Sift through this matter

Siavash2015

Senior Member
Iranian-Persian
Hi everyone,
Is the use of "sift through" correct?
Meaning examine, explore.

Let me sift through this matter.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well, possibly, but it is hard to tell with more context.

    With metaphorical meanings, it is always a good idea to consider the literal definition first (usually the first definition in a dictionary). You sift flour and other powdered materials, usually to eliminate the coarser lumps, though I suppose in some circumstances it could be the coarse lumps you are looking for, but the idea is that every single fine grain needs to pass through the sieve.

    Sifting through evidence looking for clues is common use of the expression. Sifting through a report is not.
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    Well, possibly, but it is hard to tell with more context.

    With metaphorical meanings, it is always a good idea to consider the literal definition first (usually the first definition in a dictionary). You sift flour and other powdered materials, usually to eliminate the coarser lumps, though I suppose in some circumstances it could be the coarse lumps you are looking for, but the idea is that every single fine grain needs to pass through the sieve.

    Sifting through evidence looking for clues is common use of the expression. Sifting through a report is not.
    You mean" sift through the report" is completely incorrect?
     
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