"Mio padre fa l'avvocato."

Translation:My father is a lawyer.

June 12, 2013

100 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariur89

My father does the lawyer?! Now that's why he's always working late..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBareBears

Haha! Love your comment!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sevan1.

Lol that's how I explained it too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINBUR0100

When I was learning Spanish, the explanation that was given is you can either express ones life's work as a vocation/avvocation, or as a profession/job. To express it as a vocation/avvocation, you use the construction "Mio padre fa (does) l'avvocato", which would literally translate as something like "My father, he does the lawyering". To express is as a profession/job, you use the construction "Mio padre è un'avvocato." This is more like what we do in English, and translates very literally as "my father is a lawyer". I find when constructing these sentences, it helps to think of the "to do" definition of "fare" instead of the "to make".

It seems that in the Romance languages (well, at least for Spanish and Italian) you can express any profession using the "fare" method, whereas in English we tend to only use this construction for professions like teaching, nursing, serving, etc. Basically, the professions where what one "does" is also what they "are".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

Are you talking about a Spanish way of talking about a specific occupation using hacer? I've seen hacer used with trabajo, of course, and quite a few activities like hiking. But I've never seen Mi padre hace abogado, or anything like that. Am I missing the parallel you are making, or is that regional usage?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shamshoomi

Well said Linda. Grazie!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

I'm Not Sure I Know A Difference Between A Vocation And A Profession, So When Would You Use One From Instead Of The Other? Or Are They Interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XlUi8bZ7

Thanks for that nice explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliMargot

Where's the 'un'?? I can only see 'l'avvocato' which I thought meant 'the lawyer' not 'a lawyer' (or attorney in this case).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VickiGab

Grazie, very helpful. What if you wanted to say "My father is THE lawyer?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judycucin

Very helpful, grazie!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nata989

Maybe this has already been answered here and I didn't understand it, but can someone please explain why the use of 'fa' turns l' into a?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IamRegine

fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". EXAMPLE: faccio l'avvocato = I am an attorney


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzInAZ1950

Explain it to me too!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

For your reading pleasure, my university textbook "Da Capo" says this:

The indefinite article is omitted after the verbs ESSERE and DIVENTARE before unmodified nouns including profession, nationality, religion, political affiliation, titles, and marital status.

Giancarlo vuole diventare medico = Giancarlo wants to become a doctor.

Enrico era avvocato; era un bravo avvocato = Henry was a lawyer; he was a good lawyer.

Lei era cattolica e lui era protestante = She was a Catholic and he was a Protestant.

È sposato o è scapolo? = Is he married or is he a bachelor?

Note: FARE + definite article + profession is an alternative to ESSERE + profession.

Enrico era avvocato. Enrico faceva l'avvocato.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AcornBerries

My panther does the avocado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anirbansam2

Can anyone say why when I write advocate it says wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

It's most likely wrong because l'avvocato = the lawyer. When you're referring to an advocate in relation to the law, I believe it is "l'avvocato difensore".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlameMonarch

I always knew my father was an avacado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiffany621379

Are we sure this isn't the word for avacado?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Haha, close, but not. Avocado = l'avocado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Calmac2

My answer of :"My father is a solicitor" was rejected. Reported 14 May 2019.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AijaTSS1

I heard: Mio padre ha l'avocado


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nanotech18

How would you say "My father IS the lawyer" - If i'm not trying to tell someone what my father does, but rather that the guy over there, the lawyer, well that's my father - my father IS the lawyer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajstronach

I would think it would be: "Mio padre è l'avvocato" (as opposed to: "...è un avvocato" which would be "...is A lawyer").

--Mio padre è l'avvocato (là) = My father is the lawyer (overthere)

--Mio padre è un avvocato/Mio padre fa l'avvocato = My father is a lawyer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sam975254

Why not solicitor or barrister?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

I believe solicitor, barrister, and attorney are all synonyms for "lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoisMcEwan

And advocate, in Scotland but not on duo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Coiseam

"my father works as an advocate" isn't accepted? :S


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziggKogg

I think I might have already asked this before...... But why is it not "the attorney", does it have to do with the verb "fa"??

