Note: This is the comparison of nouns occurring in the slot immediately after utter and sheer in COCA. A different search (in another corpus) will of course yield different results, but the general concepts remain the same.

WORD 1 (W1)  1   UTTER (0.31)  3 
    WORD  5  W1  6  W2  7  W1/W2  8  SCORE  9 
1   DARKNESS 54 0 108.0 344.9
2   FAILURE 46 0 92.0 293.8
3   DESTRUCTION 39 0 78.0 249.1
14   DISBELIEF 50 3 16.7 53.2
WORD 2 (W2)  2   SHEER (3.19)  4 
    WORD W2 W1 W2/W1 SCORE
1   NUMBER 341 0 84.0 58.3
2   NUMBERS 283 0 70.0 48.6
3   VOLUME 256 0 64.0 44.4
76   DETERMINATION 47 3 15.7 4.9

The basic idea of the table is that we want to see how frequent a collocate is with two competing words, compared to the overall frequency of those two words. For example, if there are twice as many tokens of Word1 as Word2 in the corpus overall, but a given collocate occurs fifty times as much with Word1 as with Word2, then the ratio of Word1 to Word2 with that collocate is 25 times what would otherwise "be expected".

1. 2. The two words being compared
3. 4. The ratio (overall) for the two words. In this example, there are only .31 tokens of utter for every token of sheer (2,483 vs 8,002), but 3.19 tokens of sheer for every token of utter.
5. The rank-ordered list of words or phrases that occur with [1]. Click on the word or phrase to see the "Keyword in Context" display.
The frequency of [5] with [1]. In this case we looked for nouns after utter, so this indicates that there were 50 tokens of utter disbelief (the last entry on the left).
7. The frequency of [5] with the competing word [2]. In this case, it shows that there are just 3 cases of sheer disbelief.
8. The ratio of [6] / [7]. In this case, there are 16.7 times as many cases of utter disbelief as there are sheer disbelief (When the competing word has a frequency of 0, it is set to .5, to avoid division by 0.)
9. The ratio of [8] to [3]. In the case of disbelief, the ratio of [utter/sheer] (16.7 times as frequent) is 53.2 times the overall ratio of [utter vs sheer] (.31) in the corpus. The results are sorted by the decreasing figures in this column.

Note that in the example above, the entries are sorted by the "score", which is a function of the ratio of the two words. But if you just want to see which are the most frequent strings with each word (regardless of what is happening with the other word), then select OPTIONS / [SORT BY] = [FREQUENCY] in the search form.