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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    "the police" and "police"

    Hello.

    police
    the official organization that is responsible for protecting people and property, making people obey the law, finding out about and solving crime, and catching people who have committed a crime
    I think you should call the police.
    The police are investigating fraud allegations against him.

    Can I omit the and The?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #2

    Re: "the police" and "police"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    police
    the official organization that is responsible for protecting people and property, making people obey the law, finding out about and solving crime, and catching people who have committed a crime
    I think you should call the police.
    The police are investigating fraud allegations against him.

    Can I omit the and The?

    Thank you.
    No, the article is necessary here. We say "the police" in the same way we say "the library", "the subway", or "the mall". These things can be viewed as "shared public resources", and, I suppose, the definite article helps define this. By contrast, we would not always say "the bookstore", as we say "the library" when speaking of the local library that a speaker and a listener both know about. We would only say "the bookstore" to speak of a specific bookstore in a given context. Two other examples are "the fire department" and "the government".

    Here's another contrast. If there's an emergency of some sort in a large building, people would say "Call security", not "the security" or even "the security department". After someone calls security, then security could call "the police", meaning the local police department, but not "police". Security is not a shared public resource or entity as the police are or the police department is.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: "the police" and "police"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    police
    the official organization that is responsible for protecting people and property, making people obey the law, finding out about and solving crime, and catching people who have committed a crime
    I think you should call the police.
    The police are investigating fraud allegations against him.

    Can I omit the and The?

    Thank you.
    When the context or situation makes the noun's identity clear and familiar to people in general, a definite article ‘the’ before the noun is not necessary. I think the noun 'Police' is an universally familiar and known term. So I think use of 'the' is optional before 'police'


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    #4

    Re: "the police" and "police"

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    When the context or situation makes the noun's identity clear and familiar to people in general, a definite article ‘the’ before the noun is not necessary. I think the noun 'Police' is an universally familiar and known term. So I think use of 'the' is optional before 'police'
    It's really not optional. No one says "call police". The correct form is "call the police". Neither would anyone say "call cops". It's always "call the cops". No one says "police are here". It's always "the police are here". I would always make a correction on something like this. I wouldn't let it pass.

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