Translation:I drink tea.
Yes, you're pretty much spot on, I think.
Something I learned about the particle は from a comment on an earlier exercise is that it can be used to supersede other particles, when you want to emphasize the thing taking the particle, if I remember correctly.
おちゃ を のみます implies, as you said, the action of you drinking tea, meaning you regularly drink tea or you are about to drink tea in the near future.
おちゃ は のみます emphasizes the fact that when it comes to tea, you do in fact drink it. I feel like it becomes more abstracted from the notion of when you drink it, compared to when you use を
As far as I understand it, は can also be used as a contrast particle.
お茶は飲みます。（おちゃはのみます。） As for tea, I drink it.
コーヒーは飲みません。（コーヒーはのみません。）(However,) I drink no coffee.
Though I guess you would usually say/write it as one sentence in that case.
It could also work as a normal topic particle if the context is "tea/green tea".
Yes, I did, because OP and I were talking about the action of drinking tea, not drinking tea right now. If you read the rest of my reply, I said
「おちゃ を のみます implies, as you said, the action of you drinking tea,
meaning you regularly drink tea or you are about to drink tea in the near future.」
This is different from "I am drinking tea right now", so をのみます and のんでいます are not interchangeable.
But, I understand that the language I used could be confusing. Let me put it this way:
- おちゃをのみます = the idea of "drink tea" happens or will happen
おちゃをのんでいます = the idea of "drink tea" is currently happening
おちゃはのみます = the idea of "drink TEA" happens or will happen
Wrong! I'm in Japan, talking to 日本人 every day, and by far they use the polite ending more than plain form. If they know and are good friends with you, they will use plain form, but it's considered rude to use PF if you're not friends. For foreigners, Japanese people are more lenient when it comes to these things because they doubt other people know that distinction. They're VERY impressed if you do...
The を marks something that is or will be acted on soon (ex: food being eaten). The は marks the subject and, when placed before a verb, marks that the object (the food) is eaten in general. It's the difference between saying "I eat food" (as do at least most people), and saying "I will eat food (with the implication that it will happen in the immediate future)".
Hope that makes sense...
Both particles can be correct in both cases, but their usage is very slightly different.
The particle は is used to emphasize the negative sentence, along the lines of "when it comes to tea (as opposed to other things), I don't drink it."
The particle を is more neutral, in that it simply connects the object to the verb. The implicit subject remains as "I", so it reads more like "as for me personally, I don't drink tea".
Also, by the way, ocha should be written おちゃ with a small ゃ, not a big や (if you're going to write it in hiragana).
Yes. 飲む (のむ) is the plain dictionary form of the verb, which is similar to the way we use the infinitive when referring to the plain form of verbs in English (eg the verb "to drink").
That verb is then conjugated differently depending on tense and politeness level. In this case, "飲みます" is the conjugation for polite present indicative, equivalent to the simple present tense in english (i.e., "I drink"), or sometimes depending on context, the simple future tense ("I will drink").
(This is gonna get long; apologies)
I think what cazort meant was that the kanji allows you to more easily recognise the fact that のむ and のみます are actually the same verb, just different forms of the verb.
As for why it happens, well, it just does. It's a lot like we have the basic infinitive form of a verb in English (e.g. "to eat") which we then conjugate in different ways depending on subject and tense (e.g. eat/s, is/am/are eating, ate, has/have eaten). Why does "eat" change to "ate" for simple past tense? It just does.
Similarly, Japanese has the plain dictionary form, which in this case is 飲む (のむ). As the name implies, it's the form of the verb as presented in the dictionary. It's also the plain present affirmative form of the verb (i.e., same tense as the ~ます verbs, but less formal/polite). That verb is then conjugated differently depending on tense and politeness level.
The rules for conjugating polite present affirmative (~ます) go very roughly like this:
-First, find out if your verb is a u-verb, or a ru-verb (I'm going to use the English alphabet for this because it's actually clearer; you'll understand why in a bit)
-If it is a u-verb, 1) drop the "u" at the end, 2) add an "i" to get the stem form, and 3) add "masu".
