Some years ago I saw a poster on a noticeboard at my local supermarket which read: “Professional couple searching apartment in Lund”.
This notice was up for several weeks and always left me with the image of a smartly-dressed couple desperately rummaging around an apartment, having lost something so important that they felt the urge to announce this to the shoppers of Lund.
The couple (who were probably not native English speakers) meant to say:
“Professional couple seeking apartment in Lund” or “Professional couple searching for/looking for apartment in Lund” (the preposition "for" is needed here).
It is a good example of synonyms misbehaving in sneaky ways. In English, synonyms (of which there are plenty) are not always seamlessly interchangeable. Here’s a classic example:
“They were talking English to each other.” Far better to say: “They were speaking English to each other”, even though “talking” and “speaking” are clearly synonyms.
To avoid errors, check your dictionary and thesaurus carefully. A good online dictionary/thesaurus will give you multiple examples of how a word is correctly used in a sentence, and this can help you decide whether or not a particular synonym is suitable.
Anyway, I hope the couple finally found what they were looking for. An apartment, that is.
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