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  5. "La police s'est rendue sur l…

"La police s'est rendue sur les lieux."

Translation:The police went to the scene.

March 6, 2015

115 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanPo443749

This is the hardest sentence I've encountered so far. I must have missed it 30 times by now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hope197

Definitely. Personally, I don't understand why the "s'est" is there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SWDesertGal

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeremy_A

But for me, it doesn't say, "The police returned..." It says, "The police went..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgLovoll

I guess that is an idiomatic expression, or maybe rendue has a meaning which is missed in English, "like leave themselves with the scenery"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenisBouch7

"Rendre" has many meanings depending on context. Best to look it up in a dictionary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

I've never heard that expression. I was curious so I tried to find it online, but failed. Do you have any idea from what country it originates?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

I wasn't referring to the language (since we Are learning French), but rather the original source of the phrase itself. Does anyone know if it also has Latin origination? (details help me remember better).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

What is "leave themselves with the scenery?" What does this mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LauriPekon

Well, why is "the premises" plural? I think this is a similar case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeValley1

Premises is plural in English. The premise..vs. the premises, two different meanings). In French, apparently when the police go to a site or the premises of a crime, it's "les lieux," just as in English we say "the premises" and not "the premise."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

Exactly.

On that note, see the section of the following entry on "derived forms":


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LauriPekon

Well I thought I was making the same point :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eluzie

Excellent example. Have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

I was wrong. I digress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

You were making the same point. I voted it up. ;-)

I added the dictionary link because people are still asking as if this question hasn't been answered.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LauriPekon

Well have a Lingot then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@PeaceJoyPancakes, merci beaucoup. I'm not sure why I got a couple down votes for asking a couple questions... shouldn't we be encouraged to ask things we don't know?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeValley1

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Summerstor5

I think it relates to "la maison" because "la police" refers to the home office, the HQ, the police headquarters, OR to "the police" in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

No, it's not that convoluted. It could be a result of its Latin antecedent "politia" also being feminine, but I imagine these relationships don't always hold true.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eluzie

You're not alone on this one. Why is it so difficult?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricksonAd

Glad it's not just me! This stupid sentence has been vexing me for months!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/orrbri

Why not "the police returned to the scene"? The word "rendue" comes from the infinitive "rendre" which means to return, right? Or am I missing something here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deloraen

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmgoss

If it also means surrender, could this sentence mean "The police surrendered on the site?" Just curious. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deloraen

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deeptendu

Could you explain in which situations do sur mean at?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Summerstor5

Why wouldn't they use both "aller" when they first to go to "les lieux" and then "rendre" when they leave and later return? Surely, it would be useful to have that distinction available in the language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

The distinction is available in the language, but you have to use other words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

You are making sense to me here. "return to the scene" makes sense in english and then the mystery is lieux is plural... but overall, "return to the scene" is classic detective talk on tv and in novels in English and every day English and formal English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

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:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simon_Bell

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Summerstor5

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dewain

isn't "les lieux" plural? Shouldn't "the places" or "the scenes" be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sfishlock

Is it idiomatic like les toilettes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/puppybane

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deanyblitz

This sentence drives me crazy! My future career in French law enforcement is doomed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

"The police came on the scene" was rejected, even though that seems like perfectly idiomatic English usage to me. I reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanWillow

How about, "La police est allé sur les lieux." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachael637522

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

That does help – thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lilbruno400

Why is être used instead of avoir? Is it because of the se?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

Yes. "Se rendre" is intransitive like "aller", "venir", etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ketan1987

Why does the 'se' go before 'est' here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anijsjemeisje

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 !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryTo2

Why is it "se rendre" and not "aller"? In what situations should we use se rendre instead of aller?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellenkeyne

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 :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

I'd report that. If "sites" is possible, the singular "site" should also work, as "lieux" is often used (like "premises") to connote a single location.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellenkeyne

I did. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dermatology

Still a problem 2 months later. I've reported it for what it's worth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SquirlRat

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8262695 As you say "the site" translates to "les lieux" according to Duolingo but not vice-versa. I've been reporting this over and over for months.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellenkeyne

