"Do you go to the mechanic?"
Translation:Va dal meccanico?
Viene/vieni dal meccanico, and yes, every language has it quirks,
You now in English we arrive in large places like France or New York but at smaller places like a hotel or a room.
In Italian we go a places and objects, like in 'vado al (a+il) ristorante/albergo', but we go da persons, like in 'vado dal (da+il) dottore/meccanico'.
In Italian a is used for places and objects and da for persons.
Vado al villaggio = I go to the village (to a place)
Vado alla macchina = I go to the car (to an object)
Vado dal Fernando = I go to Fernando/Fernando's (to a person)
The basic meaning of 'da' is from, - but sometimes in a way not obvious to English speaking persons. Find out mor about this on ThoughtCo
"Da" by itself in this kind of phrase only means "to", but we need to say "to the mechanic".
da + il = dal (used with masculine singular nouns)
Vado dal meccanico. I go to the mechanic.
da + la = dalla (used with feminine singular nouns)
Vado dalla polizia. I go to the police.
The preposition da means from, since, or by. It is also used to indicate: direction (to) when linked to people or worker
A doctor is a person. When we want to indicate that we are going in the direction of a person, we have to use the preposition da in Italian. Using a is incorrect.
Isn't it da/dal etc because it is the idiomatic usage "to the mechanics's PLACE? I think there are similar usages for casa and in fact lots of others, parents etc, meaning "to the place of ****". I hesitate to give any Italian as a beginner in case I screw up and confuse the matter, but I think this usage has cropped up in other lessons.
Why does Duolingo say that I've missed a solution? The question in English is "Do you go to the mechanic?", so only "Vai dal meccanico?" can be correct since the third answer "Va dal meccanico?" is interpreted in English as "Does he go to the mechanic?". Let's not forget that this is a question and not the imperative form as I think that someone said.
That's because hints here usually show the literal translation and this sentence is more of a common "irregular" phrase you need to get used to. I wouldn't say the duo staff is lazy for not making them perfect because first, it's nearly impossible, and second, if the hints are always perfect we might as well just use them instead of our brains.
Formal You = Lei va where the L is captialized, e.g., Stanotte, Lei va dal dottore. = "Tonight you are going to the doctor's".
Duo is very fickle about use of the formal You. It gets thrown in from time to time to mess with our heads. Also, you if ever decide to translate an English "you" with Lei, you will invariably get it wrong.
Explain it to Google Translator and some other translators. ;) All which I've checked, translate this sentence as "Vai AL meccanico". What is more, also hints suggest usage of "al" not "dal". It is a shame, that such a basic error is both in hints and in translators.
I gave the answer "VAI dal meccanico?" and although duolingo count it as OK, it gives as the official answer "VA dal meccanico?" and says I have a typo. I read the comments about how the duolingo answer is a formal version, but I think it should cosider both answers correct, and not saying there is a typo in the first version. It is clearly a correct and literal translation of the italian sentence "Do you go to the mechanic?". Also, I guess that since duolingo is usually ok with one typo, if someone had another typo (like writting mecanico, with one c) then it would say that the answer is wrong because of many typos, which wouldn't be correct. There would be only one typo and the other thing would just be the informal version of the question, which is clearly as much correct as the formal.
Suppose I were in Italy and asked a native Italian speaker, "Va al meccanico?" Would they immediately know I meant "dal" and just made a mistake? Or would they not understand the question at all? This came up in other lessons. Like if you're in Italy and accidentally say the meat as "il carne" instead of "la carne," they wold clearly understand but it would sound off to them
They would understand you are a foreigner, - and try to understand what you are saying. It's a bit as when we in English arrive in large places like USA or London but at smaller places like a hotel. In Italian we go a places and objects but da people*.
"Va al meccanico?" (~ You go in Meccanico?)
As several people, such as @IsolaCiao, have explained earlier, "Va" in this case is for the formal you i.e. "Lei", which uses the third person conjugation.
When it comes to prepositions it has several meanings in Italian This I have seen in my old book when I learned Italian in school http://en.pons.com/translate?q=da&l=enit&in=ac_it&lf=it
Both vai and va are correct and approved by DL.
The third conjugation '(Lei) va' is also used for the formal "You go (sir/ma'am)".
Italians are usually polite and would say 'Va dal meccanico?' to ask a stranger/customer/teacher/etcetera if he is going to the mechanic.
But to ask a friend or family member he/she would use 'Vai dal meccanico?'
So the Lei should be used. There is no lei so va means he, she or it goes.
But maybe it depends on in what part of Italy you talk. In France too in some areas they use il or elle rather than the polite vous. I always found it disgraceful and corresponding to no grammatical French rule. It is in their dialect but not a correct French. I guess it is the same here.
I got the multiple choice version of this question. Both "Vai dal meccanico?" and "Va dal meccanico?" were expected to be selected. I did not choose "va" because I understood it to be for he/she/it. After getting the question a second time and selecting both answers so I don't get it wrong again, I looked up conjugation for "Andare."
This site confirms my thinking--and I didn't hunt for it. It was the first site to come up in my search. How is "va" correct for "you go"?
