A. The matter was informed to the police.
B. The matter has been informed of the police.
C. The police was informed of the matter.
D. The police were informed of the matter.

The police refers to a group and requires a plural verb, so option 'D' should be the correct answer out of option 'C and D'. But, I don't understand what's wrong with option 'A and B'. Is there anything to do with the prepositions after the verb inform? Should it be 'informed of or informed to'?

  • 2
    Inform is a transitive verb employed as "X informed Y of Z", where X is the person telling, Y is the person being told, and Z is the subject of the telling. Transforming into the passive voice gives "Y was informed [by X] of Z." X, the informer may be omitted. Your examples A and B don't match this pattern. Try it for yourself: X is omitted, Y="the police", and Z="the matter."
    – user105719
    Feb 2, 2020 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


A and B are misformed passives: the direct object of inform is the person informed, not the information, so "the police" must be the subject of the passive form.

In British English, D is overwhelmingly more natural than C (the question doesn't arise whether police is a plural or a collective, because we often use a plural verb with a collective, especially if we are thinking in terms of the individuals in the collective). I don't know whether that applies in American English or not.


The police, not 'The matter', can be informed of/ about any incident. The subject of the verb must be the recipient of the information. So, sentence D is the correct option. For this purpose, we can also use the expression:

  • The matter was/ has been reported to the police.

If the reference is to a past event, then we use was, while in case of a recent event has been is used.

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