  • EDIT Looks like it becomes an "a"; sort of answered my own question.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dnovinc

"Mio padre fa l'avvocato" o "Mio padre è un avvocato" those are two sentence constructions that I know of for professions. They both translate to "My father is an attorney."

Just remember it as two possibilities:

  • fare + definite article + profession (Lui fa il dottore.)
  • essere + indefinite article + profession (Lui è un dottore.)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandeepa2

Grazie dnovinc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shaylan-Young

Am I getting this right? I may not be understanding the below comments, as well.. but is the use of 'fare' or 'fa,' in this case, used to indicate that he is A lawyer just as the alternative 'Mio padre è un avvocato'? Are they both meaning the exact same thing and are interchangeable? Are they both acceptable in the Italian language? (as, I believe, dnovinc stated).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Yes, using 'fare' is an idiomatic way to talk about professions but it's still valid and common. There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wira_basa

I thought it was, "mio padre va all'avocato". Cavolo me.... :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cactus_Man

That's my father goes to the lawyer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angela_may123

i didn't get it.... is anyone native speaker here??? please explain it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

You don't understand why the sentence is structured like that? If so, I hope this helps. There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/etiennegonnot

why do we say : "mio padre" and not "il mio padre" ? Is there a rule for that ? Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wira_basa

It's special for Family.

In Italian, we don't need to put the definite article again only before the singular family noun. You don't need to say "il mio padre" but "mio padre". And also,

mia madre/mamma

mio fratello -- i miei fratelli

mia sorella -- le mie sorelle

mio marito

mia zia --> le mie zie

...etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cactus_Man

I still don't understand why they put "fa" in it. Can someone please explain this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IamRegine

fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". EXAMPLE: faccio l'avvocato = I am an attorney


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilma_Shuza

In this sentence l'avvocato is given and in Italian La is used for "The" before feminine words but in translation it is showing "an advocate" as a right answer, the converted into an how?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

I'm sorry, come again?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolfair

I don't understand why l'avvocato is used for an attorney?????????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

As far as I know, and correct me if I'm wrong natives, but l'avvocato means attorney, solicitor, barrister, and lawyer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tony.moret

This makes no sense. L'avvocato should mean "the lawyer" yet this crazy program says it is a lawyer. Aaarrggh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

This "crazy program" is actually correct. There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erez-schatz

L'avvocato is "the lawyer", not "a lawyer"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Yes, that is correct, but only if you translate literally. There are a couple of ways to talk about professions in Italian. You can either use 'fare' (to do/make) or 'essere' (to be). When you use 'fare', this is the equation: fare + (definite article) + (job) = 'to be a + job". When you use 'essere', this is the equation: essere + (job) = "to be a + job". When using 'essere', you don't use the indefinite article like you do in English. So, you can either say "Mio padre fa l'avvocato" or "Mio padre è avvocato". They both mean "My father is a lawyer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juicebox241

il mio padre e un avvocato e dio :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nuovaforesta

Isn't lawyer an Americanism for solicitor?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elena92962

Mine does the apple. Or whichever fruit is in season.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peggy632846

I wrote my father is a lawyer and got it wrong??? Why isn’t it un’ instead of l’?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Buena-Onda

Because the way they express this in Italian literally means “My father does the (work of a) lawyer”. It’s not a literal translation from English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RiccardoCa864874

My dad? He's a liar. Well, he wears a suit and talks to the judge.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatendrang

La penna è blu! La penna è blu! La maledetta penna è blu!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karlequin

"My dad's a lawyer" was marked wrong for some reason. Probably needs fixing!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Well, "padre" means "father", not "dad" (which is papà), so maybe that's why it was marked wrong. A bit pedantic, I know, but Duo is like that sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JLS31290

I admire your patience and persistence. It has helped a great deal. Good luck in your career! May I 'friend' you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Are you talking to me JLS31290? If so, sure! Go for it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan302775

