I was taught to drop the indefinite article in that situation. Is it a case of being grammatically correct but clunky and not often used?
Yes it's a general rule. We don't use the article in front of the profession with the verb "ser", but we use it if we want to specify.
El es el profesor de matematicas=He is the Mathematics teacher (You are talking about a group of teachers and you want to specify that person is the mathematics teacher)
El es profesor de matemáticas= He is a mathematics teacher.
And with the article "un" the only reason that I can think now is for emphasis
Thanks so much, Luis. My guess is teachers outside of the Spanish-speaking world advocate a rule that—like rules for English—native-speakers are unfamiliar with and do not abide by. Tengas un buen día.
Incorrect. We do not use articles when describing someone's (or your own) profession.
In Spanish, "teacher" can be translator as both "maestro/a" and as "profesor/a".
This answer is wrong. It is a question, so the correct answer is: Is you father a teacher ?
The question marks :) Much like in English, where you can ask a question as "Your dad is a teacher?" and "Is your dad a teacher?", in Spanish you can ask it as "¿Es tu padre profesor?" or as "¿Tu padre es profesor?" (which has the same word order as the non-question statement).
Just to clarify: If someone is speaking to you, the order of the words would not necessarily matter, but the inflection, much like in English. Is that correct?
Yes, but I think proper inflection is more important in Spanish than English (but that could just be my foreigner bias). When I lived in Spain, I remember plenty of occasions when I was speculating out loud, but my compañeros thought I was stating fact instead of asking a question. I often had to repeat myself with exaggerated inflection.
Thank you all for that excellent discussion. Now if I can just remember when to use "al" I'll be ok.
"Al" is "a" + "el", so you use it whenever you use "a" with a male object. "Voy al teatro." but "Voy a la escuela.".
What is the difference between 'Tú' and 'Tu' and what are the rules for using these words. I keep getting confused between the two
This might not make much sense to anyone else, but my method of remembering this was to imagine an equation of sorts between the two translations with the "r" and the accent mark. If there's an accent mark, then you drop the r (so tú = you; in a way, the "r" comes over and becomes the accent mark) and if there isn't, you include the r (tu = your; the accent mark jumps over and becomes an "r"). There's only ever one at a time: either an "r" or an accent mark. That might sound confusing but it worked for me.
Not quite understanding why 'the' couldn't be used here as well. If my friend and I walked into a lecture hall and I see my friend's father at the podium would I be wrong if I said tu padre es profesor while looking at the podium meaning 'your father is the professor ' giving the lecture today?
why does the word profesor not have an accent on the last o? I thought that the stress was always on the penultimate syllable UNLESS it was marked explicitly
That's the rule for words that end in a vowel, n, or s. Words that end in anything else hit the last syllable (unless there's an accent).
Yes you are absolutely right. I should redeem myself by giving you this link that further explains
We don't use it, we say El es mécanico, profesor... no El es un profesor, un mecánico...
I believe you are mistaken, duolingo. You do not need the article. My answer is correct.
Can't help commenting that if I had translated as above DL would have pedantically marked me wrong & insisted on 'IS your father a teacher?'
So the most accurate answer 'Is your father a professor?' is being marked incorrect. Thanks DL.
Dl checked me wrong. Tu padre es profesor? Is a question. Your father is a professor... is a statement. Is your father a professor? This is a question....