The police is/the police are...

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OhCaptain

Senior Member
Argentina - Spanish
Mark_S said:
News is always singular in English.

Police is also always singular although this is becoming a common mistake even among native speakers. To be grammatically correct you should say the Police is looking for the criminal.
Thanks Mark...I´ll put it down so that I don´t make the same mistake again!

Keep an eye on me!

See ya ´round!

Pato
 
  • jorge_val_ribera

    Senior Member
    Español
    Mark_S said:
    News is always singular in English.

    Police is also always singular although this is becoming a common mistake even among native speakers. To be grammatically correct you should say the Police is looking for the criminal.
    What!? I was taught that "the police is" is incorrect!

    Google says:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 757,000 for "the police are".
    Results 1 - 10 of about 155,000 for "the police is".
     

    MarkLondres

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Mark_S said:
    News is always singular in English.

    Police is also always singular although this is becoming a common mistake even among native speakers. To be grammatically correct you should say the Police is looking for the criminal.
    Mark, I have never heard anyone referring to the police in the singular, if someone did I would probably laugh at them. Are you serious, that gramatically we should say "the police is looking for a criminal"

    how about in spanish? which of the following are correct?

    1) La policia me ha atacado
    2) Las policias me han atacado
    3) Unas policias me han atacado

    Mark
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    La policía = the police (force), as a group
    El policía, la policía= The policeman, woman

    So, if there were a bunch of cops storming my house, I'd use "la policía me acercó la casa."

    Two policemen, if you are talking about them as individuals: los policías. This one I'm not certain about, so someone correct me, please.
     

    jorge_val_ribera

    Senior Member
    Español
    jacinta said:
    La policía = the police (force), as a group
    El policía, la policía= The policeman, woman

    So, if there were a bunch of cops storming my house, I'd use "la policía me cercó la casa."

    Two policemen, if you are talking about them as individuals: los policías. This one I'm not certain about, so someone correct me, please.
    That's right, although of course you can talk about more than two policemen.:)

    La policía me arrestó. (The police arrested me./The policewoman arrested me.)
    El policía me arrestó. (The policeman arrested me.)
    Los policías me arrestaron. (The policemen arrested me.)
    Las policías me arrestaron. (The policewomen arrested me.)
     

    MarkLondres

    Senior Member
    England/English
    jorge_val_ribera said:
    That's right, although of course you can talk about more than two policemen.:)

    La policía me arrestó. (The police arrested me./The policewoman arrested me.)
    El policía me arrestó. (The policeman arrested me.)
    Los policías me arrestaron. (The policemen arrested me.)
    Las policías me arrestaron. (The policewomen arrested me.)
    Thanks a lot for the clarifications, best i learn the grammar before i go taunting the bolivian police

    M
     

    jorge_val_ribera

    Senior Member
    Español
    MarkLondres said:
    Thanks a lot for the clarifications, best i learn the grammar before i go taunting the bolivian police

    M
    Hehe, perhaps you even have a better grammar than theirs. Anyway, the equivalent word for "cop" in Bolivia would be "paco", so you can use that for your taunting.:)
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Jorge,

    Thanks for the correction: cercó

    Suena mejor aunque no es lo que quería decir. Si digo, "me acercó", es decir, "they approached me", ¿sí? Me acercó la casa. They approached my house. ¿No es correcto?

    Y, me cercó la casa, "they surrounded the house (my house). Es mejor porque normalmente es lo que hace la policía :)
     

    jorge_val_ribera

    Senior Member
    Español
    jacinta said:
    Jorge,

    Thanks for the correction: cercó

    Suena mejor aunque no es lo que quería decir. Si digo, "me acercó", es decir, "they approached me", ¿sí? Me acercó la casa. They approached my house. ¿No es correcto?

    Y, me cercó la casa, "they surrounded the house (my house). Es mejor porque normalmente es lo que hace la policía :)
    ¡Ah, etendí mal lo que querías decir! Pero bueno, si quieres decir "they approached my house" tienes que traducirlo como "ellos se acercaron a mi casa". Entonces sería:

    La policía se acercó a mi casa.
    (= The police approached my house)

    acercarse a algo= approach sth.

    Cuando escribiste "la policía me acercó la casa" lo que dijiste fue "the police brought the house near me"

    No te olvides:
    approach sth. = acercarse a algo
    bring sth. near = acercar algo

    Espero no haberte confundido :) .
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    jorge_val_ribera said:
    Cuando escribiste "la policía me acercó la casa" lo que dijiste fue "the police brought the house near me"
    .
    Hahaha! ¡No quise decir eso! Sí, me olvidé de acercarse. Muchas gracias por la ayuda, Jorge.
     

    Mark_S

    Member
    UK, English (Learning Spanish)
    MarkLondres said:
    Mark, I have never heard anyone referring to the police in the singular, if someone did I would probably laugh at them. Are you serious, that gramatically we should say "the police is looking for a criminal"
    I am serious. Police is singular.

    There are many singular nouns in English which people use incorrectly in terms of grammar e.g.

