"The boys' dogs drink water."
Translation:I cani dei ragazzi bevono acqua.
I know they ARE different languages, but since we use "de" plus its variations to mean some, why is "bevono dell'acqua" wrong here? We don't know how much water exactly. In french one would use necessarily "de l'eau" where "eau" = "acqua". Is it because water is uncountable?
Because the English sentence is "drink water" and not "drink some water", if it was the latter than you would need to use "dell'acqua". So it's basically the same idea as English.
"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.
Yes. "dei" is a contraction of "di+i" = "of the". And it can also mean "some (of the)", or just "some".
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".