arrested by federal police / the federal police

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Leafka

Senior Member
Polish
Hi,

I'm writing about a recent arrest:

As reported by the media in November 2015, the CEO of XYZ and a high rank politician were arrested by federal police / the federal police over allegations of hindering Brazil's corruption investigation related to ABC (another company).

Will there be any diferrence in meaning if I add the before 'federal police'?
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is not much difference in meaning. If you include the article, it refers to the arresting authority or branch of government, the police. If you don't include the article, it refers to arresting officers, police.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "... federal police" describes a section (federal) of an uncountable noun (police). "Police" is the mass noun for all the police in the world (although context might restrict that.)

    The federal police describes a section (federal) part of an uncountable noun (police) which is then also qualified by "the". The is a demonstrative adjective meaning "of which we are aware" or "who/which have been mentioned or will be mentioned." - adding "the" tends to restrict the following noun to a type of the noun that we are aware of.

    Consider

    1. "Wine is good for you." = all wine is good for you; Anything that is wine is good for you. -> "Wine" is an uncountable noun that indicates a group/class/category of some type of object all of which have the same attributes.

    2. "Red wine is good for you." -> the same as the above but restricted to all red wine.

    3. "Here are some bottles of wine. Some of the wine is red, some of the wine is white. The red wine is good for you." Here, The = that which I have just spoken of and indicated.-> the same as the above but restricted to only the red wine that I have indicated and which you can see/are aware of.
     
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