"Loro sono gli idraulici."
Translation:They are the plumbers.
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The inconsistent use of articles really bothers me. Sometimes they are deemed absolutely necessary, even if the answer sounds a little odd. Other times you can just skip them. Please Duolingo, make it consistent. Either you have to use the article all the time or you don't.
If the sentence has a "the" article, you are supposed to use "the" in the translation. A time where you would not use "the" is when you have the article "degli/della/del/dello" because "di" can be used as a possessive, but can also be used to mean "some" or an unmentioned quantity. i.e. "Degli uomini parlano al ragazzo." can mean "Men speak to the boy." with an unspecified and unquantified number of men, or it can mean "Some men speak to the boy." with an quantified amount of men, though it has specified that there is a limited amount of men. How it is translated is personal taste and the differences are only semantics, but the bottom line is that if you see "gli" you write the translation with "the" and if you see "degli" then as long as it is not being used as a possessive, then it is safe to leave it out of the translation.
This is how I understand it, if I am wrong, please correct me.
It would be correct for emphasis when there is a known prior context. Such as implying "they are the plumbers [I told you do bad work and overcharge]”. However, I am not sure that use of the definite article in Italian implies the same hidden meaning? If not then the translation without THE is better.
That is correct. Gli is used in plural cases with masculine nouns that take lo or l' in singular case.
THIS SEEMS SOOOOO damn ARBITRARY!! Why is policewoman accepted as the answer, but not a policeman??? It had to be a police officer???! REALLY? Also, as for English, some places there has to be " the", in others- not, given exactly the same conditions! Many times it's just playing a russian roulette !