    The Government has decided :tick:

    The Government have decided :cross:

    However it has to be remembered for reasons of history which I won't go into now, that English grammar is much more susceptible to change than Spanish or French grammar because we do not have an authority that regulates the language. Therefore what is correct in English is quite an abstract concept which changes with usage. On this basis it is not wrong to say the Police are looking for a criminal in terms of usage (because it is now common) but it is wrong in terms of the conventional understanding of grammar.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Mark_S said:
    I am serious. Police is singular.

    There are many singular nouns in English which people use incorrectly in terms of grammar e.g.

    The Government has decided :tick:

    The Government have decided :cross:

    However it has to be remembered for reasons of history which I won't go into now, that English grammar is much more susceptible to change than Spanish or French grammar because we do not have an authority that regulates the language. Therefore what is correct in English is quite an abstract concept which changes with usage. On this basis it is not wrong to say the Police are looking for a criminal in terms of usage (because it is now common) but it is wrong in terms of the conventional understanding of grammar.
    According to the American Heritage Dictionary, police is a plural noun. In American English, it is considered wrong to use it in the singular form. Because "police" is considered a body of people, the plural form of the verb is used.

    The government is considered as an agency, as a governing body, (not people) and therefore the singular verb is used.

    I think if you check your sources, you will find the same information. :)
     

    bluejazzshark

    Senior Member
    English, England
    Mark,

    I was so surprised at your assertion that police is singular that I went away and looked it up. In two dictionaries and Micheal Swans "Practical English Usage". They all agreed that "police" was a plural noun.

    Language evolves, and since we don´t have an authoritarian language body like the RAE, common "regional" usage is the defining norm for English. So the word "police" is to all intents and purposes, plural...

    So, I would strongly recommend any English learner who is reading NOT to use the singular for police, and especially not in exams.

    - Blue
     

    jess oh seven

    Senior Member
    UK/US English
    ^ that's a good book, Practical English Usage". i think it goes by both grammar and what we tend to say in everyday life. i can't imagine anyone ever saying "the police is chasing an armed man", even if it IS grammatically correct. "police", to me, is plural.

    cuando hablas de "news" para significar "las noticias", creo que es singular siempre.
     

    LETO

    Member
    Spanish, Serbian SPAIN
    I would like to know the exact NAME of the gramatical CATEGORY fo the NOUNS in SINGULAR FORM that take the PLURAL of the verb

    THE POLICE ARE ARE LOOKING FOR HIM. Here, you use PLURAL VERB because POLICE is not singular nor plural, it is a COLLECTIVE NOUN or a GROUP NOUN : it represents a group of people: police officers, who make up the group: police.

    My only doubt is, again, WHAT DO YOU CALL THIS KIND OF NOUNS, ¿COLLECTIVE?

    Can anyone hepl? THANKS!

    LETO
     

    Ivy29

    Banned
    COLOMBIA-Español
    jacinta said:
    Jorge,

    Thanks for the correction: cercó

    Suena mejor aunque no es lo que quería decir. Si digo, "me acercó", es decir, "they approached me", ¿sí? Me acercó la casa. They approached my house. ¿No es correcto?

    Y, me cercó la casa, "they surrounded the house (my house). Es mejor porque normalmente es lo que hace la policía :)
    Approached the house = Llegaron a la casa. They usually take the way to the front door; if they are chasing a criminal, normally they surround the house and use a loudspeaker.

    Ivy29
     

    Bennyboy5462

    Member
    United States, English
    I don't believe it is incorrect to say "the police is." It depends on whether you are referring to the police force or the police officers.
     

    MHCKA

    Senior Member
    MÉXICO. ESPAÑOL
    Hi everybody!

    I invite to the people (all the persons) to see this links:

    Some rules to nouns
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/plurals.htm
    Another epic conversation
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=780490

    I quote again a dictionary, the Merriam-Webster (too much text, but necessary):
    police
    Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural police Usage: often attributive Etymology: French, from Old French, from Late Latin politia government, administration, from Greek politeia, from politēs citizen, from polis city, state; akin to Sanskrit pur rampart, Lithuanian pilis castle Date: 1716
    1 a: the internal organization or regulation of a political unit through exercise of governmental powers especially with respect to general comfort, health, morals, safety, or prosperity b: control and regulation of affairs affecting the general order and welfare of any unit or area c: the system of laws for effecting such control
    2 a: the department of government concerned primarily with maintenance of public order, safety, and health and enforcement of laws and possessing executive, judicial, and legislative powers b: the department of government charged with prevention, detection, and prosecution of public nuisances and crimes
    3 a: police force bplural : police officers
    4 a: a private organization resembling a police force <campus police> bplural : the members of a private police organization
    5 a: the action or process of cleaning and putting in order b: military personnel detailed to perform this function
    6: one attempting to regulate or censor a specified field or activity <the fashion police>

    I think is remarkable the third sense of the word. I compare police with another noun:

    policeman
    1 : a member of a police force

    Really I think there aren´t controversy.
     
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