"Min mamma är polis."

Translation:My mother is a police officer.

January 5, 2015

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/porpsi

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

August 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

No, it occurs occasionally and we will allow it.

August 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/porpsi

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

August 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JB__Stockholm

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Nraith

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

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Yes?

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rumnraisin

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:

http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/4995/when-to-treat-police-as-a-singular-noun-and-a-plural-noun

http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/22142/police-are-or-police-is

http://www.englishlessonsbrighton.co.uk/police-uncountable-plural-noun/

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram

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

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris

It now allows "my mother is police".

February 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Svetsurge

'My mother is a cop' works too ;)

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/obitonye

Why A policeman?

October 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Wonderlili18

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

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

June 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EleanorWil

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

January 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cayvie

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

March 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainIkag

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

July 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/toast776

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

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainIkag

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

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gentoomaniac

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

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

https://www.duolingo.com/gentoomaniac

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

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

September 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

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

October 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones

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

October 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Of course! :)

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Shayla-anne

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

https://www.duolingo.com/lorenagay

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

November 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

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

November 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen874691

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

March 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Mumblemee

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

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AlisterEP

So police and police officer are the same?

April 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/icannotfly

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

April 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoakimEk

"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

https://www.duolingo.com/EzuPo

My mother is a policeman or policewoman?

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Paolog5

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

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

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

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Byx-

Shoutout to the mods for accepting "cop"

November 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Firefly540

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

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PogoPaters

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

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PatruAloeil

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

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TopRival75

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

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Clayton405368

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

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/freeboprich

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Erin982828

Loving all the Swedish gender equality

March 7, 2018
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