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  5. "No bebo leche sino agua."

"No bebo leche sino agua."

Translation:I do not drink milk, but water.

June 15, 2016



Who talks like this?


Could you also say "I do not drink milk but I do drink water"?


There's no direct translation of "sino" to English. We have to use some kind of phrase to communicate the same idea. What you suggest accurately conveys the meaning of this Spanish sentence. I've seen Duo translate "sino" variously as "but," "but rather" and "rather." None of those sound quite right to me when used simply. And my natural inclination would be to reverse the two clauses and say, I drink water, not milk. Still, if it isn't grammatically incorrect to just replace "sino" with "but," "rather" or something similar, that's probably the closest translation.

"sino" is an adversative conjunction used to set two ideas/concepts in opposition. In Spanish, you start with a negative and follow with an affirmative, connected by "sino." There are other constructions that use "sino," but I haven't encountered them in Duo yet.


There's no second instance of bebo in this sentence, so I wouldn't do that.


Yes, you can. Your answer is accepted.


Although this statement could be said, and is technically correct, a native English speaker would never say it like this. "I drink water, not milk" would be better.


I don't think a Spanish speaker would naturally say it like this either, but please remember that spoken language is only half the deal. Written language is oftentimes grossly different. Especially when it comes to educational stuff. :)


Does anyone know the difference between sino and pero?


Many people do. ;) sino is used after a negative clause and carries the idea of "but rather."


Thank you. I've already read about it on spanish.about


It could also be an equivalent of "instead".


I had no gramatically correct option to answer with The correct answer was "i do not drink milk, but water".....


A question about the English sentence: do you really need a comma before 'but' here?


Masterofgreen's answer is misleading. In English, commas are sometimes necessary before a conjunction and sometimes they are not. It depends. If the conjunction is being used to join two independent short sentences, such as "I tried" and "I failed," then you don't need a comma because each of these sentences is very, very short. Example of two very short sentences joined by a conjunction in order to form a compound sentence: I tried but I failed. (A compound sentence is defined as two complete/independent English sentences joined by conjunctions like "but," "or," "and.") With short sentences like this, the comma is optional.

Example of a short COMPOUND SENTENCE: Mary and Susan are friends, and they went to a dance. It should be noted that even this simple compound sentence is long enough that the comma is preferred, although it can be omitted in sentences of this length and simplicity.

If the conjunction is being used to connect a compound subject, a compound predicate, or a compound object of a preposition, then a comma is unnecessary as long as the compounded part of speech has only two elements. Example of a COMPOUND SUBJECT: MARY AND SUSAN are friends. Example of a COMPOUND PREDICATE: They WENT to the party AND DANCED all night. Example of a COMPOUND PREPOSITION: Did you hear the story OF the OWL AND the PUSSYCAT?

From what I have seen in immersion, this English comma rule is not a rule of Spanish grammar. In Spanish, there is usually no comma used when a sentence has two parts that can be translated into two separate English sentences. For example: Quiero dinero y ahora lo quiero. (I want money, and I want it now.) No quiero mucho dinero sino me quiero un trabajo. (I don't want much money, but I do want a job.)

I do want to add that when an English sentence has a series in it, the series is separated by commas. A series is defined as a row of at least three words that are the same part of speech. There are noun series: The CAT, DOG, and BIRD are all pets of the same person. I am the owner of the CAT, DOG, and BIRD. There are verb series: The animals EAT, SLEEP, and DEFECATE every day. There are adjective series: I want the BIG, WHITE, ROUND, and FLAT button. There are adverb series: He spoke TIRELESSLY, ENDLESSLY, and RECKLESSLY. One final twist: Between many English speakers and writers, there is a longstanding disagreement about whether or not to omit the last comma in a series. Whatever your style is, just be sure to be consistent about how you apply the rule.


It probably does not accept "I do not drink milk, but rather water." because you are adding a word to the sentence that is not there in the Spanish version.


