June 29, 2012
ramshackle (adjective)
\RAM-shak-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: looking ready to fall down
How do you use it?
The yard of the creepy, ramshackle old house was a perfect site for the town's annual Halloween festivities.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these sentences do you think uses "ramshackle" correctly?

D is the answer that holds up. Sentence A uses "ramshackle" as a noun instead of an adjective, so it can't stand as the correct answer. The writer of that sentence most likely meant to use word "shack." Unless he's a very eccentric millionaire, the guy in sentence B isn't likely to invest his money in a house that might as well be made of cards. Sentence C is shaky too because it uses "ramshackle" as a verb instead of an adjective. The writer was probably searching for the word "shackle," which means "to handcuff." That leaves D and the rickety bridge on the verge of collapse.
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