Translation:We all were drinking wine, but you were drinking water.
I think you are right. I read somewhere that this tense is used to represent a continuous or dotted line in the past and can be translated into English in several ways. I was drinking wine, I used to drink wine, I would drink wine (when talking about doing it in the past as habit for example), I drank wine (e.g when I was young I drank wine). But it's probably best to use the first two to help understand better when the tense is used.
"Everybody" is not the same as "we all", because it may not include you.
For example... "When I arrived at the party everybody was drinking wine" (clearly that means everybody except you)
"everybody" in Spanish is "todos/todas" ("todo el mundo") but because the verb is conjugated to nosotros, you must include "we" or "us" somewhere in the sentence.
In this case English is less concise than Spanish, and therein lies the problem. The Spanish sentence is concise in that it in conjugated to "we/us", so you need the English sentence to be equally concise.
The concise translations from Spanish to English of "Todos bebíamos vino" are "We all were drinking wine", "We were all drinking wine", or "All of us were drinking wine".
If you just say "everybody" and don't include "we" or "us" you are losing information that existed in the Spanish sentence - and this is why DL rejected your translation.
IF you were translating in the other direction (but you weren't) then your sentence, "Everybody was drinking wine", is ambiguous and requires a choice as to whether "everybody" includes the speaker or not.
You could go with one of the following...
- "Todos bebían vino" = "They were all drinking wine" ≈ "Everybody (excluding me) was drinking wine"
- "Todos bebíamos vino" = "We were all drinking wine" ≈ "Everybody (including me) was drinking wine"
I understand your point. Essentially you are arguing that is A translates to B then B translates to A. But when there is a loss of information, then that logic no longer applies.
If we were referring to all the wine, then in English this would become "We were drinking all (of) the wine".
Here's 3 reasons that we can be sure that in the original sentence "todos" is not modifying vino...
Word order. Todos would be next to "vino". "Bebiamos todo el vino"
In English we say "We were all drinking wine" / "We were drinking all THE wine". The second one requires the article, and likewise it would be required in Spanish - "todo EL vino".
"todos" is plural, "vino" singular.