No that's perfectly fine and even sounds better to me. If Duo rejected it, it's only because the translation database has not included it. They definitely accept that construction elsewhere.


Are sino and pero interchangeable? Or theres a specific meaning to both of them?


They are not interchangeable. Sino is mainly used if the main clause is a negative statement and the subordinate clause is contrasting that, think "but rather". Pero is used for all other cases of "but".

So you can write these sentences, which express the same idea:

  • No bebo leche sino agua.
  • Bebo agua, pero no leche.


This sentence is only causing controversy because it is so poorly constructed, not because it's a difficult translation. Come on Duo - you make up so many fun translations, can't you think of something a little more natural than this ???


what is the difference between sin and Sino?


The 'o'. :)

  • sin - without
  • sino - but rather


I put "I drink not milk but water" and it got marked wrong. Understandable and concise though, I wonder why it wasn't accepted.


Nonstandard English? Although I think it's correct, it sounds a bit outdated, poetic. In negative sentences you usually add an auxiliary "do". Feel free to report it, though.


Shouldn't there be a comma in that Spanish sentence?


No. Sino is a conjunction of the type like "and" and "or" in English, which do not require the use of a comma. Looking at some examples from literature, you're apparently free to decide whether to place a comma or not.


I assume you're speaking of a Spanish conjunction not requiring a comma. There are some English sentences in which placing a comma before a conjunction is absolutely required.


You're correct, the Spanish conjunctions y, o, and sino do not need commas. But also in English "and" and "or" do not require the use of a comma by themselves. The comma rules in English are pretty spongy and complicated and I still (after 15 years of learning it) cannot make sense of them. :´)

Of course there are some sentence constructions that make a comma necessary (or even just preferred) in English. I did not say that commas before those words weren't allowed at all. Rather, I was talking about the conjunctions in their natural surroundings. The default, so to say.

On that note: down with the Oxford comma! Even though I'm using it.


I drink milk, not water... should be accepted


Except it's the exact opposite in meaning.


"I don't drink wine, but water" would also be an acceptible translation in English, but Duo doesn't accept it...


It would be an acceptable translation if leche didn't translate to "milk". :´)


This sentence took me ages as the correct answer doesn't make sense in English


It may not be the best way to say this in English, but consider:
1. sino is very commonly used in oppositional statements in Spanish
2. To match the Spanish construction, which must begin with the negative, the English sentence structure seems a little odd
3. If you can make sense of, "I drink water rather than milk," then you should be able to understand "I don't drink milk, rather (I drink) water" - the parenthetical is not necessary. I inserted it merely to make the meaning more obvious. Also, I think sino is closer to "(but) rather" than simply "but."


One day the literal translation is correct the next the figurative translation is correct. What is the speaker trying to say?


The speaker is probably trying to say that they're lactose intolerant, so they drink water instead of milk. I'm not sure what you mean with "figurative translation".


I chose to include "use" before water as a still awkward but better English version. I should have switched to typing.


Duolingo takes liberties with its translations, but doesn't allow us to do so...new crew, I guess.


Whats the difference between sino and pero?


Sino has to be used if the first clause is talking about what isn't true, and the second is talking about what is true instead. You can translate it as "but instead" or "but rather".

  • No quiero ir a casa sino quedarme . - I don't want to go home, but instead (I want to) stay.

If you switch the clauses, putting the positive one first, you have to use pero again:

  • Bebo agua pero no leche. - I drink water, but not milk.


Does Spanish use punctuation like commas? If so why not here?


You could place a comma here, but you don't have to. Spanish is very light on commas. Usually when you have a conjunction between two clauses (like sino), there's no need for a comma.


Why sino which i thought meant without, pero being but pero yo bebo agua


Sin is the word that means "without". Sino is a different word.

Sino is a conjunction that translates as "but instead" or "but rather" in English. It is used when the first clause of your sentence is negated and in the second clause you say what is true instead. "I do not drink milk, but instead I drink water."


Who drinks but water?


Rather accepted 4/2019


"but rather" woundn't be better.

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