FR: sur les lieux du crime

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by visual1ce, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. visual1ce Member

    English - Australia
    La police a relevé des empreintes digitales sur les lieux du crime.

    I wonder if the phrase "les lieux du crime" is generally preceded by "sur" or if "sur" is used because the fingerprints were taken from the places of the crime. Perhaps an example will clear things up:

    La police a trouvé un couteau sur les lieux du crime.

    Cette a-t-elle de sens? Je crois que cette phrase ne pas de sens. Comment dit-on cette phrase correctement en français?

    In the first phrase should I visualise or think about "lieux du crime" (at least in this context) as the surfaces of the crime or is it more abstract? I guess what I'm asking is why lieu is in the plural? Is lieux du crime invariable when talking about scene of the crime? Also why are the fingerprints "sur" les lieux du crime.

    Perhaps this is a silly question; imagine somebody asking me why the fingerprints are "at" the scene of the crime or why the crime has a scene...

    I wonder if the issue with prepositions is the way particular languages frame the manner in which we mentally depict or visualise situations. In English I would expect that fingerprints would be lifted AT THE scene of the crime. A more abstract construction rather than fingerprints lifted by/against the places/surfaces of the crime.
  2. Alsako

    Alsako Senior Member

    français de France
    En effet, "les lieux du crime" est toujours précédé de la préposition "sur".

    La police se rend sur les lieux du crime.
  3. Apricot78

    Apricot78 Member

    Yvelines, France
    French - France
    As Alsako says, your second sentence is perfect! "Sur les lieux" is used to talk about an area; i.e. people say "sur Paris" to talk about the area of Paris.

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