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Hi

I have heard the noun police being used as singular in national geographic documentaries. Could you please tell me how these sentences sound to your native ears?

The police was late.

The police knows that ...

Thanks,

Tom

PS: Any difference? I have heard the noun police being used... and I have heard the noun police used...

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Mr. TomThe police was late.
The police knows that ...

To me (BrE) these sound glaringly wrong. I found a comment somewhere that treatment as singular may be possible in AmE, which I don't think I previously knew. Hopefully an AmE speaker will comment here.

Mr. TomPS: Any difference? I have heard the noun police being used... and I have heard the noun police used...

In this context there is no significant difference in meaning. There is a faint difference in "feel".

Comments  
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Mr. TomI have heard the noun police being used as singular in national geographic documentaries.

I have to suppose you heard it from non-native speakers. In fact, the singular use is a pretty good shibboleth for that. "Police" is invariably plural.

anonymous"Police" is invariably plural.

Anon, are you an AmE speaker?

GPYAnon, are you an AmE speaker?

Yes. Sixty-eight-year-old New Jerseyite. But does that really matter? I have never even read a singular "police" in anything from any country or era, though this sort of comment pretty much ensures that I soon will here..

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anonymousBut does that really matter?

See my initial reply in this thread.