No, I am not talking about policemen. Yes, I am referring to the police body, but the noun "police" is always treated as a plural noun.Hi Andygc,
when you talk about "the police", aren't you referring to the police body? I mean, you are not talking about policemen, are you?
In that case, would "is" alwasy apply?
I would have written that sentence with "do", Karen. Apparently, the writer is thinking of "the police" as one unit. That sounds possible, but I generally hear people use plural verbs after the noun "police": The police do many good things for the community.
I was taught that it should be 'police are...'. Is my teacher wrong?"Police" is a collective noun that can be either singular or plural, depending on the context. If you say "the police do" you refer to the individual police officers, while "the police does" refers to the whole force as a unit. In this particular context, the writer probably refers to the police as an entity getting involved in politics rather than the individual members.
Again, it depends on context. It is perfectly ok to say "The police is a positive influence in our community" in which case it refers to the police force. But you can also say that "the police are doing a great job" in which case you would be referring to the individuals in the force.
"Brother" of course is not a collective noun But "family" could be.
Gerard Samuel Vijayan: Even if it is PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim in the tape, since when does the police get involved in politics to the point of campaigning for the BN in a PAS-controlled state. Is the sex tape a threat to national security?
Shouldn't it be 'do' instead of the verb in bold?
While it is possible to construct a theory in which "police" is a singular noun in American English, as a practical matter "police is" or "police does" just sounds wrong to me.
I don't think "the police is" is commonly used, either in BrE or in AmE. "The police" is always plural, to my mind: see also the definition in the WR English dictionary:Hm, now I'm not so sure anymore that "police is" is technically correct... (even if it should be ) It is very commonly used, though -- perhaps more so in British English?
Broil, you are wrong. "Police" is always treated as a plural:
The police were called when the demonstrators refused to leave.
The police have released a sketch of the suspect.
The police are evacuating the area as the flood waters rise.
Consider this: while you have heard people say "a police officer", or "a police department", have you ever heard anyone say simply "a police"? The singular simply does not exist.
No, it certainly does not depend on context.It depends on context:
This is an interesting exception to the usual AmE rule that "a collective is a singular noun and therefore takes a singular verb*". Or perhaps it is not considered as a collective noun but simply a "weird" plural without an -s at the end ?
*For example, teams in sports are often named after places so "San Francisco (singular grammatically) is doing a good job. They are (not it is) finally batting well."
No. There is a difference between the police and Tayside Police. It would be very unusual for a BE speaker to say the police is (see previous posts), but Tayside Police is a proper noun - the name of an organisation - not a collective noun, so in BE you will see both forms - Tayside Police has/have not received a letter - depending on the preferences of the writer. This point was covered in Post #23 - it's a good idea to read the whole thread before adding a new question.I have just read the following "Tayside Police has not received a copy of the anonymous letter, directly or indirectly" (The Scotsman, 17 Aug 2012). Does this mean that the same rule is getting popular with the British?
One should equally note that ''police department'' will only be heard in AE*. ''Police force'' or ''Police service'', as in the PSNI - Police Service of Northern Ireland, are the preferred BE terms.
*Police departments do not seem to be popular in Eastern Canada, however it appears that the term is used in British Columbia.