"Police" can refer, in English, to the plural group of all the police workers, or to the singular legal construct/entity. You could use either in English (though in most cases I'd prefer the plural, like you). In Spanish, if a word is gramatically singular, whether or not it refers to a plural, must take singular verb forms.
in English we don't use the word this way, what I was saying is that when you say 'the police' in English, you can be referring to the institution of law enforcement, or to the personnel. in Spanish un policía refers to a single officer, in this case the Spanish can be translated as referring to the police in general or to one local female cop.
fun side fact, the Spanish equivalent of cop is paco.
Never heard "paco" for a cop... perhaps Chile specific?
In Spanish cop can be "madero", in Spain, police can be "pasma" (la). Due to their blue uniforms (in Spain) sometimes they can be referred as "smurfs" (pìtufos). Don't hold your breath for some friendly clapping if you use that with them though :P
that use might have originated during the Spanish war in Africa at the beginning of 20th Century. Subsonic ammunition was used, so when the troops were fired upon, they could both hear the incoming and (lucky) the passing bullet. Due to Doppler effect, the sound they heard was something like paaaaaa cooooooooo.
Else, paco is short for Francisco (Francis), but I am not aware if that's the name of choice for policemen... :
Well the OED is the OED and who can argue with that-thanks ThePhilipWhite (love the name). All I know is that when I was growing up back in the 50's and 60's. Cop had a slight pejorative association. If you were to call a police officer a cop, you risked a meeting with the business end of a night stick or later having something planted on you and landing in jail. Maybe times have changed but using Paco or Cop probably won't get you any friends so beware.
We might say "The local police department has to participate." It's important to note that la policía in Spanish usually refers to the police department as a whole BUT is conjugated as a singular collective verb.
Note: A police woman might also be called "La policía" but it usually means police department.
I understand what you are saying about it being a single entity, but that doesn't mean it should use a singular verb. I've never read in the paper that "the police has no suspect". Similarly, we say "the people" for a collective noun of all peoples, but we don't say "the people has". It's not an issue with Spanish usage. One of the translations is "The police has to participate", which is incorrect English.
You appear to be following British usage. In American English, we can sometimes treat "the people" as singular, if we are referring to "the people" as a collective. "The American people has risen up and rejected this undemocratic law." It's relatively uncommon to do this, because "people" is more often perceived as an irregular plural of "person" (even though in fact "persons" and "peoples" are also both real words). But we definitely treat collectives as singular way more often than the Brits. "The Congress has voted" vs "The Parliament have voted".
No, even in American usage, we would absolutely not say 'The people has rejected'. That is wildly improper. While we might have had a President who said things like that on television, his grasp of English was tenuous at best.
It absolutely should be have. While it might be a collective noun, it's never treated as a singular in terms of verb usage.
And yet, in this grammar article, they say:
[T]he SINGULAR sense of people is used to refer to ALL the men, women, and children of a particular tribe, nation, country or ethnic group, speaking of them as a UNIT, and so the phrase a great people is indeed singular. It is a singular count noun. You can say:
(e) They are a great people. (Quirk)
(f) The Japanese are an industrious people. (Quirk)
(g) The English people are a great people. (The second occurrence of people in Left's sentence.)
They also discuss the plural version of that singular noun, "peoples". ("All the peoples of the world desire peace.")
They don't give an example using this singular sense of people in the subject, and personally I find it to sound uncomfortable and can't think of a good example where it would fit with my personal dialect. But there are definitely communities of American English speakers who would use the version I gave above. Languages evolve over time, and in this case, the use of the singular "people" seems to be expanding, in some areas.
In this case, in English it would either be (singular) "the local police department/police(wo)man/police officer HAS to participate" or (plural) "the local police/police(wo)men/police officers HAVE to participate." The English translation given uses the plural noun "police" with the singular verb "has," which is obviously wrong. Reported.
Yes you would and it is certainly not incorrect grammar. "The local police have to participate" would be the more usual way of saying it, as police refers to more than one police officer and is usually regarded as a plural noun. Would be 'has' if the noun were 'police force' or 'policeman'
I specifically remember being taught in school (more than one teacher) telling us "ought" was what it meant. "Should" was probably an alternate definition as well, m Must, may have been.
Oh well.....sometimes you have to play to your audience - in this case, duolingo.
I also had the same question, and after looking at a spanish forum I found that debe may have more weight to it, signifying more of an obligation rather than just a piece of advice. In that sense, it is similar to "tener + que + infitive"
Summary: debe/tiene: I must/have to (obligation) debería: I should (advice)
Here is the link to the thread: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/deberia-vs-debe.349642/
I hope this helps :)
The best translation of "deber" into English is "ought". The concept behind deber is something like "to owe a duty to do something". In fact, "deber" comes from the same Latin root as the English word "debt". Meanwhile, "ought" is a form of "to owe". Thus, we're talking about the same semantic root.
Yet "ought to participate" is not currently accepted, and the canonical answer is "has to", which is much closer to "tener que". Not good.
My understanding is that deber has several possible meanings; to owe, to have to, should, must. "The local police has to participate" is not the same as "The local police should participate" is not the same as "The local police must participate". So how is one to know what is being said? If you really are saying the local police has to participate, why not use "tiene que" to make it clear?
Like others in the comments below, I tried "ought to", and had it marked as being wrong. My understanding is that in modern English, "should" (which was accepted), and "ought to" can be used interchangeably. I am Canadian, and everyone I know who went to school is comfortable using "ought to" in everyday speech.
The discussion about police in UK English being a plural is correct. 'Police' is a plural noun, not a singular collective. With regard to deontic modality, 'should', 'ought', 'must', 'has a duty to', might be ordered, but ultimately it is a connotative decision about the relative 'strength' of 'duty'
I'm quite sick of Duolingo either not fixing this or clarifying why they SHOULD NOT (MUST NOT) fix this.
"The local police should participate" should be accepted.
If I'm wrong, please don't split hairs about "should", "ought to", "have to" and "must" all of which are closely related in meaning though not exactly the same.
Clearly state the rule which makes this clear.
I agree with you 100%. I made the same complaint to Duolingo when I first encountered this particular lesson. My personal opinion is that there are some nuances in English meaning that have been missed by Duolingo. However, at the end of the day, we are getting free language lessons, and it probably is not unreasonable to expect a few problems.
This lesson is totally jacked up and filled with incorrect responses and correct answers that should be accepted. For example, from how I was taught by competent, native speakers, "The local police ought to participate" should be accepted. Deber inherently carries the sense of "ought/should/must"...
I don't understand the verb deber which, as I understand it, can mean "should," "ought to," "must," or "have to." I translated this as, "The local police should participate," and it was marked wrong. How do I distinguish between the various meanings which have different degrees of meaning. Thanks.