I once had 'trinkt' as one of the option and I chose that, which was given wrong
Can you show me a screenshot of what you mean?
Was it one where you were asked to translate a given English sentence such as "They drink water"?
Then Sie trinkt Wasser (= she drinks water) is, of course, an incorrect translation.
There are different conjugations.
to drink = trinken
1st si. I drink = ich trinke;
2nd si. you drink (informal) = du trinkst;
3rd si. he, she, it drinks = er, sie, es trinkt;
1st pl. we drink = wir trinken;
2nd pl. you drink (formal) = Sie trinken (capitalised);
2nd pl. you drink (group, you all) = ihr trinkt;
3rd pl. they drink = sie trinken
Yes, and that would be a bad fill-in-the-blank exercise, since those are supposed to have only one correct answer.
I can't find the exercise you describe, though -- though I see one with the options trinken - trinke - trinkst (but not trinkt).
There, only sie trinken works, because trinkst is for du, not sie, and trinke is for ich.
They are drinking water wasn't accepted. Why?
Impossible to say from your report. Please show us a screenshot where we can see the question and your rejected answer -- upload it to a website somewhere and tell us the URL.
Possibilities include translating when you were supposed to "type what you hear" (in German) and making a spelling mistake that you didn't notice.
These questions can be confusing because they have Lots if german grammer. I can give you a "rhyme" of how to do this. Ich bin. I am. Ich trinkE Du bist. You are. Du trinkST Er ist. He is. Er trinkT (Er uses the same rule as sie and es, still ist,still T ending) Wir sind. We are. Wir trinkEN Ihr seid. Yall are. Ihr trinkT Sie sind. You are. Sie trinkEN sie sind.They are. sie trinkEN
er, sie, es all make the verb go to T and have ist and their form of is. It look confusing but it's actually not. Think E-ST-T-EN-T-EN
Always think about taking away the en before you do this. (Works for almost every verb)
Ok so, the sie, sie ist, she is, which adds a T ending to the en-less verd when placed in front of a verb.
sie sind, they are, which adds an EN when placed in front of an en-less verb
Sie sind, you FORMAL, which adds an EN when places in frint of an en-less verb.
I know your probably thinking, why take away the en when your just gonna add it again. Well, you can think that way but i think this way is easier, but its your preference.
How do you know if the answer is "They drink water" or "They are drinking water"?
There are several answers accepted, including both of those.
So talking about "the" answer (as if there were only one) is not appropriate.
how would I know or speak the difference in real life?
In real life, there's usually context and so it's usually clear what you mean.
If you really want to pin down the time, do so with adverbs, e.g. sie trinken gerade Wasser for "they are drinking water right now" or sie trinken jeden Tag Wasser for "they drink water every day".
What kind of an exercise did you have?
It would be really useful if you would share a screenshot with us so that we can see exactly what kind of question you were asked to answer. Upload it to a website somewhere, please (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image.
For example, was an English sentence given that you had to translate?
If there was no English given, what exactly were the options available to you?
Was it, perhaps, a multiple-choice exercise with the options trinken - trinke - trinkst? Or was there really an option trinkt without an -s-?
If at all possible, show us a screenshot. Thank you.