[Grammar] police is??

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tyrp

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Hello everyone,
I've got trouble with the word 'police'. The teacher told us that it should be used with the verb in plural only, but what if we mean 'a whole unit'? With 'government' singular or plural will depend on the meaning 'a number of individuals' (pl) or 'a political body' (sg). Can the same be applied to the word 'police'? Can we ever use 'police' with the verb in the singular at all or is it impossible (incorrect)? Thanks in advance!
 

5jj

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It is possible to dream up situations in which 'police' can be followed by a singular verb, but they are generally artificial.

Police is one of those nouns that can, in all normal situations, be considered only a plural noun.
 

tyrp

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Thanks a lot, dear 5jj! You are always ready to help. Thanks again.
 

probus

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In Canada, if we wish to use police as a singular noun meaning the whole police apparatus, we would always add a noun, usually force. We say, for example, the police force is embarking on a new initiative. Sometimes we use the police service rather than the police force. The police service is laying off civilian employees. Otherwise, police is always plural in the great white north.
 

Route21

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In Canada, if we wish to use police as a singular noun meaning the whole police apparatus, we would always add a noun, usually force. We say, for example, the police force is embarking on a new initiative. Sometimes we use the police service rather than the police force. The police service is laying off civilian employees. Otherwise, police is always plural in the great white north.

I would have had no problems using it the same way in the UK.

Regards
R21
 

tyrp

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Thanks for your help, dear probus and Route21.
 
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