It's strange that my translation "We usually don't make tea" and another correct translation "Otherwise we don't make any tea" are so significantly different. Now, is there anybody who can shed some light on which of these fits the German sentence better? Or are both of these really equally possible and depend on the context?
It depends on context. Really, it can mean both.
Mach das Wasser warm, wir machen sonst keinen Tee — Make the water warm (hot), or we won't make any tea
Wir machen sonst keinen Tee, aber wenn du willst, kann ich dir einen machen — We usually don't make tea, but if you want, I can make one for you.
Except "won't" is wrong, the only accepted translation is "don't" ... which doesn't make sense to me ... when would you ever say "don't" instead of "won't" in this context?
when it's habitual: "If it's raining, we make tea. Otherwise we don't make tea." I don't German well enough. Is it only this sense? Or is there an implied future?
'don't' if it's a general rule, 'won't' if it's just this situation. 'won't' is 'will not' is a future form, even if the future is implied, Duo seems to like the more literal translation.
Great explanation, just one question, why on the first sentence it is keinen and in the second only keine, does the case change with each sentence. Thank you
I accidentally spelled "tea" like "tee" from looking at it so many times.
My "We are usually not making tea" is marked wrong; isn't this the same as "We are not usually making tea"?
These refer to what you spend most of your time doing (or not doing.) That is, for 23.75 hours of the day, you aren't making tea. For .25 hours, you are. So "We are usually not making tea." is true (and so is "We are not usually making tea.") You might say this if someone came to your house, and found you making tea, and for some reason your tea-making is bothersome or an extraordinary sight.
But "We don't usually make tea," means that day-to-day, at the time people who make tea would make it, you don't. That is, if you make tea once a month or once a year, you can say "We don't usually make tea." But it you make it daily, or five days out of seven, you say "We usually make tea."
Neither of those sound normal in UK-English. I think we would say "We don't usually make tea" or "Usually we don't make tea".
Even in American you'd probably say "We really don't" or maybe "We don't really make tea", hell you might even skip that and say "We usually make coffee"
We usually don't make tea should work, Usually takes the present simple
Its not a good English translation. We 'wont make tea' is better than 'dont make tea'
One thing I can see wrong (which I messed up on as well) is that you're using the future tense instead of the present. It would be "... we are not making tea", not "...we will not be making tea". As to "furthermore", I'm not sure whether that's a valid translation of sonst. As far as I know, that means "usually" or "otherwise", both of which are different from "furthermore".
Why is "won't" marked wrong? To me the sentence "Otherwise we don't make any tea" does not sound idiomatic in English, "won't" sounds more natural to me.
Why "sonst" and not "normalerweise" or "meistens"? Would either of those change the meaning of the German sentence?
Wow! This really reflects difference between English and German. I don't think there is a translation for 'sonst' in English. In other hand, in Serbian language, we have this word 'inače', that has exactly the same meaning as sonst. I am amazed how languages from different families have a closer logic than ones from the same family :)
Could I write "Sonst machen wir keinen Tee" ? Is that form would be acceptable?
It sounds pretty bizarre in Australian English, to be honest. I wouldn't put "otherwise" in that position. You can put it at the beginning or end, but in the middle just seems... weird.