Get sentence completions using perl from current  file

set completeopt+=menuone

set omnifunc=MoshCompleteSentence
function!    MoshCompleteSentence(findstart, base)
    " == First call: find-sentence-backwards, see :help omnifunc
    if a:findstart
        let s:line = getline('.')
        let s:wordStart = col('.') - 1
        " Check backward for a sentence_prefix
        while s:wordStart > 0 && s:line[s:wordStart - 1] =~ '[A-Za-z0-9 _,]'
            let s:wordStart -= 1
        return s:wordStart

        " == Second call: grep for sentence_regex, output: list of sentences
        let a:sentence_regex = a:base
        " in regex trim spaces
        let a:sentence_regex = substitute( a:sentence_regex,'\v^\s*(.{-})\s*$','\1','')
        " in regex change punctuation as dot.
        let a:sentence_regex = substitute(a:sentence_regex,'\W','.','g')
        " grep using perl
        let s:cmd='perl -ne '' '
            \.'next if m/^[;#]/;'
            \.'if( /('.a:sentence_regex.'.{1,30})/io ){'
            \.'   print qq/$1;;/ '
            \. ' '' '
        " == To debug: redir echom to file
        " redir >> c:/tmp/vim.log
        echom s:cmd
        let   s:rawOutput = system(s:cmd)
        let   s:listing = split(s:rawOutput, ';;')
        " echom join(s:listing,',')
        " redir END
        return s:listing

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