"My mother is a secretary."
Translation:Mia madre fa la segretaria.
You use "la" with family members only when you modify the noun. So it's "mia sorella è gentile" and "la mia sorellina è gentile" (my little sister is nice).
I still don't understand. Why does "la mia mamma" work but "la mia madre" doesn't?
When you use a diminutive or superlative (little sister - sorellina, big brother - fratellone) then you must use the "la" in front (la mia sorellina) - so the same with "mamma" (like mommy) - "la mia mamma." But my sister and my mother (no diminutive) don't require the "la" so it's just, "mia sorella" or "mia madre."
Maitala16 explained above that the "la" is only used with family members when you've modified the noun. Regular noun (madre) means no "la".
Are we just supposed to assume that è has the indefinite article built in or that it's understood? Mia madre è segretaria vs mia madre è UNA segretaria
lkamjh: One of the correct answers was "mia madre e una segretaria" so perhaps it's because you put in the 'la" and it's not needed for family members. I tried to be clever and put "fa una segretaria" but that was also wrong because it should have been "fa la segretaria", though unfortunately I don't know why!
I think when it's used with "essere" then you can say "è una segretaria". But "fare" needs the "la" so it's "mia madre fa la segretaria".
Both is used. So you can either say: "Mia madre fa la ..." OR "Mia madre è una ...". No rules here, just a matter of preference.
The english sentence that corresponds should be "My mother is THE secretary"; check definite and indefinite articles
It's confussing when translation has to be literal and it drives you into mistake. Something needs to be fixed. I wrote " la mia madre è una segretaria" and it's supposed to be " mia madre è segretaria". When has to be exactly literal abd when doesn't.