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Once and for all, I'd like to know if I have bad ears or anything :
Do I really hear "beven" instead of "beben" ?
In my Spanish grammar they say: both B and V are pronounced the same way and the sound V does not exist in Spanish.
More specifically, you should default to the use of the b sound rather than using a v. When you break it down (like in a linguistics class) there are actually two sounds at play, a hard b with the lips fully closed and a "softer" one. HOWEVER, it has nothing at all to do with the letter b or v, but rather instead where the b/v sound appears in the word / sentence. Long story short, whenever I see a v, I pretend it's a b. Most dialects don't have a true v sound like in English.
This makes a lot of sense. Plus bebe relates better to beverage when you think of the hard/soft b/v
In Spanish, the "b" can be hard or soft. A hard b is pronounced almost like the English "b," while the soft "b" is pronounced more like "v." Generally, if the word starts with "b," it's hard; otherwise, it's soft.
"What drinks the men?" What is the construction of these questions? Where does the "do" come from and how does one know what to fill in?
¿Qué beben los hombres? – not "what drinks the men," but "what drink the men."
In Spanish, when asking questions, this is how they are ordered. For example, "¿Qué leen ustedes?"
"¿Qué ustedes leen?" sounds very awkward in my mind.
Spanish is not a word-for-word comparison with English. They don't use a "do" in this kind of sentence, so your job as translator is to come up with the most reasonable English equivalent.
I can just imagine a situation involving this. You walk into a spanish bar, see a bunch of kids with their drinks, and say, 'What do the MEN drink? :P
"What are they drinking?" and "What (currently) do they drink?" Are these both the same? How would you ask, "What do they (usually) drink?"
What are they drinking, means now, at the moment. What do you drink, could be used in : what do you drink, each day? Qué beben ellos?