No in this case it's a subtlety, I believe, expressing habits. Like.. I have my coffee time each day after I eat my evening meal. And I don't drink tea after dinner, but coffee. So 'bevo caffè dopo cena' means that I always drink coffee after each dinner.
While.. bevo il caffè dopo la cena means there is more room for flexibility, like a choice.. Of the beverages I drink on a day, I drink the tea after lunch, but the coffee after dinner: Bevo il té dopo il pranzo, ma il caffé dopo la cena.
Just asked the same question. If I'm announcing my intention in English, I use the progressive, and it has nothing to do with what I'm doing now. I would only say "sto bevendo" if I have the coffee in hand. Certainly this is the case in French, but admittedly, we have no progressive form in French. Am I mistaken?
Fun fact: Two sentences ago I had to translate "I read, but not during dinner.". So i wrote "Leggo, ma non durante cena." which was wrong, because I didn't write "la cena". I wasn't sure before, but decided to not write the article because I wanted to try the most literal translation and it was "during dinner" and not "during the dinner". So I'm pretty surprised too.
After dinner you are not eating anymore so it will not be confused with the verb to eat, but during dinner "the" might be necessary to avoid confusion with the verb, otherwise "durante cena" could mean "while he eats dinner" (or she, or I suppose an animal could be talked about as it eats dinner? Well, perhaps in a child's book! Though probably not, it would most likely take on a "she" or "he" persona if it were eating "dinner".). That would be different than "during dinner" ,because it is understood that we are still talking about the speaker "I' in this case.
"Io ceno" I think in this case, where dinner is already over and in the past, the present tense of the verb would not be assumed. If you wanted to say this, you would want to put the pronoun to be clearer and the past tense of the verb. "egli ha cenato".
In Italian, verbs change according to person, number, tense and so on. Pronouns, adjectives, determiners change according to gender and number of the noun. Nouns usually change only according to number. So every noun has its specific gender.
Used as nouns, pranzo is always masculine and cena is always feminine. There are no such nouns as "pranza" or "ceno". The plurals are: pranzi and cene. When used as verbs (pranzare and cenare):
- pranzo = io pranzo = I lunch = I have lunch
- pranza = lui/lei pranza = he/she lunches = he/she has lunch
- ceno = io ceno = I dine = I have dinner
- cena = lui/lei cena = he/she dines = he/she has dinner
Windows: Entering Accented Letters of the European Alphabet
Note: Apple provides mechanisms for entering accented characters, but you'll have to consult Apple Support to find out how. I'm sure it's not very difficult.
If you're a Windows user, you must load the US English - International keyboard, which will enable you to type in accented vowels using the forward leaning apostrophe key é (and for the French cedilla, ç), the backwards apostrophe è, the double-quote (shift-') for umlauts ü, and tilde key (Shift-` + n) for ñ.
To add the keyboard: go to Control Panel (There are a number of ways of getting there: One is to right-click on the Start icon, select "Search", and enter "Control Panel". Another is to left-click on the System icon and enter "Control Panel" into the search box at the top of the System Page, then left-click on the Control Panel icon/item brought up by the serach.)
Inside Control Panel, double-click on Languages, highlight US English then select options. Click on Add an Input Device. In the list that comes up, select US English - International, click Add. When you return to the languages page, click on Save. (optional: when I loaded the International keyboard, I removed the standard keyboard from my selectable keyboards.)
You can select the language keyboard you want from the task bar or by pressing the Windows key + Space-bar, which will toggle you through all possible keyboards you have loaded. I suggest removing the standard English keyboard after you've loaded the International keyboard, because sometimes you can accidentally select the Standard keyboard, and it creates problems. I only have two keyboards available; the International English and the Russian Mnemonic. It's very obvious when I've accidentally selected the Russian keyboard, so that's not an issue for me.
Using the International Keyboard:
In Windows 10, you can then press the apostrophe key ' + [letter] to get the correct Spanish accent: ' + e = é, ' + i = í, etc.
Shift ~ + n = ñ
Shift " + u = ü (alternate: Ctrl-Shift : + u = ü);
' + c = ç
For Italian and French backwards leaning accents, you use the backwards apostrophe (below the Esc key) to enter those accents: à è ì ò ù.
The French circonflex is entered using Shift 6 + vowel: ô
If you want to enter an ordinary apostrophe, you press the apostrophe key, then space-bar: ' + space-bar = '. Same for backwards apostrophe and quotation marks. Tilde is entered by Shift-~ + space-bar: ~. The caret symbol: Shift-6 + space-bar: ^
If you want to accent a capital letter, you enter the requisite accent (from above) and then Shift [letter]: ' + Shift e = É; Shift ~ + Shift n = Ñ; ' + Shift c = Ç.
You can enter a number of characters by holding down the ALT-key, entering a four number code, then releasing the ALT-Key. The special character then appears. You have to enter the "0".
ª ALT+0170 (Feminine Ordinal)
« ALT+0171 (Left Angle Quote)
» ALT+0187 (Right Angle Quote)
º ALT+0186 (Masculine Ordinal)
¿ ALT+0191 ¡ ALT+0161
You can also copy and paste any character from the Microsoft Windows Character Map into any browser window or word-processor. The Character Map can be found in the Windows Accessories on the Windows App list accessed from the task-bar Start icon. The numbers in the Character Map do not correspond to the numbers listed above because the Character Map numbers are in base-16 (Hexadecimal) rather than base-10 (Decimal).
I've read the comments below. This topic wasn't mentioned: In American English, we sometimes say "...after dining" to mean the same thing as "having dinner." We never say breakfasting, seldom say lunching because it sounds affected, but we do say dining, which is a bit more formal. I wondered if this would work as a possible translation, "I drink coffee after dining." DL did not accept it. (Hopefully, DL will get into gerunds or -ing verb forms later.)
Why was it "l'insalata" (with the article) in a previous sentence that was also a generalized statement ("she eats salad without oil"), but caffe here is without the article? If you're making a general statement of habit, is it arbitrary whether you use the article or not?