I believe the "s'est" is there because the compound verb--"have returned"--is reflexive; that is, the action taken was performed on themselves: they returned themselves to the scene. But someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I'm just lost on the "les lieux" part: "the place" or "the scene" is singular, and "les lieux" is clearly plural. Idiomatic? Perhaps, but I'd like to know the reason, whatever it is.
On that note, see the section of the following entry on "derived forms":
Who can tell what goes on in the minds of other users when it comes to voting?
As for "leave themselves with the scenery" above, I read that as just an attempt to tease out the meaning of the French verb, and not as an actual idiom in any language, but I stand to be corrected. (In any event, I can't really figure out what it means. How does one leave oneself somewhere? It sounds almost like a Buddhist concept.)
Reflexive, so the "se" must be there. Past tense of a verb requiring être, so the "est" must be there (police is singular third person). The "se" goes to s' in front of a vowel. La police s'est...
The part that gets me every time is remembering that police is feminine singular, I want it to be plural. Rendue not rendues.
You're right, "rendre" means "to return" : "je rends le sac" : "i return the bag". But if you use "se rendre quelque part", it means "to go somewhere" and is different thant "retourner quelque part", which is "to return somewhere". And for the record, "se rendre" can also mean "to surrender".
Well, if you say "la police s'est rendue sur le site", the most natural translation would be "the police went to the site". If you want to say that the police surrended while being on the site, you should rather say something like "la police s'est rendue lorsqu'elle était sur le site" in order to avoid ambiguity...
But as suggested elsewhere on this page, in fact "se rendre" doesn't imply that they've been there before, as "return" does in English.
The dictionary is always helpful:
As for "lieux", that's been addressed as well:
Les lieux ? How many scenes did the police come to?
Edit: It seems that 'sur les lieux' means 'on the scene'. A bit like how in English you are 'on the premises' as opposed to 'on the premise' (which means something completely different). Glad we only took a year to clear that up!
It would be different if you were discussing a television, movie, or stage play production where "scene" means the stage. "Sur la scene" means in place to film a scene of the movie, on the stage to play the role, etc.
But, the french meaning which makes most sense to me from this discussion as it relates to cops on the scene, is relating "les lieux" to "the premises".
What a sentence. English speakers have to deal with the weird collective noun for police (it's weird in english, too, but less strict). Then we have "se rendre somewhere" which is apparently a way to say "to go somewhere". And finally it turns out that, in some circumstances, "place" is "les lieux". Oh, French, je t'aime, mais je te déteste aussi. :)
Oh, and just to make it more fun, "return to the scene of the crime" is not an uncommon phrase for native english speakers who like procedurals.
I was confused as to why se rendre is used. A French friend explained that se rendre + a place is used when there is a need to go somewhere, often to answer a call. So you might use it when talking about firefighters, police, ambulance, etc., going to a scene. I hope that helps someone else too!
Because it is a pronominal verb :) pronominal verbs always have a pronoun before them. An example would be the verb "to scratch oneself" : se gratter. Je me gratte Tu te grattes Il/Elle/on se gratte Nous nous grattons Vous vous grattez Ils/Elles se grattent
Hope it was helpful !
Earlier I got the English sentence "The police went to the site" and was told the answer was "La police s'est rendue sur les lieux," plural. Now I get the French sentence "La police s'est rendue sur les lieux," answer "The police went to the site" -- and am corrected because it wants "to the SITES"! Can't win on this one :(
It should probably be accepted.
I thought at first that maybe Duo was trying to emphasize the usage of "scene" in such common police-related idiomatic phrases as "crime scene". On that note, see the translation of "lieux" as "scene" in the the "derived forms" section of following dictionary entry:
However, another commenter says "sites" is accepted here, in which case the singular "site" should also work, because "lieux" is often used (like the English "premises") to connote a single location.
It's certainly not out of the question. I think one of the points of the given translation could be to teach that "lieux" is used where English would idiomatically use "scene" (of a crime or accident) or "premises", but "site" is a reasonable synonym in either case.
"To return" is not a good translation for "se rendre".
Practice makes perfect. It's the pronoun here that makes the difference. Without "se", "rendre [qch]" can mean "to return [sth]":
More or less. Personally I think of "se rendre quelque part" as "to get oneself somewhere".
The meaning is pretty much the same, but I think it's probably a good idea to try to observe the sorts of situations in which "se rendre" is used idiomatically, and not to use it too liberally as a substitute for "aller".
Duo is right. As a noun on its own, the English "police" is treated as plural. Otherwise the speaker sounds childish or uneducated. We use "officer", for example, for an individual member of the police.
We ignore number when we use "police" as an attributive, as in "police force" or "police officer", but that doesn't change how we use the word as a noun on its own.
Of course you're free to use a non-standard construction in your own speech, but you can't expect Duolingo to mark it correct.
"Rendre" doesn't typically mean "to go back", but it can mean "to return" in the sense of "to give back". But here we're dealing with "se rendre", which in this context just means "to go (somewhere)". Some earlier comments, with dictionary links:
Crikey, you REALLY have patience PJP, you have answered the same questions SOoooo many times in this thread!
Thanks for all your very helpful input :]
My problem with this sentence is the audio, the man clearly pronounces a "p" before "les" and also "Lieux" rendering it impossible to figure out what he is saying.
Reported today 19/9/18