"The boys' dogs drink water."
Translation:I cani dei ragazzi bevono acqua.
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"bevono dell'acqua" is accepted now - which is what I put. With French you know where you are: always need an article of some sort before a noun. You also know where you are with Spanish: usage most closely follows that of English. Italian seems to be somewhere in the middle: sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. I would interpret 'drink water' as 'drink SOME water', not THE water or ALL the water but SOME, which is understood in English without the need to be stated, hence my use of the partitive article. If my reasoning is wrong though I would gladly be corrected.
Simple answer: It can mean "some", but it can also mean "of".
A bit more detail: I believe "di" primarily means "of", similar to other Romance languages (for example "de" in Spanish).
But if I understand correctly, in Italian, "di" + definite article also has a somewhat idiomatic meaning of "some".
Colleagues, I need some help please in understanding why it should be 'dei ragazzi' instead of 'degli ragazzi' which I got wrong. I have seen 'degli uomini' used several times in this course. 'Dei' as I understand it means 'some' and we want to express 'the dogs of the boys' not 'some' dogs.