fight crime

Fighting crime(s)

Posted by on March 26th, 2016 | 2 responses | collocation, countable uncountable, crime, IELTS, kejahatan, kriminalitas, Part 3, speaking, Task 2, vocabulary, writing

The government need to make more of an effort to fight crimes.

Crime can be countable or uncountable, and as with other nouns that behave like this, the uncountable form has a more general meaning and the countable more specific.
Another way to look at this is to notice that fight and crime (without ‘s’) collocate strongly:

  • The government need to make more of an effort to fight crime.

Try googling fight crime and fight crimes. Which is more common? What are the differences in meaning? 

2 responses to “Fighting crime(s)”

  1. The government need to make more of an effort to fight crime. The government is singular – why is it not “The government needs to make…”?

    • PG says:

      Some countable nouns represent groups of people (plural), and so we can sometimes think of them as plural when deciding which verb to use. ‘Staff’ is another word that behaves like this. Also the names of sports teams: “England are playing Wales tonight.” 🙂

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