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"La policía es dura."

Translation:The police are tough.

5 years ago

108 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Puresthera

Policia had the option of "policeman" and es could be you formal or he/she/it is so why is "the policeman is tough" incorrect?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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I did a quick Google search and it looks like you are right. "The policeman is tough." should be an accepted answer.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xiuhtecuhtli
Xiuhtecuhtli
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La policía can only be a female police officer, a policeman is el policía. But "the police officer is tough" should still be accepted.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2ndshift

I thought the only way to distinguish a female officer is "La mujer policia?" "La policia" being "the police." (Sorry no accents.)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fluent2B

"La policía" can mean the policewoman or the police in general, while "él policía" means the policeman.

If you examine the context of the sentence, you will see that es is used rather than son, so it is referring to a singular policewoman rather than the police (plural) in general.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swingophelia

This doesn't seem correct - if the word for police generally is "la policia", this would be singular, it seems to me. Else it would be "las policia" or "las policias" perhaps.

Hence, it seems to me that it is correct, that there is an ambiguous meaning here - either "the (female) police officer" or "the police".

Does someone know differently here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

fluent- I disagree. Even though la policía means also the group of policemen, la policía is always singular, even though, there are many policemen in la policía. Same thing with people / la gente, many human beings are part of la gente, but it's still a singular word.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

but 'are tough' is accepted.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Teresinha
Teresinha
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My answer was "is tough" and was accepted.... now!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joser_
joser_
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The noun policía (uncapitalized) could refer to the security body department, or could refer to its members.

When it refers to the security body is female gender and it should be written with initial letters in capital (La Policía), although it is common to write it in lowercase.

When referring to one of its members, the noun is common in terms of gender -el oficial de políca, la oficial de policía) - it's written in lowercase and form the plural los oficiales de policía or las oficiales de policía if referring to only female officers.

Now, in this example sentence, the adjective, dura - which it's in female gender) - must match the gender of the noun, and because the sentence in Spanish does not include the word oficial before the noun, we can infer that the context in this example is referring to the security body in general.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErcDz
ErcDz
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Well, "The policeman is tough" means a single officer, whereas "the police are tough" means a general department or a group of officers.

It's the same as;

I like the cat vs. I like cats

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bolushbek

It's so funny to translate in Russian. The Dura or Durak means stupid or dumb. So, it looks directly in Russian: The police is stupid )

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Steck461

porque "musora"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nikkovin
nikkovin
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La musora es dura

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/B4ttleCat

Could this be read as "the police woman is tough"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heat_Fan1

Yes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErcDz
ErcDz
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I don't think so, because "the police" refers to a group of officers, whereas you're talking about one officer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

"la policía" is ambiguous as to singular or plural. In the singular, it could be a female officer.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pkrysiak

Also, if we treat the police as an organization, not the group of people, the sentence "The police IS tough" also should be accepted.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Not really. "The police is tough." is not proper English grammar. In English, when speaking about police offers as an organization you would have to say something like, "The police department is tough."

If you add "department" then yes, it should be accepted.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yhe

Quick Grammar Lesson!

"Police" the noun actually can refer to a police department/organization by itself and thus can be singular. (proof: search up the word in Merriam-Webster or any dictionary). Pkrysiak is correct in his assertion--"police" is just one of those annoying words that can be both plural and singular depending on the context.

An example word would be "all":

"All are welcome" refers to a group of people and is plural "All is fair in love and war" refers to a vague singular all-encompassing idea of "everything" and is singular.

The real question is exactly how does "policía" translate in English...which I have no clue.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeyDC65

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received when learning a foreign language that I would like to pass on to those reading this is to take the native speaker's word for something over the grammar rules. I used to cling to grammar rules at first, but now when a native speaker of a language I'm trying to learn tells me that something doesn't sound natural, even if I think it should be grammatically correct, I simply take their word for it and adapt.

While you are technically correct from the standpoint of grammar "rules", I can assure you that you would never hear an educated native American English speaker say "The police is ....". It doesn't sound natural and any native speaker will tell you the same thing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
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Good point and well said.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/acfern
acfern
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Right and wrong. Yes technically speaking you are right, but practice (real usage by people) makes you wrong. The pendulum is swinging: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/09/05/agreement-over-collective-nouns/ Always remember that "rules" of the English language are fluid, dictated by usage, not by dogma.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbtaylor

"All" is an example of a group word that can be singular or plural. "Police" is not. "The police is..." is never grammatically correct in English.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

I have just read a good discussion on this very subject: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2139179

There are lots of good points made, and while "The police is..." is very rare, I think there was a good usage of it in the discussion. The word "is" aside, they do point out that you could say "I work for the police", where you are referring to "the police" as a single entity, whereas you would say "The police are coming" where you are treating "The police" as a plural noun.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

I believe that, in this reference, " the police" is shorthand for "the police force is" . Sometimes English truncates phrases.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

I'm not sure you are right jbtaylor, how about in the following example?

John wants to work for an emergency service. He doesn't mind the idea of working as a paramedic or a fireman but, given the choice, the police is where he really wants to be.

