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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 28th, 2020, 05:41 pm
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Default to close in on

Hi,

What does 'closing in on someone' mean here?

Detective: "...do the right thing here Bob for her mom. Tell us what you did with her body at least."

...based on the information we received from this informant. They had robbed Kelly, killed her that they had shot her. The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me.

Thanks a million.

Last edited by susan53 : Mar 29th, 2020 at 03:14 am.
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Unread Mar 29th, 2020, 03:53 am
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Default Re: to close in on

The extract you've given isn't fully logical but I've interpreted it as best I can.

It could mean "getting closer to proving that they were the criminals" or "getting closer to finding them" In the first case, the police suspect them but don't have enough concrete evidence at the moment to accuse them formally. But the more evidence they gather the closer they get to the moment where they can charge them with the crime.

In the second case, possibly eg they know they're in a certain area but don't know exactly where. This would seem to be suggested by the final sentence , but is illogical as they've already interviewed Bob so must know where he is.

The first sentence needs a comma :
Detective: "...do the right thing here Bob, for her mom. Tell us what you did with her body at least."

But the real problem is the following paragraph which..

a) is ungrammatical see the changes I've made in the versions below

b) doesn't make sense : "we" would appear to refer to the police, but "me" must be a third murderer - so the final paragraph is illogical.

c) is strange in terms of style. The first part of the paragraph is formal - it sounds like an official police statement, whereas the second part ins informal and sounds as if the third suspect is talking

It therefore needs rewriting completely. I'm guessing it should be either :

a) from a formal police report :

An arrest warrant has now been issued for all three suspects based on information which was received from a witness. The suspects robbed Kelly, and killed her by shooting her. We have arrested Smith, and are closing in on Brown, but still have no idea where to find Andrews.

b) narrated by the third suspect :

The police are now looking for all three of us, after they heard what a witness said. They know we robbed Kelly, and shot and killed her. They've arrested Bob and are closing in on Jim, but they still have no idea where to find me.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 29th, 2020, 03:26 pm
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Default Re: to close in on

Quote:
Quote fface View Post
Hi,


...based on the information we received from this informant. They had robbed Kelly, killed her that they had shot her. The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me.
Hi susan,

"...but they still have no idea where to find me and whether I'm alive or dead."

('me' here refers to the victim Kelly, who is dead but the real killer isn't Bob or Jim)

Can I post the YouTube video about the context here?

Thanks a lot.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 31st, 2020, 07:22 am
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Default Re: to close in on

No idea if you can post the video - probably not if it's copyright, though if it's on the web you could link to it (please give the exact minutes/seconds of the extract) but

a) the meaning of "close in on" doesn't change - it means "getting nearer to the point to capturing someone" whatever the context is and whoever is involved.

b) your explanation that "me" is the victim makes even less sense than before. If "me" = Kelly, then Kelly must be the speaker and must have disappeared leaving it unclear if she was alive or dead.
The final sentence would make sense like this, but then the first part doesn't, as who is speaking ? If it's all one utterance then the beginning must be spoken by Kelly too - so why does she say "her" rather than "me"? And who are "we" and "they"? And the fact still remains that if the police have already questioned Bob they must know where he is. My new rewrite of the paragraph, with Kelly as speaker would therefore be :

The police suspect that Bob and Jim robbed me, and shot and killed me. They've already found Bob and questioned him, and are closing in on Jim. But they still have no idea where to find my body - or even if I really am dead.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 31st, 2020, 05:29 pm
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Default Re: to close in on

Quote:
Quote fface View Post

Detective: "...do the right thing here Bob for her mom. Tell us what you did with her body at least."

...based on the information we received from this informant. They had robbed Kelly, killed her that they had shot her. The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me.

Thanks a million.
Hi susan,

It's a crime show based on a true story.

Maybe you can understand my question better if I rewrite it as follows:

One detective played by someone in the film is interviewing Bob( played by somone): "...do the right thing here Bob for her mom. Tell us what you did with her body at least."

Then a real detective say: "...based on the information we received from this informant. They ("they" refers to Jim and Bob) had robbed Kelly, killed her that they had shot her."

...You knew they had guns and you wouldn't put this past them doing this either over a drug deal or over... these are our guys we just have to prove it.

And then Kelly (played by someone else) says this through Voice-over:

"The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me and whether I'm alive or dead."

Here is a link:https://youtu.be/HQrDcNZBfr8
The time is at 26:34

Thank you very much.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 1st, 2020, 11:41 am
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Default Re: to close in on

OK - I've seen it and I'm afraid you gave confusing information about the text . The text ...based on the information we received from this informant. They had robbed Kelly, killed her that they had shot her. The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me. is not consecutive and not said by the same person. The situation is this:

Kelly disappears. Her best friend tells the police that she (Kelly) took drugs which she bought from Bob and Jim. For some reason Bob and Jim also boast that they killed her, so the police, who have arrested both of them for another crime (car theft) question them about Kelly.