Io vado = I go / Tu vai = You go / Lui va = He goes / Lei va = She goes / Noi andiamo = we go / Voi andate = Y'all go / Loro vanno = They go
Next site on the search, saying the same thing: https://www.thoughtco.com/using-the-verb-andare-in-italian-4051898
Next site saying same thing: https://www.verbi-italiani.info/en/conjugation/67-andare.html The closest this one comes is using "va'" (with apostrophe) for "imperative mood" for "tu."
Can someone explain why DL would mark "va" for "you" as correct?
Strange webpage with some mistakes.... and nonsense For instance
1 the way it is presented, consider informal as slang... I don't think we are here to listen to slang or street language. 2 tu vuoli, non to voui Da dove sei, non di dove sei 3 Yes for the four you but the you have to been used. You can say lei va rather than vai or tu vai but you cannot use va by itself for you go, if not it means he or she goes
A restaurant is a physical building. To go to a physical building, you can use the preposition "a".
Vado al ristorante. (a + il = al)
I go to the restaurant.
Vado alla scuola. (a + la = la)
I go to the school.
When you are talking about the person you are going to see, you use the preposition "da".
Vado dal meccanico. (da + il = dal)
I go to the mechanic.
Vado dalla dottoressa. (da + la = dalla)
I go to the doctor.
vado - I go
vai - you go
va - he/she/it/You go
(Lei) Va dal meccanico? - - - Do You go to the mechanic (sir/ma'am)?
Vai dal meccanico? - - - Do you go to the mechanic (mate)?
Both versions are approved by DL.
Use the polite way to ask a stranger/police/customer/etcetera and the colloquial way to ask a friend or family member.
I think that there's no easy answer to your question.
In this WordReference thread, a native speaker says:
vado dal dottore = I go to the doctor
Io vengo dal dottore = I am coming from the doctors office
(correct, but not too clear; or: I'm coming there at the doctor's (if the person you're talking to is already at the doc's).
I'm not 100% sure, but I feel that probably, in the most of the cases, if "da" is followed by a person, it can't express the preposition "from". Look at the following example:
"Sto tornando dal dottore" => "I'm going back to the doctor's [office]"
"Sto tornando dall'ufficio del dottore" => I'm coming back from the doctor's [office]"
So, if you want to express you are coming from a place, you need to explicitly say the place, you can't just just use a noun that expresses a person, unless you use kind of verb/expression that makes that more explicit.
This has been answered several times before but . . . :
Both the formal and more polite '(Lei) va' and the colloquial '(tu) vai' is approved by DL. When asking a stranger we should use the polite 'va' and when asking a friend we use 'vai'.
Va dal meccanico = Do You/you go to the mechanic = Vai dal meccanico
Perhaps you had a spelling error or used another preposition. . .
You now in English we arrive in large places like France or New York but to smaller places like a hotel or a room.
In Italian we go a places and objects, like in 'vado al (a+il) ristorante/albergo', but we go da persons, like in 'vado dal *(da+il) dottore/meccanico'
Vai means "you go". Putting another tu in front of it is possible, - to put extra stress on you.
"Tu vai il meccanico" = You go . . . the mechanic
But the to is missing.
In Italian you go a places and objects, in continents, countries and regions, and da people. Kind of as in English we always arrive in large places like France but at a small place like a hotel.
You go to the mechanic = Vai dal (da+il) meccanico
Thank you Sedona2007 for the sensible explanation of "Va dal meccanico?" Idioms and usages in all languages have a certain sound, it seems. Even in English we use idioms that don't seem logical but our ears are adjusted to the sound. Italian is a musical sounding language, so I'll try not to turn it into direct English translation.
If "mecanico" is a place, like a village, you can use "al" . . . but for the direction to a person, (il meccanico), dal is always used.
Kind of as in English we always arrive in large places like Spain or Paris but at small places like a hotel. In Italian we go a places and objects but da persons.
I think that is the lesson DL is trying to teach us here. (If you want to check there are many previous comments e.g. from IsolaCiao to explain and help us understand this)
Vai dal meccanico seems more like "You come from the mechanic". Vai al meccanico is more appropiate for "you go to the mechanic". al = to, dal = from. I really think this example, and other examples that use the same logic should be changed. It's like "vengo da Sicilia" (I come from Sicily) and "voglio andare al Firenze" (I want to go to Firenze).
Languages are not always "logical" but they are usually internally consistent. The preposition "da" is difficult for native English speakers since we use the one-size-fits-all "to" with the verb "to go": simply "to go TO".
In Italian, with the verb "andare", different prepositions are used to express the idea of "to". The rules are:
ANDARE A + ville : vado a Roma, vai a Parigi, andiamo a Madrid...
ANDARE IN + pays, région, continent : Vado in Romania, vai in Lombardia, Giovanni va in Africa...
ANDARE DA + personne: vado da Manuela, vai da Michelle, andiamo da Georgiana... The mechanic is a person: il meccanico, so you use "da"; "da + il" = "dal".
It may not be "logical" to use "da" for persons, but it is what it is. If you use "al", an Italian speaker would understand you but know you aren't very knowledgeable about Italian. Because it is wrong.