Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Police Is/Are


A short article (Straits Times Interactive, 30 May 2013), but one containing quite a few errors (or non-standard usages, if you will).

First, molest in Standard English can only be a verb; in Singapore English, however, it is both a noun and a verb. The standard noun form required here was molestation.

Secondly, police in Standard English is a collective noun that is treated as plural; hence, the opening line of the article should have read The police are investigating ....

There should also be commas before the relative clauses who was accused of molesting a student and which happened on April 5, because they are non-defining (or non-restrictive).

Finally, the modifier by the student is badly placed, making it seem as if it belongs in a noun phrase inappropriate behaviour by the student. Placing it after the verb accused would be an improvement, giving us the much clearer The lecturer had been accused by the student of inappropriate behaviour.

2 comments:

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English Language and Literature Resources said...

English is an international language. Some people said that English is a very difficult language but I think it is very easy to learn if you know the rules.