Escaped convict

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Dear teacher,
Are there any differences between these following sentences:
1. The police must now look for the escaped convict in the surrounding countries.
2. The police must now be in search of the escaped convict in the surrounding countries.
And which sentence is the best?
Thanks a lot.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    mimi2 said:
    Dear teacher,
    Are there any differences between these following sentences:
    1. The police must now look for the escaped convict in the surrounding countries.
    2. The police must now be in search of the escaped convict in the surrounding countries.
    And which sentence is the best?
    Thanks a lot.
    Mimi - they are both correct but mean different things -

    1 = A statement that the police are now obliged to look for the conflict (must = have to)
    2 = A statement that I assume the police are currently physically searching for the conflict. (must be = probably are)
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Sentence #2 is not possible in American English. You cannot really "be in search" of something. You can "search for", you can "be searching for", and you can even "be on the lookout for", but you cannot "be in search".

    Other than that, both sentences are the same to me.

    Other possibilities:
    The police must now look in the surrounding countries for the escaped convict.
    The police must now search the surrounding countries for the escaped convict.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Nick said:
    Sentence #2 is not possible in American English. You cannot really "be in search" of something. You can "search for", you can "be searching for", and you can even "be on the lookout for", but you cannot "be in search".

    Other than that, both sentences are the same to me.

    Other possibilities:
    The police must now look in the surrounding countries for the escaped convict.
    The police must now search the surrounding countries for the escaped convict.
    I think you're right. You can do something in search of something else, but you cannot "be in search of."

    No wonder the sentence sounded a little odd when I first read it.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    You can in BE. I'm in search of a better life. I think the difference is that you are not in search of something specific, such as a convict. So "the police are in search of happiness" but not "the police are in search of the murderer".
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    timpeac said:
    I think the difference is that you are not in search of something specific, such as a convict. So "the police are in search of happiness" but not "the police are in search of the murderer".
    Still no in American English. You just can't "be in search of" anything.

    I would say "I'm looking for a better life".
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Nick said:
    Still no in American English. You just can't "be in search of" anything.

    I would say "I'm looking for a better life".
    Sorry, Nick.
    It certainly is an AE usage.

    Here's a quote from a Denver (Colorado) Puppet Theater advertisement:
    "If you are in search of a break from the normal kid diversions of arcades and such, bring your children here for a few hours of refreshingly different fun and amusement."
    http://denver.citystar.com/mall/entertainment03.html

    And one from the Denver Post:
    "Your posse is in search of one more - 'just one more drink,' "
    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_0001450405

    I used these examples as you're from the Rocky Mountains.

    A google search will bring up plenty more.
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    Nick said:
    Nothing is universal. Of course some people will use "be in search of", but I hold that most people don't. It just sounds off in American English.

    Numbers is your game? Compare 1.6 million to 88.8 million:
    Google: be/am/is/are/was/were in search of
    Google: searching for
    While I agree that it is not so common in American English, I disagree that most Americans would find it unnatural.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    JLanguage said:
    While I agree that it is not so common in American English, I disagree that most Americans would find it unnatural.
    Me too. It's a little "formal," but so is the idea of being in search of something, as opposed to just looking for it.

    There was a UFO/bigfoot/cropcircles show on trash-educational early discovery-channel cable TV, called "In Search Of..."

    Hosted by Leonard Nimoy.
    .
     

    duder

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I find nothing strange looking or sounding about "to be in search of". In fact, I am reminded of the book by Phillipe Bourgois (an American) called In Search of Respect, whose title I thought to be clearly derived from this phrase.

    Granted, it isn't something I would say in everyday conversation, but that doesn't rule it out of AE usage.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Nick said:
    Nothing is universal. Of course some people will use "be in search of", but I hold that most people don't. It just sounds off in American English.

    Numbers is your game? Compare 1.6 million to 88.8 million:
    Google: be/am/is/are/was/were in search of
    Google: searching for
    Sure, nothing is universal,
    but you're the one originally claiming universality
    More that once you wrote that you cannot "be in search" in AE.

    My withers are unwrung.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I don't think anyone should be arguing with an Australian in a thread entitled "escaped convict".

    <<Runs away and hides very quickly>>
     
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