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  5. "He works as a mailman."

"He works as a mailman."

Translation:Lavora come postino.

February 20, 2013



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


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)
    ᅳ "His job resembles that of a mailman" or
    ᅳ "He works a lot (little) like a mailman" or
    ᅳ "His working hours are like those of a mailman"


Good explain. Thanks


best comment. thank


very helpful. thatnk you!


Perfectly explained. Thank you!


Ciao pierugofoz. I appreciate that. Grazie mille!


In English, if you left out un or a, would be, he works like mailman, or in england, Postman.


Thank you. That makes it so much clearer. Now if I only could remember that when translating!


I still don't get it. From my understanding, it's the difference between "he works like mailman" and "he works like a mailman" because the only thing that changes is whether "a" is there or not.

  • 1124

In english you'd say: He works as mailman vs he works like a mailman.


Thank you, had that mistake and you explained it good.


Excellent explanation! Thanks.


You're kidding! Che bestia!


Another explanation: in Italian "come" is not followed by "un" in this context, because "come" has the meaning of: "in the manner of." All that is needed is the noun -- in this case, "postino." Buona sera!


I totally agree. The previous question tells you that you should use "l' " avvocato for "a" lawyer. This question says you are incorrect when you use "il" postino as well as "un" postino. You are told now not to use either! How do we know when to use what? Maybe Babble or Rosetta Stone would be a better choice at this point, but they are not Free!


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?

  • 2660

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


I like this explanation. Mille grazie!


can some1 tell me why "lui lavora come un postino" isn't accepted?


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?"

  • 2660

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


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?

  • 2660

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.


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


I thought that " Lavora" was feminine


"Lavora" is a conjugation of the verb "Lavorare"
. . . . . simple present
io lavoro . . . . . . . . I work
tu lavori . . . . . . . . .you work (you sing.)
lui/lei lavora . . . .he/she works
noi lavoriamo . . . we work
voi lavorate . . . . . you work (you pl.)
loro lavorano . . . .they work


So if i saw that sentence, how do i know its "he"?


The o ending of postino. If it were "she" it would be postina.


Quite often if you use io, tu, lui/lei, noi, voi, or loro, you are marked wrong.


So why not use lui lavora because it could be lei lavora the english sentence states he works


It could not be "Lei Lavora..." because 'Postino' is used, If it was referring to a woman it'd be 'Postina'.


Lui lavora come un postino is not correct also?


This is extremely irritating! What's wrong with "lavora come un postino"?


"Fa come un postino."


Odd, this omission of the article in sentences like this. It is difficult to remember because it sounds dead wrong, almost as if uttered by someone mentally deficient — "What do you do, Joe?" "I work like postman..." — whereas the article is so absolutely insisted upon in other grammar, as in "The my dog is sick..." Of course I know that I am filtering everything through my English lens, and that is not the remedy for anything. Still, I wish I knew how it all evolved and where the patterns lie, if there ever were any...


"Lui Lavora Fa Il Postino" Was Marked Wrong, Why Is This So?


Ciao. I am not a Italian native speaker, but il=the and it is un=a nevertheless you cannot write lavora + fa, I think. The correct sentence is lavora come un postino or fa il postino. But as I said, I am not a native or a expert in Italian. In bocca al lupo.


After 3 sentences using fa, and fa in the hints, why all of the sudden is "Lui fa un postino" wrong?

  • L̶u̶i̶ ̶f̶a̶ ̶̶̶u̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶i̶n̶o ← NOT wrong, but only if he is an actor; you can say "Lui fa un postino" in the sense of "he plays the part of a mailman"
    ATTENTION "Lui si fa un postino" is the italian slang for "he has sex with a mailman"
  • Lui fa il postino ← RIGHT
  • Lui è un postino ← RIGHT
  • Lui lavora come postino ← RIGHT
  • L̶u̶i̶ ̶l̶a̶v̶o̶r̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶u̶n̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶i̶n̶o ← NOT wrong, but look at the first comment above


I added the article 'un' - thank you for the clarification below.


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


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".


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.


If 'fa' is meant to be used when someone works that occupation as a JOB, as the explanation gave, then why is considered wrongas also are other sentences but not ?


"lui lavora come un postino" is incorrect.

Apparently, according to the comments here, I need to lose the "un".

Seems odd.


Use of articles is completely random, follows no pattern, and makes no sense


I grew up listening to this language. Not speaking it, however. And the grammar is beyond my understanding. Sometimes a word means one thing and sometimes it means 4 other things. I know we have some words in English that have other meanings, but even listening to Italian spoken as child it is hard to grasp.


Lavora come un postino was marked wrong. Last time I checked "a=un or una.


lui lavora come un postino is not correct?


Do we just ignore the article in front of a person when talking about occupations?


"he works as a mailman" can be translated:
- 1) Lui lavora come postino
- 2) Lui fa il postino
- 3) Lui è un postino

  • L̶̶̶u̶̶̶i̶̶̶ ̶̶̶l̶a̶v̶o̶r̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶ u̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶̶̶p̶̶̶o̶̶̶s̶̶̶t̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶o ← NOT wrong, but look at the first comment above
  • L̶u̶i̶ ̶f̶a̶ ̶̶̶u̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶i̶n̶o ← NOT wrong, but only if he is an actor; you can say "Lui fa un postino" in the sense of "he plays the part of a mailman"
    ATTENTION "Lui si fa un postino" is the italian slang for "he has sex with a mailman"


I thought "Un postino" means "a postman"


A mailman is probably the American translation

A postman is commonly used in British English. We would more commonly use the term 'postie' in everyday speech. Postie is used for both male and female. The postie dropped off the letters. I saw the postie in her car. The postie said he is going to Milan.


Let's think of "come" meaning "like a" from now on! That might help us to remember Not to use "un".


Half the time Duo wants "un" , my previous question wanted "un poliziotto" so I used "un" again this time, with the obvious result.


Why can't I say Il lavora?


That would be mixing French into this sentence. He (English) = il (French) = lui / [lui understood] (Italian). Now here is a question that I have: Are there dialects in Italy where people use the French form for he?


So why is lui left out


Because it's faster, Plus usually it could be inferred from earlier conversation, For example "Cosa fa tuo figlio?" "Lavora come postino.".


Why not lui fa il poliziotto


Poliziotto = police officer, not mailman


I omitted to write 'Tu lavora come postino', but put just 'lavora come postino' but was marked incorrect. I did this because Tu lavori come insegegnare was given in the previous sentence.


Why can't the verb 'fare' used here, if 'postman' is a specific job? ie "Lui fa (un) postino"


I'm still confused about when to use the article . Does using COME make either definite or indefinite articles unnecessary ?


why is it wrong to write lui lavora come postino


lui lavora come un postino


lui lavora come un postino marked Not Correct... But the hints include this translation, so why??????


I put fa un postino. He is a postman


Would "Lui fa come un postino" be an alternate translation nad if not, why?


Your sentence says, "he does like a postman" Missing the word, "work"


This made me think like wtf !


What's a mailman?


Yes we have to put exactly about who we are talking about.. is He


I thought if was more common to say 'lui fa un postino'?


Google translate says, "Lui lavori come un postino" is the exact answer.


I used "Lui lavora come un postino" and it said that was wrong - instead, it said the right answer was "Lavora come postino". How was my usage wrong???


Why not un or uno postino??


Why is lui lavora come postino not used


Why not ' lui fa postino'?


Il postino/la postina


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


English is the easiest language


Geez, it sure seems to be, doesn't it? Who knew???

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