"What do you do before breakfast?"
Translation:Cosa fai prima di colazione?
When meaning "before something" (with that something following) it usually needs "di": "Arriverò prima di te" (I'll arrive before you), but "Arriverò prima" (I'll arrive before then) and "Arriverai prima tu" (you'll arrive first).
Think of prima as "ahead" or "in front" then the "di" makes sense in English. I arrive ahead of you.
My thoughts as well, since another sentence used is "il sabato viene prima della domenica."
Surely "Cosa fa prima di colazione" in the sense of third person formal address is also correct?
Maybe it's because we haven't passed through that lesson yet. Maybe if you'd write "Cosa fa Lei" it would be right?
So do we not need a definite article combined with "di" in statements like this or is that only for specific statements?
Not sure, but I think I read in another comment it would have to be "Tu cosa fai ..."
Sì, ma sarebbe corretto in dialetto toscano :) In italiano si dice "tu cosa fai" o "cosa fai tu".