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Thread: police?

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 69


    The police was called?
    The police were called?
    And why?
    Catherine C.

  1. #2

    Re: police?

    The police were called.

    "Police" is a collective noun, meaning that "police" includes a number of people, rather than being a single entity. "Were" is used when there is more than one person/thing involved, where as "was" is used for a single person/thing.

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671

    Re: police?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine C. View Post
    The police was called?
    The police were called?
    And why?
    Catherine C.
    It is 'The police were called."

    As a noun, 'the police' are plural, because they are the officers of the 'polis' - the Ancient Greek word for a city state, from which 'police' derives.

    In many European Romance languages, the derivation (and the plural) is more obvious - for example, 'policia' in Spanish.

  2. Key Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 2,044

    Re: police?

    In American English we usually treat our collective nouns as singular, the team was victorious, the company is bankrupt, the army is advancing however, police is always a plural in AE, also.

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