Podcast: the police are, the news is – Inglês Online

Podcast: the police are, the news is

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Nov 02
Inglês - Podcast the police are, the news is

Hey, everyone. How’s it going?

Tem duas palavrinhas em inglês que geralmente provocam confusão por causa da concordância verbal não muito intuitiva para nós: police e news. Inglês tem dessas coisas… Pois então nosso podcast hoje será sobre isso.


Hi, everybody! What’s up? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to inglesonline.com.br and click Podcast Inglesonline.

So, do you know those words in English – police, and news? The way they are used is not very intuitive to us, Portuguese speakers.  Why? Because the word “police” sounds like the Portuguese word “polícia”, which is a singular word, right? We say “a polícia é isso, não é aquilo” so once we start using “police” we sometimes slip and say “the police is” or “the police was“. The correct way to say those is “the police are” and “the police were”. And the other word I mentioned is “news”. “News” ends with the letter “s”, and that, to us, means “plural”. So we would say “the news are“, right? Nope, people don’t say that in English. They say “the news is…” and “the news was”.

If “the police are” and “the news is” sound strange to you, then you’re in luck: this episode is all about giving examples of how these words are used and providing you with the opportunity to get a little bit more used to them. So let’s get started with the word “police”. And by the way, do you remember a recent episode where I talked about the pronunciation of “focus”, closet and “chocolate”? I said that those three words were some of the most mispronounced words by Brazilians… You know what? “Police” could have made that list.  I’ve heard many people say “police” and by now you’ve heard me say it police several times, so, that’s it. Police. Not “police”, police.

Alright, so here are some things that we might read on a newspaper:

  • The police are looking for a missing girl. Again, there’s a missing girl… she disappeared, and the police are looking for her.
  • In some countries, the police are well equipped to deal with all kinds of crime.  What does that mean? That means that in some countries the police are well trained, they are well prepared, and they have everything they need to deal with all kinds of crime. In some countries, the police are very well equipped.
  • In some places, the police are using infrared cameras to help them identify criminals. So the police are using infrared cameras in some places.
  • There was a robbery in my neighborhood yesterday, and the police were called immediately. The police were called immediately.
  • Everyone waited outside while the police were investigating the crime scene.

Do you have your own example? Can you remember the last time the police were in your neighborhood? I remember once when there was a fight at a bar near my house and the police were called.

OK, let’s move on to the word “news”. “News” is like the word “information”. We don’t say two informations, three informations, and we don’t say two news either. We say, for example, I’ve received some information or They had no information for us. Likewise, we can say I’ve received some news and They had no news for us.

You know how some people say that “No news is good news”? What does that mean? No news is good news. That means that if you haven’t heard from somebody, if no one has bothered to call, it is usually because everything is going well. That is good news. If there is no news… that is good news. Some people disagree, of course. They think that no news is bad news. If someone has gone away and hasn’t called you… that means that something bad has happened. So, in this case, no news is bad news.

Here’s another pretty common thing that people say a lot:  I have bad news and good news. Which one do you wanna hear first? So, the bad news is, blah blah blah and the good news is, blah blah blah. You know what else happens a lot? Someone gives you news that isn’t so good, and then they immediately say  But the good news is… What does that mean? That means that, although what they said initially isn’t that good, there is an upside to it. There’s a positive side, there’s some kind of advantage to this situation. So someone might say “Well, they’re out of chocolate pie! We’re not gonna have our favorite dessert this time around. But the good news is, we now have a good excuse to stop by the ice cream parlor”.

And here’s a song that has “news” in it: A day in the life, by The Beatles. If you’re a fan, knock yourself out!  Talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • police
  • news
  • no news is good/bad news
  • good news and bad news


we sometimes slip = às vezes a gente escorrega

you’re in luck = você está com sorte

could have made that list = poderia ter aparecido na lista

likewise = da mesma maneira

no one has bothered to call = ninguém se deu ao trabalho de ligar

an upside = um lado bom

  • […] Just give it to me straight. Come on, give it to me straight. I know you got bad news for me and bad news is never easy to deliver. I wanna hear the news anyway; I wanna know what happened. Just give it to me […]

  • Sini says:

    Bright as always! keep it up like this…
    Great job.

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the comments.
    These two words are tricky, but as with the rest of the language, it’s a matter of getting used to them so much that eventually you’ll use them correctly and not even think about it :)

  • José Soares says:

    I´m very rrateful for your advice regarding
    the pronunciation of especific phrases

    You have been very helpful,

  • Mauro says:

    Hello Ana,

    I learned that news is an acronym from North, East, West and South.
    I don’t know if it’s real but it’s nice.

    Congratulations for your website. I’ve learned a lot.


  • Lucia says:

    Oi, Ana

    Seu site é super legal e eu sempre o divulgo aos amigos. Hoje, fiquei com uma dúvida nessa sua frase:

    “That is good news. If there are no news… that is good news. ”

    Não seria: IF THERE IS NO NEWS ?

    Sempre grata

  • magda says:

    Do you have a facebook? I would like to add you., because I admire you, too.

  • Fernando Moraes says:

    Hello Ana, I like your post. You know what I most like about your podcasts? The glossary, I do like to learn a new way to say something, like in your last pod, when you wrote IT’S A BREEZE, wich means VERY EASY. BTW, I added you on facebook. You’re a such smart woman, I admire you. CI U..

  • Rodrigo Magri says:

    So the news is rhis site is very good, I can learn much more english with it… thank you again for this post!

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