Yes, a good way to understand it in the sense is to thing of it in English as "chez": go chez John, chez the mechanic, etc. This sounds a bit strange, perhaps, but helps you understand the grammatical usage and sense of dal in Italian, which in this construction is similar.
I read that this is a common construction, used with "andare," when you're talking about going to the home or shop of a particular person (as opposed to a supermarket) e.g. to the butcher. Despite the fact that "da" usually means "from". jackie.bowers
Da in some cases can mean to. Andare da is an expression to say go to , while venere da means come from
here's what I think - for what it's worth! it's 'andare a ....' unless you are saying WHO you are going to, eg John's house, the fishmonger's shop. then it's 'andare da...' the apostrophe helps me to remember.(I shall be so happy if a native Italian speaker says I'm right!)
I'm not a native speaker, merely a student. But I do remember a teacher saying something like this, and I always used it this way, so I think you are right. Plus, I think 'andare da' it's always used when you specify a person, a professional ecc. But there are variations like dal, dalla, dalle...
I think 'andare da' may be used here in the sense of "to go to the mechanic's" (the place of/from the mechanic...) - not at all sure whether this is correct, but that's how I make sense of it for myself...;-)
Yes, it is correct. I entered "Do you go to the mechanic's?" and Duo accpeted it as correct.
Andare da is an expression, you should use it instead of andare a in this case
This sentence is a show stopper for me, Italian seemed cool but then this showed up. How it is possible to have a preposition meaning "from" and sometimes "to"? How can I distinguish them?
Prepositions don't follow clear rules (I have the same problem with English prepositions)
Maybe this link can help
If I wanted to say "He's going from his friend's to his parents' house."?
"Va dal suo amico alla casa dei suoi genitori."? Or would I have to be specific and say: "Va dalla casa del suo amico..."?
he is going from his friend's to his parents' house
Lui sta andando dalla casa del suo amico alla casa dei suoi genitori
he goes from his friend's to his parents' house
Lui va dalla casa del suo amico alla casa dei suoi genitori
like "Anna va da Francesca a i suoi"? When you say qualcuno anda da qualche persone, it means their house. Unless it's a professional, then it means their place of work.
No native English speaker would say "Do you go to the mechanic?" unless they meant "is going to the mechanic something that you do typically?". So it is silly that it rejects "You go to the mechanic?" and "Are you going to the mechanic?" and gives this as the correct answer. So I think the some of the trouble here may be the nuances of English, not Italian.
"Do you go to the mechanic" is a perfectly correct English form, but the meaning is not the same as "Are you going to the mechanic. I at first assumed that the Italian meant the latter form
"Stai andando dal meccanico?" = "Are you going to the mechanic?"
"Vai dal meccanico?" = "Do you go to the mechanic?"" and also "Are you going to the mechanic?"
I answered 'are you going' and it was wrong. If somebody's car breaks down, you say to them 'Are you going to the mechanic?', to which they can answer 'yes' or 'no' I thought this was the sense. If you met somebody heading towards the garage, you could ask the same, although the sense is a bit different. 'Do you go to the mechanic?' would mean 'do you go when the car breaks down rather than repairing it yourself or doing something else', to which you could reply 'yes' or 'no'. I had understood the Italian sentence to have the other meaning, not this one. French therefore differs from both Italian and English.
There are 2 accepted answers here that are quite different in English, so it is not clear that both answers should be correct:
-Do you go to the mechanic? Means, do you normally, as a habit, go to the mechanic. Does NOT mean you are going now, or today.
-Are you going to the mechanic? means "are you going actually, to the mechanic. (not a habit...more specific)
Which english meaning is referred to by this Italian sentence. It seems this distinction is not easy to make in Italian?
I tried translation software with this
"I go from the mechanic's to the store". It returns Vado dal meccanico al negozio
"i go to the mechanic's" Vado al meccanico
What do you think?
I think the translation software is bugged ;) You can use "andare a" with places (vado all'officina), but not with people, because you need "da" to change a person into a place (vado dal meccanico). temporalthings above is right, "da" in this context is the same as the French "chez" or the German "bei".
Right. This usage is well known to us from the names of Italian restaurants, such as "Da Luigi".
why not "are you going to a mechanic?" ? if you leave out the article why is "the" assumed instead of "a"
The article is not left out: "dal" is the contraction of "da" and "il" (http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare153a.htm). "Are you going to a mechanic?" would have been "Vai da un meccanico?".
Shouldn't the pitch of the voice go up at the end of interrogative sentences? Because the voice actually says : "you go to the mechanic". I have lost a lot of hearts because of this.
Why "dal" and not "del"? Wouldn't "dal" be asking "Do you go from the mechanic?" rather than "Do you go to the mechanic?"?
Ok so a minute ago I got "Do you go to the party tonight" wrong for using "Vai da[lla]", but here it's correct?
In this sentence, da means "to" - but that translation was not offered.
I think "da" sometimes works like "chez" in French. You know, like when you say "chez moi", as in "at my place". So: vai dal meccanico ... is a bit like saying, "Are you going to the mechanic's?"
So would I, and I'm wondering how to distinguish 'you go from..' Perhaps 'Tu vieni dal meccanico'
Andare da means go to and venire da means come from. So da doesn't change alone, but the verb that comes with it changes its meaning.
Going from??? Who talks like this in english? You come from, not going from!
And in fact both are the opposite of what the Italian sentence means. I've removed "from" from the options.
As a native speaker can you answer the question about the meaning of this sentence? As asked by a couple of people here: "Are you going to the mechanic?" in English means are you going now. "Do you go to the mechanic?" means in English, do you normally go, do you usually use that mechanic? Which is the meaning of "Vai dal meccanico?" At the moment this duolingo answer says it is "Do you go" and I have a suspicion that this is either not correct, or it could mean either.
It means either and more; the Italian indicative present can be used for (http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/indicativo-presente_%28La-grammatica-italiana%29/):
- An event simultaneous to the enunciation (are you going to the mechanic?)
- A habitual action (do you go to the mechanic [usually]?)
- A fact that is true regardless of the time (do you go to the mechanic [in general]?)
- Colloquially, when the time frame is known, a future action (will you go to the mechanic?)
- In the contest of a narration, a past action: this wouldn't really work as a question.
Thank you. Presumably this means Duo should accept "Are you going" as a correct translation here? Unless there is another reason for being picky here. (I'm not one of those users who gets very upset about being marked wrong - I'm here to learn)
You will always find people thinking that any language is "hard" and find people thinking that the very same language is "NOT hard". Books could be written on this subject for probably every and each language. Making a general rule out of one single example or a few more is very cliché.