"He works as a mailman."
Translation:Lavora come postino.
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You change the 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"
This rule applies to all professions
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.
"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
- L̶u̶i̶ ̶f̶a̶ ̶̶̶u̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶i̶n̶o ← NOT wrong, but only if he is an actor.
You can say "Lui fa un postino" in the sense: "he is playing the role 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
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.