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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Verb "ransack"

    I am wondering if my sentences makes sense in English. I have tried to use "ransack", but I am not sure if it can be used as I used it. Is it correct to say "clues of who she was"?

    Maria ransacked her past, trying to understand herself. She looked for the clues of who she actually was.

  2. #2
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    I've only ever heard "ransack" used with apartments, houses, offices, or other living or work spaces.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    Corpus of Contemporary AmE has these examples:
    He ransacked his brain to try to remember how they used Canadians just a few minutes before.
    He ransacked his memory.
    He ransacked his childhood for inspiration.
    Magrite ransacked his dreams and his subconscious for images.

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Corpus of Contemporary AmE has these examples:
    He ransacked his brain to try to remember how they used Canadians just a few minutes before.
    He ransacked his memory.
    He ransacked his childhood for inspiration.
    Magrite ransacked his dreams and his subconscious for images.
    Evidently each of these phrases has been used. They all look clumsy to me.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    Write She was looking for the clues for to who she actually was.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    To me, "ransack" means to frantically search for something, and in doing so, create a complete mess and even cause damage.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  7. #7
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    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    I can't say I've ever heard of 'ransack' being used for memories, but I have heard 'rummage (through)' used for memories. It's similar to 'ransack'.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  8. #8
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    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: Verb "ransack"

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I can't say I've ever heard of 'ransack' being used for memories, but I have heard 'rummage (through)' used for memories. It's similar to 'ransack'.
    I agree. We rummage through our memories as best we can. We may have been able to ransack them when we were young and advocating and needing lignting response, but that ability fades as we age.

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