"He works as a mailman."

Translation:Lavora come postino.

February 20, 2013

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mlight

I used "lavora come un postino" and was marked incorrect. it is confusing to know when or not to add the article!

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pierugofoz

There is a differece in meaning if you add "un" in the italian sentence.
"Lavora come postino" = "He works as a mailman" (he is a mailman)

"Lavora come un postino" = "He works like a mailman" (he is not a mailman)
"His work resembles that of a mailman" or
"He works a lot (little) like a mailman" or
"His working hours are like those of a mailman"

January 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaan343242

Good explain. Thanks

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

Ciao pierugofoz. I appreciate that. Grazie mille!

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FrancAngelo

very helpful. thatnk you!

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sfd2012

Geez...

January 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rondinella01

Is the article really needed in Italian? In this context, it wouldn't be used in other Romance languages. "Lavora come un postino" looks like it should be translated: He works like a mailman. Thoughts?

February 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/f.formica
Mod
  • 2087

Yes, it's as you say: in Italian it's either "lavora come postino" (formal), "fa il postino" (informal), or "è un postino".

February 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/norchids

Can you say "lui fa un postino"? An earlier question said that "my mother is a secretary" was "mia madre fa una segretaria." So does the same pattern work for "he works as a mailman?"

September 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/f.formica
Mod
  • 2087

No, "mia madre fa una segretaria" is wrong too (and dangerously close to a slang way to say she has sex with a secretary).

September 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/norchids

Oh my goodness! I can see that a literal translation would probably be something like "my mother does/makes a secretary." I can see how that might be suggestive of having sex with a secretary! So how would I say "my mother is a secretary" properly?

September 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/f.formica
Mod
  • 2087

If you want to use "fare", which is the most common way to express it, you must use a definite article, as you're indicating the general category of what she does for a living, so "mia madre fa la segretaria"; of course the generic "mia madre è una segretaria", which focuses on who she is rather than what she does, works as well. The one presented in this exercise is a more formal way to say it, "mia madre lavora come segretaria", and it focuses on her current occupation, much like "fare il/lo/la".

P.S. "Fare il/lo/la" can sometimes be used for other than occupations: for instance "fare il portoghese" literally means "playing the Portuguese", or trying to pass as one, and after a certain incident it means trying to avoid paying.

September 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jatedesco

The word "a" is used -- not "the" -- so shouldn't it be "fa in postino"??

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pierugofoz

maybe you wanted to say: "Lui fa un postino", but that means: "he is building a postman" or "he is disguised as a postman"

February 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanlehrerlsu

jatedesco: No, with professions, using "a" or "as a" then the article is usually omitted. That said, unless it's a typo, "fa in postino" makes no sense. Maybe you meant "fa IL postino", but that's not correct since as you say, "a" is used, not "the".

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/malcolmissimo

But fa il is a correct idiom, and Duo just accepted it. There are three ways to identify a person's job in Italian: è [un] postino; lavora come postino; fa il postino. Think "I am ..."; "I work as ..."; "My job/role is ...". Essere il postino, rather than fare, refers to the postman in a given context, e.g. your street.

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Farishaismail22

okay so now i know "come" means 'as' and "come un" is 'like a' ... thx everyone :)

August 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Naseem200170

I wrote 'Lui lavora fa un postino.' Why was this wrong?

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dahai69790

"Fa come un postino."

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

Il postino/la postina

March 16, 2017
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