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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 4th, 2009, 10:45 am
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Join Date: Feb 9th, 2009
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Default Report/Denounce

Hi

I would like to know if these words mean the same in the context of telling the police about a crime, theft, etc.

a) She reported him to the police due to his abusive behaviour.

b) She denounced him to the police...


Thanks for your help!
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Unread Nov 4th, 2009, 01:33 pm
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
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Default Re: Report/Denounce

No. Ana Laura, am I right in thinking you're a Spanish speaker? I don't speak Spanish, but 9 times out of 10 it's similar to Italian and in Italian the translation for "report to the police" is "denunciare". If it's similar in Spanish, then you're being fooled by a false cognate.

If my house is burgled, or someone steals my car - then I report it to the police. Report is a purely descriptive, neutral term to describe going to the police station and making a formal complaint. Not even to the police - it could be any authority. For example, I might report a gas leak to the gas company, or report a student for cheating to the school principal. It just means "tell the authorities about".

Denounce, on the other hand, a) does not necessarily mean you tell the authorities. I could denounce someone on my blog - it has more the general meaning of accuse. But b) and more importantly it is not neutral - it has far more ideological connotations. Here are some examples from the Collins Concordancer - if you look at them you'll see that in each there is the idea of moral indignation - of something being considered ethically/morally unacceptable by the accuser:

Islamic Jihad has denounced as a traitor Mr Faisal Husseini, a ...
People are denounced, spied on, arrested on the word of someone ...
Communist journalist, Whittaker Chambers, had denounced him as a fellow-Communist and a Soviet spy.
The prophets, such as Amos, denounced the rich, those who ground the faces of the...
Tondini then denounced contemporary scientism, materialism and ...
His absence was denounced as uncivilized in a thunderous editorial in ...
He denounced the anti-Semitic sentiments which found ...
... parents equally but sat with her father and denounced her mother's possessiveness, ...
...the African slave trade. Although it has been denounced by respectable academics, the sect ...
White critics have been denounced as brainwashed racists clinging desperately ...
Inspectors had denounced poor teaching, bad exam results, unruliness ...
Insurgents denounced the misery caused by unemployment, low ...

Hope that helps.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 4th, 2009, 09:36 pm
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Default Re: Report/Denounce

Oh, I see now! yes, I'm a spanish speaker and the verb is 'denunciar' or also 'Hacer la denuncia'. Pretty similar to the italian word.

Thank you very much for your help!

I really appreaciate it.

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