If you were using the word 'policier' as a an adjective, then you have a masculine and a feminine version. "policier/policière"
The noun 'policier' is invariable with gender, and it translates to "police officer / policeman / policewoman"
If you wanted to specifically say 'policewoman', then "une femme policier" will suffice.
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If you want policeman, it's le policier. "Policewoman" is "une femme policier", but otherwise "le policier" or "le policière" may be translated as "police officer" without referring to the gender of the officer in English. This is currently considered the proper term in US English. It is frowned upon to use gender-specific terms for workers, professions, etc.
Ooooo! The light just came on upstairs! You can simply choose which form you want to use: 1) Il est ..., or 2) C'est .... The first is used with unmodified nouns (i.e., just the noun, no adjective, no article, no possessive pronoun, etc). If you choose to use a modified noun (by adding an article, an adjective, or a possessive pronoun), then you have modified the noun and must use "C'est". Must read: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
Basically, yes. Not necessarily your knowledge of English but your use of it.
If you have been reading a lot of comments on this board you may have noticed that there are very accomplished French speakers contributing. At least some of them are sharpening their English skills.
Additionally, if you have developed somewhat sloppy patterns in the use of English, as many of us have over the years, you will find that you need to improve that if you want to master more complex French.
Of course, with any translation exercise, discovering your level of attention to detail is a necessary part of making progress. If you routinely make obvious errors in your own language, then you know what you need to do to avoid making them in a foreign language. For example, if you are failing to notice the different uses of a and an, then you know at least part of the reason for difficulty in using une and un properly.
No, there is no difference, just two ways to say the same thing. To put it simply, when it comes to professions: When you use the expression "il/elle est" you omit the article. When you use the expression "c'est", it is always followed by articles un/une/le/la. If you are going to modify the noun, you would use "c'est + article + modified noun", as is shown in maverickpl's link.
I must beg to differ. Considering the word cop as slang is antiquated. As you know all language evolves. US english more quickly than others perhaps. Policeman is certainly correct but sounds overly formal when spoken. In a formal context you'd do better to switch to what type of law enforcement officer, such as: he's FBI, he's an Environmental Conservation officer, she's a Fire Marshall, she's a Sheriff etc.
As a member of the law enforcement community for 25 years I can assure you that the word cop is not the least bit offensive. We say I'm a cop. My mother is a cop. If you said "I'm a policeman" to anyone other than a 6 year old you'd be considered a weirdo. So for duolingo please eschew cop. But if you're in the US, trust ME and feel free to use the word cop
I agree, because where I'm from, we use cop much more often than police officer.
"Oh, no! The cops are after us!" vs "Oh, no! The police officers are after us!"
Upvote if you would use cop in this situation, and downvote if you would use police or police officers. I'm just curious.
I recommend you read this website. It has been recommend as a good explanation of C'est vs Il est. I hope you find it helpful. http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
It's not sexist: "la police" is the collective noun for "the police"; "le policier" is an individual police officer (male or female, unless you choose to specify, for clarity, "une femme policier". (I am not sure if you can say "la femme policier" or if they say "le femme policier".