I got a note today that they now accept "the site."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Summerstor5

sur les lieux

ON the scene

ONTO the scene


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveKibbe

Anyone else hearing a distinct "p" sound in front of "les" and "lieux"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jgrot

Yes, I heard the "p" sound in the slow pronunciation. Reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveKibbe

Only in the slow motion though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tatainUS

I don't know why the English translation "the police went back to the site" is not allowed. If rendre means give back or return, why is "went back" not allowed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerardmcgv

LES lieux? "the sites"? DUOLINGO seriously needs to offer better explanations


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/junichiro.uno

Why is "The police went to the site' is wrong only this time ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kamran441748

the audio is hopeless.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thuongagri1

I wrote "the police has gone to the places" and I got it wrong, Duolingo told that" the police have gone to the places", am I correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

You're not. "Police" is treated as a plural noun in English, though it's singular in French. Use "police officer" (or just "officer") if you want to talk about one individual person ("policier" in French).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike904263

In English we often say the police attended the scene. A bit of formal colloquialism.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnSimont

My answer was correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leonell12

why is "The police went on to the site" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue982020

Seriously difficult to translate when everyday words do not come into play.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/burgong

I thought rendre meant to give back, to return (something)? Shouldn't retourner be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonjon737

What is the reason for using lieu in its plural form? The question has been asked by others, but without response.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SWDesertGal

As has been asked several times: why is "les lieux," which is clearly plural, translated as the singular "the site"? I can accept that it is idiomatic, but I'd like to understand why. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellenkeyne

Just think of it as like our word "premises."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamascc

I would like to see the translation, despite my failure to say it correctly. When you say "Let's move on" I learn nothing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catrina_d

Why is it s'est and not s'as?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes
  1. Pronominal verbs (such as "se rendre") use "être" as an auxilary instead of "avoir".

  2. The verb form "as" would be the conjugation for "tu", not for "elle" ("la police").


[deactivated user]

    I put "the police went to the site" Wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBrown64

    why not went instead of came?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    "Went" is given as the default translation on the website. Is it possible that Duo's actual issue with your sentence was something else?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ciriart

    I tried came and was marked wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Seems like it should be correct, depending of course on the context.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

    I keep putting "have returned" on this and it tells me I am wrong and it is "gone" or "went"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

    Yeah, apparently I don't know some of these verbs very well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Practice makes perfect. It's the pronoun here that makes the difference. Without "se", "rendre [qch]" can mean "to return [sth]":


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hb05203

    So "se rendre" and "aller" are interchangeable when they mean to go?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinDown

    It didn't accept "cops" for police. Rightly or wrongly?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    There are less formal terms in French, such as "les flics", that are more similar to "cops", but I don't know what the relative frequency of use is.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjenatz

    For me "police" is a singular noun, as in "police force", that's why I put "the police HAS gone to the scene", but no, Duo wants it to be "the police HAVE gone...". I understand the plural of police is police, but still my answer should be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ian650502

    Why is it sur and not á?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Chances are that "sur" is just idiomatic. But don't forget that "à les" changes to "aux".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/klassau

    I think "The police arrived on the scene," should be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Maybe, but "se rendre quelque part" seems to mean "to go somewhere", not "to arrive somewhere", which would be "arriver quelque part".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dufajjulie

    OMG! This must be DL's favorite sentence!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solaodut

    I think "rendue" means RETURNED with also means (went back). then what about (allee)? Please explain. Thanks


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    "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:


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisaskier

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oscarhugo52

    The singular "La police" is translated in the plural "the police" and the plural "les lieux" is translated in the singular "the scene". What a quirky little sentence


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkWakeli1

    I never get this - keeps coming up over the last three years. No explanation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oscarhugo52

    Why does it have to be "went" rather than "returned", ie the police went back for a second look


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    The French simply means "went", not "returned".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonvanderValk

    Why not "The police has gone to the scene"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenisBouch7

    It is plural. "Le policier" would be and individual police officer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Ghosh3

    Why "The police returned to the scene wrong." is wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Ghosh3

    Why "The police returned to the scene." is wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomNitido

    Why is this not "The police returned to the scene"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat733327

    "se rendre" is translated in my dictionary as "to give up, to surrender". In way does this translate as "went" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Best to check more than one dictionary. There are links elsewhere on this page.

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