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I am trying to use "raid" properly in a sentence...

If the police break into someone's house, what will be a natural way to say that:

The police is raiding their house.

The police has raided their house. (They are still raiding the house)

And after the raid is over:

The police raided their house.

Will "raid" sound natural this way? Or should it be "search"? (I mean while talking to a person)

  • They are still raiding the house is an incredibly unlikely utterance in English. The primary sense of (noun) raid is a rapid surprise attack - when converted to a verb it doesn't really work very well as a continuous form in contexts such as OP's. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '19 at 15:11
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    @FumbleFingers A raid often lasts several hours, and "are still raiding" could be used during that period. Otherwise, yes it is less likely. It could also imply a series of raids on the same location, which does happen. – David Siegel Jun 22 '19 at 15:28
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Yes, "raid" is OK.

This use of "raid" is common, grammatical (with one issue mentioned below), and natural, in all three sentences in the question that use it. (However,the use of "raiding" here is unlikely unless said while the raid is in progress, or unless there have been a series of raids, as suggested by the comment by FyumbleFingers on the question.) The word "search" could also be used, but it has a somewhat different meaning. A "raid" suggests a sizable police presence, and a threat of force, intended to be sufficiently overwhelming to deter any resistance. It suggests a sudden action without warning. A "search" on the other hand, might be one or two officers with a warrant. Also, a "raid" might be aimed solely or primarily at making arrests, while a search is directed at finding and seizing evidence. Many raids are also searches, and could be described by either term. Sometiems only one term or the other will apply to particular circumstances.


The sentences in the original question do have a problem with number. In my view "The police is raiding their house." should rather be

The police are raiding their house. (treating "the police" as a group)

and "The police has raided their house." should be

The police have raided their house.

On looking at the edit history I see that the question first had the correct forms, and was changed to the incorrect forms "is raiding" and "has raided".

| improve this answer | |
  • So are all the three sentences natural? – It's about English Jun 22 '19 at 15:18
  • @it's Yes, all 3. I edited the answer ro say so. – David Siegel Jun 22 '19 at 15:22
  • Do the first two sentences suggest that the raid is still going on? – It's about English Jun 22 '19 at 15:26
  • @it's the phrase "is raiding" does suggest.the raid is in progress. "Has raided" does not so suggest – David Siegel Jun 22 '19 at 15:30
  • @it's see my edits on number agreement – David Siegel Jun 22 '19 at 15:35

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