"Lui lavora fino alla mezzanotte."

Translation:He works until midnight.

July 15, 2013

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would someone be able to someone explain please why this construction is 'fino alla' instead of just 'fino'? Thanks


My understanding is that it is just the combination of words: "fino alla"

  • He works up to the middle of the night.

  • "alla" = a + la


I answered, "he works up to midnight" and it was marked as wrong.


The colloquial expression "up to" may not meet the criteria that the word until means.


The same. Up to midnight should be marked as correct, like until midnight. See other responses below


Until, or up to, is "fino a" in Italian.


Mezzanotte is a noun (feminine singular). Nouns are usually preceded by either a definite article (the), or an indefinite article (a/an). In this context, as there is only one midnight in a day it has to be: the midnight (you could think of it as the midnight hour). For an Italian feminine singular noun starting with a consonant, the definite article is "la".
When you combine
fino + a + la + mezzanotte
you get:
fino alla mezzanotte.



Specifically "fino a" (until, as far as), which was introduced in 'Prepositions'.


Could someone explain, why it's wrong to say "he works until the midnight"?


In English we don't use the definite article and say the noon, the midnight, we say "work until noon" etc because we refer to it as a specific time - we don't say "work until the 2pm" it would be "work until 2pm"


Then what about ' evening '? In a previous example there was ' the dress of the evening ' when I wrote it without ' the ', it was counted wrong.


Because as he said noon and midnight are referred to as specific time. Noon equals 12pm and Midnight equals 12am. Evening isn't a specific time, it's a duration something like 5pm to 12pm (I don't think there is any exact definition of how long an evening is).

And you got it wrong not because you didn't put 'the' but because the answer was 'evening dress'.


That's the literal translation (actually He works until to the midnight) but they want the actual translation to what you'd say in English instead


in a previous translation fino a mezzanotte was correct. why in this one does it require the article la?


(I'm italian)
My personal ranking to translate "He works until midnight"
1st - lui lavora fino a mezzanotte
2nd - lui lavora fino mezzanotte
3rd - lui lavora fino alla mezzanotte

But if you use the numbers, you can only say: "lui lavora fino all'una (not a̶l̶l̶'̶u̶n̶o̶)/ alle due/ alle tre/ alle quattro/ ... /alle otto (not a̶l̶l̶'̶o̶t̶t̶o̶)/ ..."


Thanks - wow that was five years ago and I've just started Italian. :)


Thank you. This is helpful. I still do not understand why 'fino' is necessary, but I will study it further.


"Fino" denotes "until;" that is, it establishes the end point of the action. He works, the clock hits midnight, he stops - he works until midnight.


Why is 'up to midnight' wrong? I think it is an acceptable English translation and 'up to' is a suggested alternative in the drop down.


Lui lavora fino alla mezzanotte.
He works until midnight.

For those who insist that DL accepts "fino a" to mean "up to", please see the following definitions.

fino a

•1• up to (no more than)
•2• till, until, to (time)
•3• to, as far as, up to (location)

Source: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fino_a

What is the compelling reason to insist "up to" be the translation for "fino a" in this context?

Enjoy learning Italian!

:) KK


I had 'up to midnight' too I thought it would be acceptable but evidently it is not correct in italian


why is 'He works till midnight' wrong?


It's not technically wrong from a colloquial standpoint, but as for strictly formal English, 'till' as a synonym for 'until' doesn't actually exist. Duo just favors "proper" English here.


"Till" does, in fact exist; it is less formal, but it is not colloquial or slang.


I don't know if duolingo would accept " 'til " instead, but technically "till" is a word with its own meaning and isn't really supposed to (because it is an abbreviation of unTIL) have two LL's (and yes I know this post is years old)


because it is an abbreviation of unTIL

That is a common, but understandable, misconception:

It is often believed that Till is the shortened form of Until. However, till actually predated until. It was used before and for much longer in the English language, well until the word Until came about. DifferenceBetween.info


It shouldn't be.


is " fino a " the same as "finche non" ?