During Bob's interrogation, Bob denies involvement, saying : It was just talk. I swear it. A joke.
The police don't believe him - and that's when the detective says : "...do the right thing here Bob, for her mom. Tell us what you did with her body at least."

Another detective, talking to the camera, then says that they suspected Bob and Jim because : Based on the information we received from this informant (ie Kelly's friend), they had robbed Kelly, killed her, that they had shot her..... He then goes on : These are our guys. We just have to prove it

Kelly in a voice-over then says : The detectives are closing in on Jim and Bob, but they still have no idea where to find me.

Which comes back to what I said in the first answer : closing in on means ...the police suspect them but don't have enough concrete evidence at the moment to accuse them formally. But the more evidence they gather the closer they get to the moment where they can charge them with the crime. The detective's words "These are our guys. We just have to prove it" show this clearly.

The second meaning, of "getting closer to finding them" is irrelevant here because they are both already under arrest for other crimes which they confessed to in order to provide an alibi for not having murdered Kelly.
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Last edited by susan53 : Apr 2nd, 2020 at 03:06 am.
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Unread Apr 5th, 2020, 05:53 pm
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Default Re: to close in on

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post

if the police have already questioned Bob they must know where he is.
Hi susan,

What's the difference between 'to interview, to question and to interrogate a suspect' here?

Thank you very much for your great explanation.

Last edited by fface : Apr 6th, 2020 at 05:27 pm.
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Unread Apr 7th, 2020, 04:40 am
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Default Re: to close in on

"to interview" can be used for any question/answer conversation - eg a job interview; a TV news interview with a politician, an actor, someone involved in a news event; police questioning a witness or a suspect; etc. It could be quite friendly or not, depending on the situation.

"to question" on the other hand suggests a critical stance. Some examples :
...when a reporter once QUESTIONED Lincoln in cryptic fashion, Lincoln refused to make any further statement.
...Pohl confessed the arson while being QUESTIONED about several fires in the Westphalia area.
...Government attorneys, Leavitt said, have QUESTIONED him closely about "five or six loans".


It's not relevant here, but "to question" also has the second meaning of "expressed doubts about" reinforcing the "critical" connotation.
...Lewis and Maund (1979) have QUESTIONED the true significance of social class,
...The governor was not used to having his integrity QUESTIONED.
...(The new passport) is essentially a travel document whose validity has been QUESTIONED by a number of countries.


"to interrogate" suggests that the questioning was "stronger" - possibly that it went on for longer, the questions were harsher etc. Example:
...Kenneth Starr and his deputies INTERROGATED Hillary Clinton for several hours at the White House [/b][/b]

"to interrogate" would also be chosen in a situation where threats, physical violence or torture were involved. Examples :
...The regime has INTERROGATED and imprisoned hundreds of dissidents.
...In the room there was no bed or mattress; nothing. Every day we were INTERROGATED and beaten.


All examples from https://lextutor.ca/conc/eng/
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Unread Apr 9th, 2020, 06:24 pm
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Default Re: to close in on

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post

"to question" on the other hand suggests a critical stance.
Hi susan,

Could you please explain what 'a critical stance' refers to?
Could you also please give some examples of 'question' when used in a situation that the police question suspects with suggesting a critical stance?

Thank you very much.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 11th, 2020, 04:39 am
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Default Re: to close in on

I'm not completely sure what you mean here. It doesn't "refer to" anything. Was your question really "What does it mean?" ? If so, it means to adopt an attitude of potential suspicion or doubt towards something (in our case, the suspect). In other words that they were not necessarily going to believe what they said.

As I said - the verb to question automatically involves this type of attitude. Even if the police are questioning a witness, or even a victim, they have to allow for the possibility that the person is mistaken (witnesses aren't always reliable) or even lying. Just saying : The police questioned the suspect/witness/victim about XXX inevitably suggests that they were open to the possibility that what they heard was not true.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 22nd, 2020, 06:50 pm
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Default Re: to close in on

Hi susan,

Do 'close in on someone' and 'zero in on someone' mean the same thing here in the example above? The phrase 'zero in on...' also appears in the video at 26:59.

Many thanks.
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Unread Apr 23rd, 2020, 02:06 am
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Default Re: to close in on

In the video, yes it's the same.

You can "zero in on" someone or something, meaning to focus/concentrate on, or investigate closely. So eg

1. In the Africa bombings manhunt both magazines ZERO IN ON Osama Bin Laden the technosavvy multimillionaire Saudi exile living in Afghanistan (see here)

2. Instead Chatterbox ZEROED IN ON the two years when Gore cast considerably more votes considered anti environment by the LCV than he did in other years (see here)

3. The Wall Street Journal's The Outlook column ZEROES IN ON the closest thing to a storm cloud in the current economic forecast - the stunning erosion of lending standards (see here)
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