The word "police"

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I have run into a problem with the word "police".
In most of the Oxford textbooks I have looked at, says it is a plurall noun and should take a corresponding verb, such as the police have.
However, in a recent Toefel Texbook, it says it is a collective subject and should agree with a singular noun. The school I am teaching at has been teaching that it is singular and should take for example; the police has. Could you please clarify.

Thank you,

Karl
 

Casiopea

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Karl said:
I have run into a problem with the word "police".
In most of the Oxford textbooks I have looked at, says it is a plurall noun and should take a corresponding verb, such as the police have.
However, in a recent Toefel Texbook, it says it is a collective subject and should agree with a singular noun. The school I am teaching at has been teaching that it is singular and should take for example; the police has. Could you please clarify.

Thank you,

Karl

Well, in North American English, it's plural. The police have.... :D I don't know if it's considered singular (police has) in other dialects. Mind you, TOEFL usually works off the Standard.
 

MikeNewYork

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Karl said:
I have run into a problem with the word "police".
In most of the Oxford textbooks I have looked at, says it is a plurall noun and should take a corresponding verb, such as the police have.
However, in a recent Toefel Texbook, it says it is a collective subject and should agree with a singular noun. The school I am teaching at has been teaching that it is singular and should take for example; the police has. Could you please clarify.

Thank you,

Karl

In American English, "police" or "the police" is plural when it is used to mean police officers. The noun can be singular if it refers to a governmental function or to an organized department. For example, The new city set up its departments very quickly: Police was created first; then Fire, Sanitation, and Corrections, were organized in that order.

The plural use of the word is far more common than the singular use. :wink:
 

Tdol

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In BE, it is used in the plural. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
In BE, it is used in the plural. ;-)

You have no singular use? :shock:
 
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