seek after

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EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all, I have a friend who always use "seek after" instead of "seek", as in:

We must seek after the best person for our job.
I will seek after the truth.
If you get stuck, you should seek after assistance.


I believe "seek after" is always wrong regardless of context because I can't find this phrasal verb in any dictionary. I believe it should be just "seek". Am I right, or have I missed something?
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It is not a phrasal verb, so you won't find it in a dictionary. It is sometimes appropriate to use the preposition "after" with seek, particularly when talking generally (seek after the truth). Usually it doesn't need a preposition. Your friend's first and third examples are not idiomatic.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Seek after" sounds vaguely Biblical to me. It implies a very earnest search for something (wisdom, the truth, God...) Even "seek" is a rather "high register" word for mundane searches:

    I seek after enlightenment.
    I seek the answer to my questions online.
    (I would use "search for".)
    I look for my socks.

    We do tell someone to "seek assistance" - it's a common collocation, but not in informal speech, where we simply "ask someone to help us".


    (Edited for formatting)
     
    Last edited:

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    It is not a phrasal verb, so you won't find it in a dictionary. It is sometimes appropriate to use the preposition "after" with seek, particularly when talking generally (seek after the truth). Usually it doesn't need a preposition. Your friend's first and third examples are not idiomatic.
    Wouldn't we say "seek out the truth" instead of "seek after the truth"? :)
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It would certainly be more common to use "out" than "after", but I was answering your original question, which didn't mention "seek out".
     
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