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  5. "La policía no lo permite."

"La policía no lo permite."

Translation:The police do not allow it.

December 19, 2012



"The police do not allow it" or "The police officer does not allow it." "The police does not allow it" is just wrong. A person is not a police; he or she is a police officer.


Why is it wrong? "The police does not allow it" ("La policía no lo permite") could refer to every police officer in general (i.e. the police department), while "The police officer does not allow it" ("El policía no lo permite") means you are talking about a single, specific policeman.


I understand that "la policía" can mean the police department, but it can also mean a single (female) police officer.

But really, that's beside the point a lot of people are making here. In English, "the police" is always plural, as far as I'm aware. I know this is arbitrary, and there is probably some regional variation, but I haven't heard of it.


Mattmoran, Duo said "The police DO not allow it," as of July 22, 2016.Meaning, of course that as a policy, there is something THEY (the whole group or department) do not allow.THEY do not allow it.


Er... I think you're saying what I'm saying. "The police" is plural.


Yep. I read all the stuff people wrote -- WOW! -- it's the discussion that wouldn't die, like a werewolf or zombie argument! Like the guy said, "people" & "police" take plural verbs, but regional differences may be heard -- if they sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, OH, WELL -- such is life!


There is no plural of "the police" in english.


In English "the police" always refers to more than person. If you want to refer to a single officer a police officer or the police officer (or policeman/policewoman).


+1: What he said.


Apparently "The police don't permit it" is wrong.


That was my answer too. I don't know why it wasn't accepted.


They should allow "permit". In this case it is interchangeable with "allow"


DuoLingo no lo permite.


In my opinion, the police have no business "allowing" something, but they can permit something.


My answer as well!duo no lo permite???


It's correct but Duolingo doesn't accept it yet. They will probably fix this in the future


This is a case where there is, in my opinion, a subtle difference. Permit is a verb that is very rigid. It is a yes or no situation. It is either permitted or it isn't. There is no wiggle room. Allow, on the other hand, deals with shades of permission.

For example, the law does not permit the possession of marijuana, but police officers often allow it as long as the quantity appears low enough to be for personal use only.


yo tambien. . . lo permite. . . . = permit it. Super claro!!


you would not say the police does it ... bad english


Plauben, U R correct, one would have to say "The police officer (he or she) does not allow it," to make it a singular noun. The other way means the police (department officers all) do not permit it.


How are people arguing the English translation? The way I see it, this is simply a difference between dialects. If you're going to argue about the English, at least state where you're from, because some things are considered correct in some areas around the world, but incorrect in others. Just look up "collective nouns in English", or simply refer to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences#Formal_and_notional_agreement


I notice exactly this when watching TV from the UK or listening to the radio from the UK. It sounds very odd to my ears, but it is the way they do it there. I'm sure how we do it in North America must sound odd to their ears in the UK.


Daniel, that's exactly why either way should be accepted.


Yes, that is what I was saying ...


Why is "The police do not permit it" incorrect? Permit is one of the definitions listed under permite.


why is the police do not permit it wrong?


Why can't I say "The police does not allow him"?


first because in English the police is plural, so the "does" is wrong. second, it says "no lo permite" - lo is the neuter form. "no le permite" would mean they don't allow him


Lo is the 3rd person singular direct object pronoun and can mean "it" when replacing a masculine noun or "him" when replacing a male person. It is not used here because the "him" in Sunsunhemnilrat's proposed sentence would represent an indirect object pronoun. The police are not allowing him something and that something would be the direct object. Le is Spanish's indirect object pronoun meaning to/for him; to/for her; or to/for you (singular, formal).


I have no problem with the police part!!! Why can I not say "permit" instead of allow? Both words were in the dropdown and to me, both words are interchangable depending on context.


I agree ... the police does is very bad english....


I wrote The police don't permit it, and I was told it was wrong. But the dictionary says permitir means 'permit or allow. I find this sort of thing happens in other examples too.


"The police" is a singular noun, so it's not correct to say "the police does...".


"The police" is a plural noun


The fact remains, in English, NOBODY would EVER say "The police does not allow it". That is just plain wrong, regardless. I am a native English speaker, and if someone ever said "The police does allow it" then I would immediately know they are speaking english as their second language.

Remember, learning a language isn't just about learning the "rules". Rather it is about learning how the language sounds naturally.

The rules regarding collective nouns are convoluted. You do what sounds best, and "the police does" just sounds atrocious.


I agree with you about 80%. "The police" as plural seems to be the clear standard. However, there are many native speakers of English who would treat it as singular, as evidenced by all the sound and fury here. When dealing with grammar, there is no "right" and "wrong". It's more about what's "accepted" and what's "stigmatized".


There isn't much more to add to this discussion, but I'd like to bring attention to pages 188-190 of this publication: http://www.google.com/books?id=3e45AAAAQBAJ

They show the distribution of occurrences from various corpora of several collective nouns, including 'police', with singular and plural verbs. Of note is the high rate of occurrences with a singular verb in the corpora of Jamaica, India (where the singular use is in the majority), and Singapore. These are largely multilingual societies where other languages (Patois in Jamaica; various Indian languages in India; Tamil, Malay, and various Chinese languages in Singapore) are spoken that may or may not treat 'police' as plural. Perhaps there has been some influence from these languages on English, and I speculate that the evident confusion of the standard form in American English is perhaps due to prolonged influence from bilingual communities speaking various languages, including the huge population that speaks Spanish, which indeed treats 'police' as singular. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's interesting to observe that there might be some sociolinguistic factors at play here.


