"Oppure" is used here to clarify that the question is NOT asking "Are these things you eat: candies, cookies?" but instead asking "You may have one: candies or cookies." "Or" has many meanings and "oppure" means the "exclusionary or" - when "oppure" is used instead of "o", you are clarifying that only one of the options given is allowed.
tl;dr: it's a nerdy reference to nerdy stuff for nerdy people like nerdy me.
Essentially, the commentors above are making a reference to 'formal logic', a field concerned with either understanding or creating systems by which one can reason about statements of truth and statements of falsehood. Programmers have made use of formal logic as the basis for the languages by which they communicate with computers.
'OR' and 'XOR' signify a relationship between two statements, statements which one might call 'P' and 'Q' for convenience and abstraction.
P OR Q is a true statement in three cases: when P is true and Q is false, when Q is true and P is false, and when both P and Q are true. P OR Q is a false statement in only one case: when both P and Q are false.
P XOR Q is a true statement in only two cases: when P is true and Q is false, and when Q is true and P is false. P XOR Q is a false statement in two cases: when both P and Q are true, and when both P and Q are false.
All that to say, 'o' in Italian behaves similarly (but not the same) to an 'OR' operator in Western formal logic, and 'oppure' in Italian behaves similarly (but not the same) to an 'XOR' operator in Western formal logic.
I think i figured out a way to memmorize it. If the question could be answered with "yes", you should use "o". Ex. " Bevi la birra o il vino?" "Sì."
If the asker wants the question to be answered by repeating one of the options, he/she should use oppure. "Bevi la birra oppure il vino?" "Il vino"
Am i right about this, or are there times this wouldn't work?
I taught philosophy - which included courses in symbolic logic - in university and I know all about the inclusive and the exclusive 'or'. And, I hope, so do my students. But if anyone is puzzled by this because they are neither software engineers or students of formal logic,i can help!
Oppure strictly means "or rather" which in English (and I assume Italian) has a subtly different meaning than simply "or" by putting a greater emphasis on one's actual preference; so in this instance the ideal translation would be: "would you rather eat sweets or biscuits" . As to the translation options duolingo provides per word these are just suggestions on which you have to make a judgment and context call ( and sometimes they can be, especially as the lessons progress, wackily way outside the ballpark)
caramelle is the Italian word for sweets in general. They could be wine gums, or jelly babies, or caramels or toffees or...
In Lancashire, the word "toffees" is used to mean any sort of sweets. I came across as very rude just after I moved up there and was eating from a bag of sweets (possibly Dolly Mixtures) when someone asked of he could have one of my toffees. I stood there, bag in hand, and told him I didn't have any - because I to my understanding, I really didn't have any toffees.
He pointed to the bag and said "What are those then?" "Dolly Mixtures. Would you like one?"
I was happy to share - I just didn't know of the change in terminology in a different part of the country.
The statement is about choosing candies or cookies in general. If you are speaking of a particular cookie or candy, then the definite article is needed.
Mangio biscotti oppure caramelle. I eat cookies or candies. Mangio i biscotti verdi oppure le caramelle rosse. I eat the green cookies or the red candies.
Is it me or up until this point "caramelle" has been ONLY accepted as plural "candies". I literally was searching for "candies" because I was convinced they'd say I got it wrong. But now all of a sudden it is ok, whereas before, "caramella" was singular, and "caramelle" was plural. I'm not going crazy am I?
I may be wrong, but I see their use of "candy" as a generic plural since it doesn't refer to a specific kind or an exact measurement ... a box of Godiva chocolates or a bowl of lemon drops would be more aptly called "candies", as would a description involving a known quantity such as 'twelve candies remain' ... I'm not far enough along in the Italian course to know whether this would always hold true, but I wonder too if "versus" instead of "rather" may help to differentiate the choice of "or" usages; plus I wonder about the call for definitive vs speculative answers (for instance, the question "is it a bear or a lion" supports a concrete answer whereas "do you like lions or bears" supports only one's opinion). Am I totally off my lolly here, or is there a bit of bun to this biscuit theory, haha ... do weigh in either way?!?!?
In English, candy can be both singular or plural ... in general context, with no specific quantity or countable amount, we use "candy"; and in reference to countable amounts or specific kinds we say "candies". Example ... we walk into a "candy" store, and amidst all of that "candy" they sell, your eye goes straight to your favorite and you exclaim "I want some of these candies"; so you tell the clerk, "I'd like a pound of these candies, please".
I don't really understand why folks are objecting to the "correct" translation of this. It may be a bit awkward to say in everyday English, but the point is to get us practicing "or" from the Italian perspective. Structurally it's the same sentence as "Do you drink tea or coffee" and that sentence is perfectly acceptable. I do wonder, however, if "Mangi... etc" is how it is spoken in everyday Italian. Does anyone know?