Go besiege the fugitives

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Monsieur Leland

Senior Member
French - France
Hello,

Can I say: "the police forces go besiege the fugitives"? I know that "besiege" exists, but it seems there are so little results on google with "go besiege"...
 
  • Monsieur Leland

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Oo ok. I was thus a bit long in the tooth then! Indeed in this case, the police forces have to "besiege" two fugitives hidden in a barn. However, "the police forces go do the fugitives"? sounds very colloquial to me. Would you have another suggestion to express the same "besiege" idea with a "modern" word?
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    For what it's worth, I don't consider "besiege" to be archaic. If I think back, it is more commonly used by over-excited news reporters. A usage close to what you have in post #3 seems fine - "police forces have besieged two fugitives hidden in a barn".

    If you decide against "besiege", you could use "surround" - "police forces have surrounded a barn where two fugitives are hiding".
     

    Monsieur Leland

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I like "surround" as well. But I need to stay in a descriptive, present tense, I can't use the "TV anchor style" you describe, unfortunately.

    I must really express the feeling that they go to the barn to besiege/surround the fugitives.

    Hence "Galvanized by the colonel, the police forces go besiege/surround the fugitives".

    But I don't want to sound archaic. It must be a very clear and dynamic sentence. I might even have to add "go to besiege" according to a few people, so I'm a bit lost here.
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I like "surround" as well. But I need to stay in a descriptive, present tense, I can't use the "TV anchor style" you describe, unfortunately.

    I must really express the feeling that they go to the barn to besiege/surround the fugitives.

    Hence "Galvanized by the colonel, the police forces go besiege/surround the fugitives".

    But I don't want to sound archaic. It must be a very clear and dynamic sentence. I might even have to add "go to besiege" according to a few people, so I'm a bit lost here.
    I think "go to" sounds better than just "go". Another possibility is "set off to".

    How about "confront" instead of "besiege" or "surround"? As in "Galvanized by the colonel, the police forces set off to confront the fugitives." Whether they end up surrounding the barn as a result is yet to be determined.
     

    Monsieur Leland

    Senior Member
    French - France
    In my opinion, "confront" doesn't give the idea of "surrounding the barn, ready to shoot the fugitives". It rather means an immediate attack. so if "besiege" doesn't sound awkward to your native ears, I'll go with "Galvanized by the colonel, the polices forces go to besiege the fugitives".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I don't think this can be described adequately with a single word. Here are a couple of examples:


    They covered all the barn's exits and demanded that the fugitives surrender.

    Come out with your hands up. We have you surrounded. There is no chance of escape.

     

    Monsieur Leland

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Packard: your suggestions are great, but more "book-like". I unfortunately need to stick with a descriptive present tense, hence "to go besiege the fugitives".
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I unfortunately need to stick with a descriptive present tense, hence "to go besiege the fugitives".
    Why do you want to use "go besiege" rather than "go and besiege" or "go to besiege"? Is this speech or a descriptive passage?

    It may be fine in AE speech, but it seems curiously inappropriate for a description of what is going on. How does it sound to you, Packard? I'm familiar enough with phrases like "Let's go check it out", ""Better go see who it is", so don't think I'm completely out of touch with colloquial AE:).

    In fact I may be completely mistaken, but I'm quite curious about this.:)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Why do you want to use "go besiege" rather than "go and besiege" or "go to besiege"? Is this speech or a descriptive passage?

    It may be fine in AE speech, but it seems curiously inappropriate for a description of what is going on. How does it sound to you, Packard? I'm familiar enough with phrases like "Let's go check it out", ""Better go see who it is", so don't think I'm completely out of touch with colloquial AE:).

    In fact I may be completely mistaken, but I'm quite curious about this.:)

    If I were forced to use "besieged/besiege" I would use "went and" or "go and".

    For some reason my spell checker is OK with "besieged" but flags "besiege".
     
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