Or should that be "the police ARE where he really wants to be"? Also, on a grammatical correctness note, which you mentioned, I'm not sure that "is never be grammatically correct in English" is grammatically correct in English ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbtaylor

Whoops, I changed from "will never be" to "is never" in an attempt to be more concise, and I left the "be". Thanks!

Your example isn't grammatically correct, even though it's easy to understand the meaning of the sentence. "Police" isn't the "where" for John in that sentence; he wants to be working as a police officer, which is the language you used in the first half of the sentence. "...[W]orking with the police is where he wants to be" would be correct, assuming we're all OK with "working" being his place in life—and in that case, "police" is not the subject with with the verb should agree. Your example is kind of like saying, "Milk and cookies is where it's at!" Even though we'd understand that you are fond of cookies, it's not correct.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

I can't respond to your latest comment, but I am sure that your statement regarding "The police is..." NEVER being grammatically correct is wrong. I am sure that this is sometimes correct, although I was struggling to think of when it can be. I realised my sentence wasn't perfect when I wrote it but like I say, I was struggling. I'll have a think about this one later.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TONYANDERS2

the police is ----IS not correct any time, needs other words to make sound correct, like that one does

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/w3wv

It depends on how the noun is treated in the language/dialect. Consider the word "government": In American English, the word is considered as a collective noun--it is one thing, hence, "The government is going to. . . . " In British English, the sentence would be, "The government are going to. . . ."

That being said, the word "police" is plural, not singular.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Gracias, yhe!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NevilleMit
<h1>Justice4MIKEBROWN</h1>
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevinp2k13

Looks like I'm not the only one wondering how "the police is tough" could be wrong in this case..

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnagon

Earlier in this course I was marked incorrect for for writing "police", even though that would be the way an English-speaking person would say it. So today I entered "policemen", even though it sounded awkward, and that was wrong. How can we predict what DL is looking for?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smarnv
smarnvPlus
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You can just give feedback to the team if you are sure your answer is correct. They will add the alternative as soon as possible.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katemonster

You are incorrect because it is singular. We would not say, in English, "The police is tough," because "police" is a plural noun. We would say, "The policeman/policewoman is tough." In this case, because it is "la," the feminine article, the correct answer is "The policewoman is tough."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/membernumber13

so is it correct to use either "el" or "la" to distinguish the gender of a single police officer? i don't remember "el policía" being in any of the lessons so i just defaulted to "policeman" and got it wrong. i would have just put "the police" but i got that wrong on a previous exercise but now it's telling me that it would be an acceptable answer. i'm very confused.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

Policia is in the "occupations" section. You should go back to that section and read the comments. This was discussed due to many of us wondering the same. Some of the occupations are done by changing the end of the word and others by changing el/la los/las.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/axiu22

seems like the everyone is talking about the "is tough" should be accepted. But my question is that why it shall be"The police are tough"... is "la policia" a singular or not?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nukum

Shouldn't it be "son" instead of "es"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adrienne8

can this mean the police in general?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zytabird

Hahaha 'the police are hard'..that was accepted

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/howcheng
howcheng
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There's a setup for a porn scene.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBlask
JamesBlask
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Was starting to think I was the only person thinking this!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kai7

For inanimate ojects it's hard and for people it's tough, is that correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanSchin

Haha. I put 'The cops are tough' and it took it!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuthHenry

"the police is tough" should be accepted

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CourtneyBo182637

Why is this es and not son ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TaishaLazare

Why is "the police is tough" not accepted? Why must it be "are" instead of "is"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/howcheng
howcheng
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In English, the word "police" is a collective noun and treated as plural. This is one of the few examples in American English where this is the case. In British English, you can say, "The team are looking for players," but not in AmEng. If you mean an individual police officer, then you have to add the extra word "officer".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CARLOSDANG130097

may the force be with them....

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yelena47217

Can you guys there fix this ?????

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jewpsy
JewpsyPlus
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why "the police is hard" is not accepted?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bethany281730

Why is it 'are tough'? The 'es' would make it so that it has to be 'is tough', right?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maxim-enghlish

Because the police is plural in English.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bethany281730

Ohh okay. Thanks.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruth985027

The question was "La policía es dura." The answer, because I got it wrong, was "the police are hard". How can I know that this should have been plural? I thought, "la policia", would be, the police woman... I simply don't understand this at all! There were no options, I just had to translate the sentence. .

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wintersun1

How would you differenciate between singular and plural police here? I tried "The police officer is tough" but got it wrong.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adityadhillon

may be by using las policia or los policia

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/isymay627

las policias son duras

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vegitaryn

Is there another word in spanish for "cop"? I put "the cop is tough" and it was marked wrong.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/repairviteSE

Sounds like duolingo being inconsistent...But "cop" is slang and a bit derogatory so I think your answer was a bit risky anyway (not risky to say, but not sure to be marked as correct).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/untarpurpura

Can you say "Las policía son dura"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelOrr

The audio was incorrect and had the accent on the second syllable.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wittybear

What is wrong with "The policewoman is firm" ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kerkeslager

The reading of this makes it sound like the accent is on the first i, not the second. It sounds like polícia.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconChomper
BaconChomper
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Is the police officer is strong incorrect here? I realize there is a specific word for strong but the connotation is the same is it not?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beanface92

I put 'the police are tough' and that was correct. Because using 'is' in english is wrong

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tufigul
Tufigul
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The problem is not the gender but the plural...