Why is solicitor markef incorrect? Solicitor is more usual than lawyer in English and is, essentially, the same profession


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda916191

Why is this not translated "My father is the lawyer." The l' should be translated the not a.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Buena-Onda

Literally, it says something like “My father does (the work of) the lawyer”. It’s just a way to express “My father is a lawyer” in Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda916191

Thank you. That does make sense, but the inconsistency in translating the articles is confusing. Google Translate translates "My father is a lawyer" as "Mio padre è un avvocato," which makes more sense to me and is a true translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Buena-Onda

Yes, I agree. Consistency is key when you’re trying to learn a language like this. You can translate it like how Google Translate did, but without the “un”. It is better to say “Mio padre è avvocato”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda497180

l'avvocato is the lawyer. The sentence would read 'my father is a the lawyer.' Does not sound good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

Not Gonna Lie, At First I Though "Avvocato" Mean "Avocado", And Was Confused As To Why You'd Call Your Father An Avocado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nevin711542

Italian = Avvocato

French = Advocate

Spanish = Abogato

Portugese = advogado

I advocate avocados!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

Your comment got me to thinking. Avocados actually originated from Mexico, but the Spanish word for avocado, aguacate is actually the farthest from the English word of any of these languages. The name comes from a Nahatl word, but this source seems to imply that it was indeed influenced by the word advocate.

https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/avocado

That link doesn't mention it, but you can find articles all over the web with the salacious detail that the Nahatl word for avocado actually means testicle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jd12386

I thought this should have been my father is the lawyer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo639847

You're a naughty person, mariur89.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bunnie85

Why not solicitor?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

You can suggest that. In American English solicitor only means someone who solicits, as in "no solicitors involved. We only use lawyer or attorney (at law). The only acception is the term solicitor general with is a state position or, when in all caps, refers to the position directly below the Attorney General in the US Government.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristinaBu865004

Why A lawyer, not THE lawyer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

My understanding is that when you use the verb fare to talk about your profession you are generally talking in general terms, so that would always translate as "a", even though the Italian expression will always use the definite article. I don't know whether you would use fare in an expression like I am the lawyer for the defense, or some other expression where "the" would be appropriate. But if you could, then you would translate it as the. This is one case where you have to determine the translation by how you would express that meaning in English. When the languages use different rules, they sometimes don't have a consistent translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HindHaj

I know that ..ĺ..means the


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

True. But fa doesn't mean is. It comes from fare, not essere. This is somewhat idiomatic. Someone mentioned that this is a common way to talk about being a lawyer specifically. In some ways this may actually be closer to saying "practices law", although it's not really any more obvious. But with fare, you use the article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan822324

We call lawyers solicitors in UK Jan Neale


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan822324

We call lawyers solicitors in UK Jan


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan822324

We call lawyers solicitors in UK Jan


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

Fa comes, of course, from fare, to make or to do. Apparently it is almost always used with avvocato, which means I have seen fa l'avvocato translated as "practices law", although it is also used where practices may not be appropriate. I don't think it's ever really wrong, but I think it's more appropriate with "professions" than simple occupations. But we ask every one What do you do? They can just answer I do lawyer, where we couldn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AimlessCloud

Ooh, thank you lynettemcw


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marganna11

"l' " is a definite article,why it translates "...an advocate "???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fivedockno

My father's a lawyer is the same translation as my father is a lawyer..Doesnt duolingo know apostrophes of contraction from those of possession?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

Yes, Duo knows. The problem is that they have to both know it and see the possibility exists for a contraction in every sentence, since every exercise has its own unique database of accepted answers. Just report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Mysteri1

Sorry! No mater how many times the lessons ruin my flow by demanding "a" instead of "the" it is wrong. I now did it, as you wanted, it's still not acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneJohnson2

Why is it fa instead of è


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Quinty271355

Why is 'my father is the lawyer' wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

I don't think this construction with fa can be used to say that someone is the lawyer, meaning a particular lawyer. It's only used to identify someone's profession, and I believe it's only used for some professions.

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