"Min mamma är polis."

Translation:My mother is a police officer.

January 5, 2015



"A police" is wrong in English. Omit the a or add officer to the end

August 13, 2015


No, it occurs occasionally and we will allow it.

August 13, 2015


things that occur occassionally can still be wrong. I occassionally spell occassionally wrong, but it's still wrong.

August 13, 2015


The meaning is clear, especially for non English speakers so it's fair to allow it, as far as learning Swedish, not English, is the reason why we are here.

April 11, 2017


One of the answers was, 'my mother is a police.'

July 7, 2015



July 7, 2015


Just to provide some apparently needed context for discussion on this thread, and not to take either side of the debate, here are some pages where the usage is discussed and a few brief words summary of their content:




A number of upvoted answers on those state "a police" is incorrect. The smaller comments there mention "The Wire", just as cayvie has mentioned it on this thread, but those who have left comments also say such things as "It's hard to tell if this is dialect, slang or jargon, but I believe the show is generally considered to be realistic in its use of language" and (from a different poster) "I think that usage is a regionalism."

Which isn't to say those regions aren't widespread, see http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2014/09/a-police.html for a few examples of where it has been used - and they are widespread, although not numerous. Also notably they are often in a highly colloquial, vernacular, or slang style. Even though this blog post finds references for the usage, it concedes 'We doubt that “a police” will slip into common usage.'

There is a lot more debate about it easily found, for just one example: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/101751-A-Unique-Collective-and-Uncountable-Noun-Police

I suspect the reason this keeps coming up is because learners are writing "My mother is police" without any article, and Duolingo is (mis)correcting them to "My mother is a police" as the nearest alternative in its list of accepted sentences. If this happens to you, and "... is police" does occur in your regional variation, rather than leave a comment here, why not use the error reporting facilities to report that your sentence should have been accepted. :) That way the course team can put it into the list of accepted answers. :)

August 10, 2015


Late reply, but you also have to consider that there are also people who use the English courses that aren't native English speakers (including myself). I suspect that's why they're a little bit more forgiving when it comes to certain accepted answers. :)

October 17, 2015


It now allows "my mother is police".

February 9, 2019


'My mother is a cop' works too ;)

February 1, 2016


Why A policeman?

October 28, 2015


Just wondering-- in situations like this, an "en" or "ett" is not needed for it to translate as "a... _" Are there any rules about this??

June 23, 2015


I wrote some about it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6122883

June 23, 2015


My mother is a policeman? My mother is a police?

January 19, 2015


have you seen "the wire"? they say "a police" all the time in that show

March 13, 2015


My mom is an officer is not an accepted translation? Policeman and officer can be synonymous in English.

July 15, 2015


As an English speaker I would only substitute officer for police officer in the context of talking about police related things. Without context it could mean something like an officer in the military.

July 31, 2015


Still they remain synonymous and very few people would assume it to be a military officer.

August 2, 2015


My mom is a police - sounds wrong for me... The Swedish version sound also a bit of. Or am I just missing the point here :)

September 2, 2015


The suggested English version is My mother is a police officer. There's a long discussion about 'a police' in English in this thread, but it's just an accepted answer, you don't have to use it. Unfortunately we can't control what is shown as 'another correct answer' so this may be shown to you depending on what you input.
Min mamma är polis is totally normal in Swedish, it's the most natural way of saying it.

September 2, 2015


Thanks for the clarification. :) I'm using Duolingo on Android and there it showed 0 comments to this exercise when I clicked on the comments. Now on the web I see the comments you are referring to. As for the Swedish version: thanks here too for clarification. Learned something new :)

September 2, 2015


I know comments don't show up properly on mobile platforms, I really hope Duo will fix this soon!

September 2, 2015


What about "my mom is an officer" as a gender neutral answer? I tried that as mibe but it suggested "my mom is a police" which we would not say in Kansas City...

October 13, 2015


Just "officer" is too general to be accepted here. Police officer is accepted though.

October 13, 2015


Is "policewoman" accepted as well? For gender inclusiveness' sake?

October 16, 2015


Of course! :)

October 17, 2015


Its interesting seeing how different english speaking regions can vary so much in the way they form sentences. Like in this example I would have considered "My mother is a police." improper english or an incomplete sentence. (Ex. my mother is a police....woman? Officer?) But I suppose Duo has to accommodate for all possible english translations.

October 20, 2015


Odd, it says there are already 27 comments, but none show up!

November 30, 2015


Let me guess, you're on a mobile device? there's a bug with these unfortunately.

November 30, 2015


So it failed me for breaking police women into two parts the algorithm needs a little latitude.

March 27, 2016


We don't really control typo handling, but as far as I can see, you'd only get a typo for police woman, whereas police women would be failed for being plural instead of singular.

May 15, 2016


'My mother is a policeman.' love the alternative translation suggestion. :D

March 9, 2017


So police and police officer are the same?

April 5, 2017


How do you make the distinction between "the police" as a whole and "the police officer" as an individual?

April 15, 2017


"polisen" can mean both, and you need to figure out from context. You can specify an individual with "polismannen" (possible for any gender but biased towards male) or "poliskvinnan" (female). (The word "poliskonstapel" can also be used but sounds oldfashion.) For the police force one can use "Poliskåren". Often you can tell since one usually begin with undetermined "en polis" for an individual, but the police as a whole is always determined ("polisen").

September 18, 2017


My mother is a policeman or policewoman?

April 18, 2017


How we can call who is working in the police corp but is not officer, but a simple other administrative worker?

October 11, 2017


Probably by some other name entirely, which depends on the profession or tasks rather than on being in the police corps.

October 11, 2017


Shoutout to the mods for accepting "cop"

November 13, 2017


I put "My mother is a police" and it worked. Made me laugh.

December 19, 2017


Could you say "my mum is in the police"?

January 22, 2018


”My mom is a police officer” didnt count...

January 28, 2018


Would 'Min mamma är en polis' be grammatically incorrect in Swedish?

March 21, 2018


It's not ungrammatical per se, just unidiomatic to the point of being wrong. Unless you want to point out specifically that your mother is one police officer.

March 21, 2018


I put "My mother is a police" because I'm a rebel like that. It worked.

October 14, 2018


I'm sorry but the accepted answers are so wrong as to be comical! Either your mum is (non-PC, I know) a policewoman, OR "in the police." She is NOT "a policeman" or "the police" as was suggested to me, it might be word for word but it's lazy to suggest it as an alternative.

November 18, 2015


Loving all the Swedish gender equality

March 7, 2018
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