La police/la gendarmerie? a subtle distinction?

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Kwiziq community member

6 May 2016

1 reply

La police/la gendarmerie? a subtle distinction?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Nouns that are plural in English but singular in French, and vice versa"


Kwiziq language super star

6 May 2016


Bonjour John,

Thanks for your question!

When talking in a general context, French people would use the term la police rather than la gendarmerie, as such:
La police va arrêter le criminel.

Actually, as a French speaker, I find that la gendarmerie refers more to the station than the people. 
​In this case, we would rather use les gendarmes when talking about them, so the following answer is also correct:​
Les gendarmes vont arrêter le criminel.

I hope that's helpful.

Merci et à bientôt !

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