My answer was "the police is tough" and it should be accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/howcheng
howcheng
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"Police" by itself as a noun in English is plural, not singular.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rossanaas
Rossanaas
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I don't understand that. I am not native English speaking, but I cannot imagin one saying "the police are tough".... The police has no hint of plurality... I speak Italian, and it is always singular, with the verb for singular person, as well as in Spanish. My answer was too "the police IS tough" and I believe it's right. But it was not accepted. Maybe ARE is a special American English slang? So, if I speak about the police, should I say "it" (right?) or what? THEY???!! For example, it arrives in five minutes. I would say so. Never THEY (the police) arrive... It seems so odd and wrong. I report it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeyDC65

I understand your confusion coming from other languages where it is a singular concept, but that's just not the case in English. The word "police" is most definitely plural. As a native speaker, whenever I hear the word police, I immediately imagine multiple police officers in their uniforms in my mind. It's not a case of slang either. It simply is a plural concept in English. As a result, "The police is tough" is just not correct. Also, yes, when you are referring to the police, it would be they.

If you don't believe me, take a look at some English dictionaries:

Perhaps an interesting point is that an exceedingly common error that native English speakers make when learning Spanish, myself included, is to say «La policía son ...». The reason is that, in our minds, it is a plural concept.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rossanaas
Rossanaas
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Well, thank you Mikey for your explanation. I am afraid I'll never be able to accept it in my mind (on the level of logic), since for me the police is A unit, AN organization (plus, THE ONLY ONE in a country!!!). Speaking about policemen (officers) it's clear that we refer as THEY. But even if we say: a group of officers (which IS police!) we would say A GROUP, right? That's the strangest thing for me in English, nonsense. In Italian they say also "le forze dell'ordine", kind of the powers of order, in this case yes, of course, they refer as THEY and are always in plural. Well, this is a discussion about English, not Spanish (in Spanish it is clear for me). Of course, there are strange things in languages, connected with the mentality, and they are as they are spoken by native speakers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tufigul
Tufigul
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Well, I'll never be able to logically accept why an apple is feminine and why an egg is masculine :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maxim-enghlish

Hahaha! In Russian "dura" is a fool (fiminine). So it sounds for me like "The police is a fool".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganDarby

why is " the police is tough" not accepted?! It translates the same exact was as "The police are tough

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sweatersss

I heard "la policia azura"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexandercd2003

Why can't "Police are tough" be accepted?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavianMcDonald

... no they are not

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ael-aina

I learned this from Duolingo itself; so for some of you who are oblivious, take a note: la policía = 'policewoman' or ' The police' in general él policia = 'The policeman'

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
CJ.Dennis
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I thought it meant "The police are expensive"! Too many languages!

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ash879961

La policia is singular

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/prleet

Spanish language is making me stupid.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karin976341

Apparently the "is tough" is not accepted!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PollySeefe

The word police in this case is singular and IS not Are should be the accepted answer.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curious63
curious63
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should this not be - the police is tough?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnonToriYT

is it incorrect when I write tuff'? its a jamaican expression

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

Tuff would be slang for tough in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rickymathers

the 'another correct answer' is, the police are tough, but should that not be las policia son dura

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ely1059

this sentence is wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adesuwa13

y is "es" used when it means is/it is/is it?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ibra4438
ibra4438
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I think this translation is wrong, because ''es'' in Spanish stands for ''is'' in English. So the correct translation should be: ''The policeman is tough''.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BendytheInkDemon

Is this police a female or something?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex206330

The grammar police have no mercy. They don't accept mistaeks. Wait, no!!! It was an accident! I know it's spelled "mistake"! Nooooo........................

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheepLikeOnions

i wanted an option as "mio"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lana.UA

Dura means a fool (female) in Russian

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mejips
Mejips
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en todos los países esto es igual!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mswagg

shouldn't durable be an accepted translation for dura? seems to be the exact cognate

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yamx
Yamx
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In German, "GIft"--a cognate of English "gift"--means "poison." Just because something is a cognate doesn't mean it's a correct translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alveolados
Alveolados
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Well, in russian "dura" ("дура") means extremely stupid female. What about that? :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baonguyendelivmo

"es" can not be translated "are".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ernando7

For those who know Russian, this sentence might sound funny. "Dura" means "b*tch" in Russian. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rossanaas
Rossanaas
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For those who know Russian "dura" does not mean that. Marioulla is right, it means a stupid (woman) and for a man is a little different. It seems a coincident, or , might be, the Russian words come from Latin... I did not study the point.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UralMasha
UralMasha
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Yes, my native is Russian, and I have a lot of fun - La Policia sometimes is really "dura" ))) BUT: Dura isn`t what you think, it is just stupid woman. As "durak" is a stupid man.

3 years ago