They are not 100% interchangeable, however, with a slight difference in meaning, you can use both.

  • Lui lavora fino alla mezzanotte = Lui lavora finché non arriva la mezzanotte
  • Lui cammina fino al parco = Lui cammina finché non arriva al parco
  • Lui legge fino a pagina 50 = Lui legge finché non arriva a pagina 50


Why are we using "fino" here instead of "finche non"? Thus far I've only come across three sentences in Duo that use "until": 1. You are mine until I die. 2. You can't until you finish your dinner. 3. He works until midnight. In 1 and 2 I've had to use "finche non." Why is it different here?


Alexus, notice the different syntactic structures of the sentences you list.

In examples 1 and 2 "until" introduces a verb clause ("I die", "you finish..."): it is acting as a conjunction.

In phrases such as "until midnight" it is acting as a preposition.

Similarly, in the Italian sentences: "finché non" = conjunction; "fino a" = preposition.


why was "alla" used


Don't you think "Up to" should be accepted when two questions before the question was "He works up to midnight" and translation was "lavora fino a mezzanotte". Although now I wonder, is there a difference between "fino a" and "fino alla". Anyway, very confusing.


I'm not English. My translation was "He works up to midnight." Is this really wrong?


I am a native speaker (British). 'Up to' and 'until' are interchangeable in this context. Although 'until midnight ' is a slightly more accurate translation of 'fino alla', 'up to' is, I think, perfectly acceptable. I think you should report it.


Hello alfanut, your answer helped me and clarity in the use of 'until midnight' / 'up to midnight' brought. I will tell Duolingo on the next occasion that they should accept the answer 'He works until midnight'. Thanks for your quick reply to my question.


why is wrong to say "up to", when the traslation given by duolingo for "fino" says "up to"? i do not understand!


Why doesn't "he works until the middle of the night" work?


Because although that's the origin of the word, it's not its meaning: "mezzanotte" is exactly 0am / 12pm / midnight, while "the middle of the night" is something like very late night.


You're right; I was trying to give a less literal translation conforming to more common English usage. Thanks.


I understand your comment, and it makes sense except i think 12 pm is actually noon. Correct me if im wrong, I think what you mean is 12 am/midnight/0 am. Do you know if a 24 hour clock is used in Italia? Or is it a 12 hour clock?


In previous exercises "a" was used instead of the conjunction. Is yhis just personal preference, or does it have a different connotation?


According to Collins Italian/English dictionary, "fino a" also means up to. Here are examples: fino a giovedì incluso up to and including Thursday fino a questo momento "up till now", "until now" Therefore, would DL also accept "up to" as a second option?


Just spent 2 months to learn that "finche non" means "until." Now duolingo changes it to "fino" ?? Why and what is the difference?


"Fino alla mezzanotte" means "up to midnight" to me. I have just been marked wrong and the correct version given was "until midnight". Surely this is a mistake from the translator.


I tried He works up to midnight Didn't pass the owl test


I listened on the slow and fast modes, and the speaker does NOT say ALLA, but AL. seriously!


I agree with Dr.Moir1, the voice definitely just says AL, not ALLA. I think the voice-overs are a bit too casual, often leaving out definite and indefinite articles.


I have just listened several times to the audio -female speaker- at the top of this discussion page and quite clearly heard the the full "alla".


Why can't this be "He finishes work at midnight."


It is simple - lavora is a verb (to work), not the noun (work). There is no verb "finishes" in the italian sentence. Follow the grammar and you can't go wrong.


I have answered he works until the midnight amd it marked as wrong. Why?


Alla = a+la and that's why i wrote until the midnight, but it turned to be wrong.... ❤❤❤?? Just because of the article 'the' duo said its wrong


Why not "the midnight" if it's alla mezzanotte?

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