Because this is referring (probably) to lunches in general, and not to a particular lunch. In English, an article would not be used for this purpose. Remember that la/el is NOT the same thing as "the", just as "bocadillo" is not the same thing as "sandwich" and "otro" is not the same thing as "another".
Does anyone else use the microphone? I've used 3 different microphones and none work well on here. I gave up and skipped this question after repeating the answer about 20 times and it still couldn't understand me. Would be handy to be able to practice speaking but the microphone function is useless.
Yes, it takes a while to get used to, but the subject can be dropped in certain form of verbs because there is only one possible translation. "yo" forms typically end in "-o" in the present tense, therefore we can tell that "bebo" means "I drink" even though we didn't specifically say "yo bebo". The same goes for "nosotros", this form typically ends in "-mos" (more specifically -amos, -emos, or -imos, depending on the verb), which is why we can tell "bebemos" is "we drink" even without including the "nosotros". Here's a link that might help you with Spanish conjugation: http://www.studyspanish.com/verbs/lessons/pireg.htm
In English, at least in the U.S., "We don't drink during lunch" would be an implied reference to alcohol; i.e. "We don't drink alcohol during lunch." Is this true in Spanish too? In most or all countries? In my experience, it is very uncommon ever to eat without drinking at least a bit of water.
I understand the distinction. I just don't see how you can tell which one applies here, when it is possible to say, "we are not drinking during lunch", and not just, "we are not drinking at this very moment." I guess the Spanish don't say the former, without "estamos bebiendo", and I am applying English rules where I shouldn't be??
In this case the traduction is literal from Spanish to English. When we talk about facts we use present tense, so to differentiate them we must use progressive present whenwe are talking about we are doing in the moment.
- Yo no bebo durante el almuerzo: It is a fact, something that happens always
- Yo no estoy bebiendo durante el almuerzo: It is something that I am doing just now.
"Al" is the contraction of "a+el". You must use always the contraction, it is not correct to use "a el". except if "el" is part of the name, for example there is a town in Spain called "El Ejido","El" is part of the name, that is the only case that contraction is not used
- I go to El Ejido: Voy a El Ejido
- I go to the country: Voy al campo
Pronoum "él" can't be contracted at all, only the article "el" can.
Both B and V have the same sound, but the sound depends on accent. In some accents, it's like B, in others it's like V, but made with both lips. Sometimes, this V-sound is almost unaudible for the beginners.
For more details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_phonology and http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/spanish/spanish.html .
Because when you say it like that it sounds like a command, which is conjugated different in Spanish. The command form of "beber" for 'we' is "bebamos". http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/noscomm.htm When it's in the present tense "bebemos" like it is above, it's just a general statement that's being made (We don't drink during lunch), it's not telling someone not to drink during lunch.
You mean the subject pronoun? (I, you, we, he, she, they). We can tell because the verb changes for every subject in Spanish. In English, we always state the subject because you can't tell based solely on the verb. For example if I just say "ate" you wouldn't know who ate unless you said I/he/she/we/they ate.
In Spanish though, the ending of the verb can tell you who the verb is referring to:
bebE=he/she/you (formal) drink
In this case, the subject being referred to is "we", which in the Spanish present tense ends in "-mos" (more specifically, -amos/-emos/-imos). Looking at the verb you see that it is "bebemos", it ends in -emos, so we know that the verb is referring to "we (nosotros)", therefore "bebemos"=we drink. You could say "nosotros bebemos" which would literally translate to "we drink", but you don't need the "nosotros" because you can tell by looking at the verb's ending (-emos).
These links should help you with Spanish conjugations, look for the pattern, it helps you tell who the verb is referring to.