"The police" is a collective noun and as such should be treated as a single unit. Similar situations are: The herd is running. The nation is mourning. The flock is flying. On the other hand: The team lost their game.

In the end this feedback seems pointless as Duolingo does not seem to be monitoring the conversation.


Leigh, no problem except with your "exception" - unless the speaker was speaking British English, "The team lost ITS game." (As an added note for non-native English speakers, although "its" is a possessive pronoun, it does not take an apostrophe, because the shortened form of the contraction "It is" uses the apostrophe for "It's," and "It's" is not the possessive form.)

As for the singular-plural debate, if you think of "the police" making a coordinated raid, like a drug bust or something, you don't have ONE officer trying to surround the place where the bad guys are, but more like a SWAT team, who would be thought of in the U.S. as "it," (the team - "The SWAT team is approaching the hideout," and apparently in Britain as "they," (all the members of) the SWAT team are approaching ..." Just as Spanish-speakers at times clarify a D.O. pronoun with extra words, U.S. speakers would add extra words for the plural verb form, like this: "The members of Seal Team Six know the danger." Team becomes part of the prepositional phrase, and you have a plural subject, "members." We know and accept that Spanish is spoken differently in Spain and Latin America; we can also accept differences in Brit and U.S. English, yes? Discussing it is not fighting or arguing, just explaining!


"There are a few collective nouns (in both British and American English) that are always used with a plural verb, the most common of which are police and people:" http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/matching-verbs-to-collective-nouns-american

I got dragged into an argument about this, but after a while realised that the other person commenting was contradicting their own statements, and only arguing for argument's sake, so I decided to reduce the clutter and remove my comments. The quote from Oxford Dictionaries is very clear on this, so you can either accept that, or just go with unsubstantiated opinion.


the police does not allow him - já que é "lo", por que não pode usar him!?


Is the distinction between "the police" (organization, group) and "the police officer" (person) just dependent on context in Spanish? Or is their a spelling, pronunciation, or grammatical difference?


I believe the collective noun is always feminine, whereas the word referring to a single officer can be either masculine or feminine. So we have some ambiguity in this one.


Why is police officer wrong? when you click on the word policia, one of the translation is police officer. ???????


So I was told that the police doesn't.. the correct was 'the cop', which bothers me.


"The police does not allow it" is grammatically correct, as it is a collective noun. However, it's not a common way to talk in natural speech and should probably be addressed. While "the police" is a singular collective noun, native English speakers would still treat it as a plural concept.


Wouldn't it be nice if the rules in English were that consistent, but they're not.

"There are a few collective nouns (in both British and American English) that are always used with a plural verb, the most common of which are police and people:" http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/matching-verbs-to-collective-nouns-american


WE worry about bad english,but almost everything in spanish is bad english.


Isn't the police the same as the policeman ?


I live in Canada and we sometimes say "the police does". I'm trying to learn Spanish and I'm a little pissed off at the fact that "The police does not allow it" isn't accepted.


It would be fine if you added "department," then you have a singular noun with a descriptive modifier, or use "The policeman does it." Like when A police officer walks a beat, or police (all) walk a beat before THEY are eligible for promotion."


Difference between 'allow' & 'permit' in English?


I think "allow" is more casual, while permit is a rules thing - i.e. what the police can have some say in. A parent might not allow something, but I don't think police can casually say "you're not allowed to do that." They'd have to say "you're not permitted to do that." However with the current actions of police in some American cities, some seem to think the can say things aren't allowed (like gathering on a street corner) even when it is permitted by law.


the word "force" is implied....both "the police do not allow it" (to satisfy Duolingo) and "the police force does not allow it" should be accepted. I do not think that i ever heard ""the police do not allow it" mentioned in English Canada..


Allow it or permit it are both correct answers in english


What is wrong with this answer, "The police does not permit it."


"The police do not permit it" should be an acceptable answer.


what on earth is wrong with the police do not permit it?


Would "permiten" also work?


Not in this case...La policia is singular even though it refers to a group or entity so the verb has to be singular 3rd person. To use "permiten", you would have to say "Las Policias" which I've never heard though I'm not a native speaker.


Got it, thank you!

  • 1735

The police do* not allow it


The word Police is plural, just like People. Policeman or Officer is singular.


Duo give one option in the test, which is "DOES". Yet in the above example (at the top of this post) they use the word "DO". How can we choose the only correct option ("DO") when it is not offered in the original question?


Please correct the English grammar.


I said "The cops do not allow it" and it was marked wrong, but that is only because apparently "cops" is not a suitable word to use, which is stupid.


Why isn't "The police forbid it" accepted?


I really didn't understand that.. first of all.. "La policía" is not a plural word then it should be does not instead of do not


How am i suppused to tell if lo means "it" or "him"


You can't tell based on that sentence alone. You'd need context to figure it out for sure. That being said, when using "allow", you generally follow up "he" with an action. "It" doesn't need to be followed up because it refers directly to an action in this case.

"Can I stand here?" "The police do not allow it." "Why isn't he leaving?" "The police do not allow him [to leave]."


Doesn't and fo not are the same


Wait...if it's aupposed to be plural... I'm confused


Personally I do not care if police is pluralnor singular in english. I am here to learn french, kot to perfect my sometimes flawd English. It is annoying that your French lesson is considered wrong because you make a common mistake in English, which is made by a lot of English native authors too.


Ehm Spanish in this case.. Usually these sort of things crop up with French hehe


It is not right. The police is third person , so it doesn't do whatever it does.

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