"C'est un policier."

Translation:He is a policeman.

April 6, 2013



Is policier the same word for a male or female police officer or is policewoman a different word?

April 30, 2013


There are two different words. If you look on the "Tips and notes", Duolingo says that a feminine police officer is "une policière". So male is "un policier", female is "une policière".

March 13, 2015


Not really.
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.
More on Larousse.fr

March 18, 2015


So my "she is a police officer" should have been accepted?

December 7, 2018

  • 1751

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.

November 1, 2015


It is important to use UN for male and UNE FOR FEMALE

May 30, 2015


Thanks. That explains why "she is a police officer" was not accepted.

December 7, 2018


I put "cop" out of laziness. Is there a different word that means "cop?"

December 30, 2013


un flic = a cop

February 22, 2014


same. I'm trying to understand how come it's not right!!

February 4, 2014

  • 1751

"Un flic" may be accepted, but you should know that it is slang, like "cop". So it is a separate word with its own connotation, although WordReference does back-translate ENG "cop" to FR "policier" as well as "flic".

May 28, 2015


For a female officer, would the street term UNE flic be used, or is it like un bébé, etc. This is for comprehension purposes, officer, honestly!

July 3, 2015

  • 1751

There is no "une flic", just "un flic". Remember that this is slang and it is sometimes used in a pejorative way (like calling an officer a "pig"), so I wouldn't use it when strolling in Paris! ;-)

July 4, 2015


Oh, crumbs! Thank you for explaining this. There is a million miles between 'a cop' and ' a p**'. Sorry if I startled you, it was absolutely accidental.

July 4, 2015


Cop may have originally been a derogatory term in America, but it's commonly used now, and I think should be accepted.

December 12, 2018


I like "flic" too, but it is pretty colloquial. I put in "police officer" to avoid the whole gender issue and it was accepted. I don't think we really say "policeman" and "policewoman" anymore?

October 25, 2016


why the 'un' when policemen is a profession just like engineer?

May 25, 2013


I would think something like c'est un bon avocat would be a case of a modified noun. I don't see any adjective in this particular sentence that modifies avocat

June 2, 2013


The 'un' is modifying the noun.

July 17, 2013

  • 1751

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

December 21, 2013


By far the cleareat and easiest explanation of this topic - lingot for you!

March 30, 2015


I understand that. So would 'Il est policier' also be acceptable, or is there something special about policeman that necessitates the 'un'?

March 8, 2015


Nothing special about policier, you can choose between 'il est policier' and 'c'est un policier'...as long as you remember to use the article when you use c'est over il est.

March 8, 2015


Why is one option "He is a policeman" and another is "He is an policeman"? Are we testing my english or my french?

July 28, 2013


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.

December 9, 2013


Is there any difference in meaning between "C'est un policier" and "Il est policier"?

June 7, 2013


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.

August 13, 2013


am i hearing this correctly or is it an error ? is she saying "poh-lee-swee" ?

February 2, 2017


THe audio sounds off to me too

July 19, 2017


Is 'policeperson' okay?

May 3, 2013


It would be understood, but not a common word where I come from. Police officer, policeman, policewoman.

October 25, 2013

  • 1751

That will be sure to get a laugh. There was a brief time when the politically correct tried that sort of thing but nobody says that, really!

July 4, 2015


When you place the cursor on the word "policier," it gives "detective" as one definition. Yet, when I type that in, I'm told it's an error--the only correct answer is "policeman." What gives?

May 19, 2013


I think the only context where 'policier' is translated as detective is when it is an adjective decribing a particular genre of entertainment: C'est un roman policier= It is a detective novel.

January 19, 2015

  • 1751

As a noun, "un policier" is a police officer. "Un inspecteur" is a detective. As an adjective, "policier" can be used to mean detective, e.g., un roman policier (a detective novel).

July 4, 2015


What about gendarme??????????

March 14, 2017


Would a female police officer be called 'une policière,' or does the word stay the same regardless of the officer's gender?

August 1, 2014

  • 1751

If you must identify the gender of the female officer, you would most likely say "une femme policier". Personally, if the officer is in uniform, wearing a badge and a gun, I'm not looking at her lovely eyes, I just say "Yes, Officer". ;-)

July 4, 2015


It doesn't allow me to say "It is a police" but that's what I use, mostly because I don't like "policeman" since a police could be a man or a woman.

July 12, 2015


It's not correct English - police is not a singular noun, you cannot have 'a police'. You can have a police officer, where the word police acts as a modifier to the noun 'officer'. Police is a collective noun and not quantity specific.

July 13, 2015


Why isn't "cop" accepted?

January 12, 2018


"he's a cop", should be acceptable. It is the common universal (US) way to write or speak this phrase and not to be considered slang, or colloquial.

January 30, 2018


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.

January 30, 2018


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

January 30, 2018


cop should be accepted, or is it too slang? like 'flic'

May 11, 2015


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.

February 16, 2017


Do the French no longer say 'agent de police'?

July 26, 2015


❤❤❤❤ again

September 1, 2016


"He is a cop". Not accepted

January 28, 2017

  • 1751

"Un flic" = a cop. It is a slang term for "police officer".

February 16, 2017



April 20, 2017


It seems a bit random (or even quite a bit more than a bit). Literally "c'est" is "ce est" therefore "it is". If "he is" is meant, than it should be "il est". With Duo, it seems like you're always doing it wrong. This is quite frustrating! And I'm quite angry about it, too!

May 3, 2017


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

June 8, 2017


Is there a reason why it won't accept cop as an answer for "policier" or is it just that they have multiple words for it?

June 4, 2017


Cop = Le flic

June 5, 2017


What's the difference between "la police" and "le policier"?

June 7, 2017


•la police = the corporation or a group of policemen

•un policier = a policeman

This is exactly what @Sitesurf has written here.

June 13, 2017



June 13, 2017


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".

June 13, 2017


"She is a police officer." Why is that not correct? Does "c'est" only refer to male and neuter? How would one say, "She is a police officer."?

July 31, 2017


I know I did this correctly. I hate it when I am scored wrong but have done it right. It happens on this kind of item.

September 9, 2017


Why is "Here is a police officer" not accepted?

January 1, 2018


Here is a police officer == Voici un policier !

January 1, 2018


Why I hear the voice "Sit down please ." ?

January 8, 2018


What is the difference between policier and gendarme?

January 10, 2018


Why is "He is an officer" not accepted?

February 26, 2018


"It's a cop." Now that's a real phrase from American English that everyone has said while speeding.

March 31, 2018


There is no answer, policeman is not on there. I tried officer and police, it doesn't accept it

June 8, 2018


The answer I got is policeman but it is not by the possibilities so finally I gave the answer policeofficer and it was right

June 19, 2018


i picked "he is a police" and the answer was "he is a police man", there was no "man" only "officer" in the word bank, should i have picked officer?

August 20, 2018


He's a cop, mother. Get it?

January 20, 2019
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