EN: at / on the crime scene - preposition


New Member
Preposition puzzle
Hello lovely native people from this forum. I'm stuck: What is the difference between "at" the crime and "on" the crime scene when talking about crime scenes and police investigations? Which one is best? Does it depend on the context?
Thx for your help!
  • En attendant la réponse des natifs, il me semble que at the crime scene est usuel, tandis que on the crime scene est plus rare et d'un emploi relativement récent – hormis bien sûr les cas où c'est le verbe qui demande cette préposition, comme dans It depends on the crime scene.
    "On" the crime scene sounds wrong to my ear unless, as Maître Capello indicates, the word "on" is dictated by the structure or meaning of a particular expression. Such expression need not be verbal, as there are any number of prepositional phrases that could be involved: "one's perspective on X," "based on X," "a focus on X," etc. We also have a common turn of phrase, "the first person [to arrive] on the scene," into which the word "crime" could naturally be inserted if that was the context.

    Another possible scenario for "on" in place of "at" is jargon -- an objectification or "technicalization" that introduces a degree of (psychological) separation and begins to dissociate the concept of a crime scene from the specific physical location where a crime took place and evidence may be found.