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  5. "De politie heeft hem gezocht…

"De politie heeft hem gezocht."

Translation:The police have searched for him.

August 30, 2014



I expected this to be, "The police searched him", as in searched him to see if he was carrying something illegal. How would you say that? I would have expected searching for him to be "De politie heeft voor hem gezocht", but maybe that would mean searching for something on his behalf...?


'zoeken' is more 'seek' than 'search'. My Dutch isn't good enough to give a decent answer to what would be a good translation of 'search', and unfortunately my dictionary didn't give any particularly satisfying translations.

For 'frisk', however, 'fouilleren' seems to be the preferred verb.


That is, indeed, the right word. From a Dutch government website:

De politie onderzoekt dan of iemand wapens bij zich heeft. Dit heet preventief fouilleren.

So the sentence ScottWidney is looking for (zoekt) is: De politie heeft hem gefouilleerd.


Thanks for the confirmation!


The police searched him : de politie doorzocht hem,

The police searched for him : de politie heeft hem gezocht and

The police were looking for him : de politie zocht hem


For a person, search is fouilleren, for a car or house, it's doorzoeken. "de politie heeft de man gefouilleerd" and "de politie heeft zijn auto/huis doorzocht". The act of searching a house is called "huiszoeking", a search warrant "huiszoekingsbevel".


Why not "naar hem" ???


In my experience, in U.S. English, "the police" is a plural noun. It would only be singular if the subject were "the police officer". If this were the case, then the translation would be "The police have searched for him."


it shows "de politie heeft hem gezocht", why not "de politie hebben hem gezocht" if "politie" is a plural noun?


The police is plural, de politie isn't.


Not necessarily. In many varieties of English, "the police" is treated as a collective noun and therefore as singular.


It should indeed be "have", so I changed it.


Frankly speaking, Police is used is singular as collective noun too. Here an example from the BBC


I think both 'have' and 'has' should be accepted


Interesting! The BBC article says, "Swedish police have confirmed the raid," but also quotes the spokesman for the affected Swedish firm as saying, "The police has completed a raid."


However, groups can be considered singular nouns (e.g. the senate, the police, the committee) and conjugate as singular?


I think that present perfect continous should also be accepted: "The police have been searching for him".

Searching for somebody is usually a process not a single act.


But in the original sentence they are done searching for him, while your sentence has a different meaning since the searching is still going on.


Ah... Thanks for the reply! I still sometimes get confused by the perfect tenses in German, Dutch and especially English. That's primarily because such things don't exist in Polish which is my native language.

So how to translate my present perfect continous sentence to Dutch correctly? I suppose that goes beyond the scope of this course...


Normally in Dutch you can use any 'simple' tense to refer to an action that is in progress. As far as I understood, the specific construction for the continuous aspect (zijn +aan het+verb) is mostly used in the Present to refer to something that is actually happenning right now.

But I think The police has/have been searching for him would be something like

De politie heeft hem aan het zoeken geweest.

But I think mostly people would say De politie was hem aan het zoeken.

Here's a debate about this: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=881


Would "The police have sought him" be a valid English translation here?


That's what I wrote, but it was not accepted. "Have sought" is indeed the past of "are searching", and would be a more correct anwser. Bonus is that it is more parallel to the Dutch "gezocht".


How would you say 'the police were looking for him' in dutch?


De politie was hem aan het zoeken.


I have guessed as "The police have searched him" who can explain to me what difference it makes with the meaning. why it is not correct.


That meaning of search translates to fouilleren. See previous comments above.


Anyone else have a major issue hearing the words "heeft hem" in the speaking of this sentence? Even after knowing its there and listening to it repeatedly, I distinctly here it as, at best, completely missing the "heeft".


I put 'the police was looking for him' and it wasn't accepted. Why is this not correct? thanks

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