I think I have seen both la douane and les douanes used for the French customs police. Is there a rule for which to use and when?
I think in English, especially in the UK, it is an evolving language and many grammatical rules are being overwritten by common usage. On that basis, I think it is becoming harder and harder to prescribe firm rules, and more often the answer is "either may be acceptable". Unfortunately, bad/lazy/incorrect/slang grammar, used repeatedly, becomes acceptable/normal grammar. I struggle to teach my children proper grammar, but they hear incorrect grammar all around them, even from teachers, and they use what the hear more than what I tell them is good grammar. e.g. "James and me went to the cinema."
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