General Writing and Grammar Help/Search - search for

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to search something" and "to search FOR something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to search something" and "to search FOR
something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** There is a big difference.  If you search FOR something, you do not have that something and you are trying to find it.  If you search something, you already have that something and you are looking inside it.

EXAMPLES:

I have my family scrapbook, and I am SEARCHING it for a photograph of my grandfather.

I am SEARCHING FOR my family's scrapbook. I thought that my mother had stored it in the attic, but I cannot find it.

I do not know where I left my car keys; I have been SEARCHING FOR them for over an hour.

Why don't you SEARCH your car?  Maybe you left your keys inside it.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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