E.g. 1: 飲む (to drink): no-mu --> no-m --> no-mi --> no-mi-masu (のみます).
E.g. 2: 買う (to buy): ka-u --> ka --> ka-i --> ka-i-masu (かいます).
-If it is a ru-verb, 1) drop the "ru" at the end to get the stem form and 2) add "masu".
E.g. 1: 食べる (to eat): tabe-ru --> tabe --> tabe-masu (たべます).
E.g. 2: 寝る (to sleep): ne-ru --> ne --> ne-masu (ねます).
Caveat #1: Not all verbs that end with the syllable -ru are classified as ru-verbs.
-For instance, kaeru (帰る, かえる, to return) is actually classified as a u-verb, so the conjugation goes kaeru --> kae-r --> kae-ri --> kae-ri-masu (かえります).
-So how do you tell when a verb that ends in -ru is actually a ru-verb?
-You don't. You just gotta memorise it when you learn it.
Caveat #2: Some verbs are irregular and don't follow the rules.
E.g. 1: 来る (くる, to come): kuru --> ki (stem form) --> ki-masu (きます).
E.g. 2: する (to do): suru --> shi (stem form) --> shi-masu (します).
-Again, you've just gotta memorise these =P
It's best to get a good understanding of words in general and only after you've learned a bunch of words should you learn the kanji for them. It wouldn't be "hugely illuminating" because not everyone knows the kanji form of のむ. It makes one say the sentence out loud to hear what it sounds like and be able to identify the components of the sentence, which is crucial to learning to speak the language.
Advice: learn and look for the most common particles and use them to identify the break and flow of the sentence.
It may be because you are simply saying you drink tea, you aren't referring to a specific instance of tea, just tea in general. Like "I eat food." refers to you eating food in general, vs "I eat the food." meaning you eat a specific instance of food both you and the speaker are aware of.
You're right, 飲む (のむ) means "to drink", but that's the plain/dictionary form. This form is typically used between family and close friends, so it can sound rude to others.
The form you're seeing, called the ます form, is a polite conjugation of 飲む. So, 飲む becomes 飲みます (not just 飲み), and it retains the same meaning, only sounding politer.
Because that isn't how "please" works. "Please" makes a request in English more polite.
Here, the sentence is declarative (not a request) and the お is making the ちゃ sound more polite, not the whole sentence. It's not a great comparison, but adding お is (sometimes) like using a full proper word, "undergarments", instead of a slang/colloquial version of it, "tighty-whities".
They (Duolingo) don't include 私は or あなたは in many/most sentences because they aren't included in real life. I don't know why you're trying to use "they", but in general, the subject of a sentence is 私 and the subject of a question is あなた when not specified.
I drink tea.
Do you drink tea?
Yes, you could write 私はお茶を飲みます。 and あなたはお茶を飲みますか？, but you just don't in practice unless it isn't obvious, and あなた especially can come off as rude in some cases.
Say it with me everyone: C O N T E X T
A lot of meaning is picked up from the context of the sentence in Japanese. You could answer with this sentence if someone asked you "What do you generally have when you visit to a cafe?" (present) or "What are you going to do after class?" (future), and it would be interpreted as the same tense (present or future) as the question you got asked.
If you use Google Translate for this sentence (おちゃをのみます。), you'll get this translation: "I'll give it a go". Does anyone know why this extremely different translation happens? I know Google Translate is not very effective, but the answer is light-years far away from the real simple sentence "I drink tea".
I think you just answered your own question:
Google Translate is not very effective
For example, if I typed おちゃをのみます without the period(。), sometimes I got "I will" back and sometimes I literally got "s**t" back. If you use the correct kanji for everything (i.e. お茶を飲みます), Google Translate says "I'll have a cup of tea" (with the period) or "Drink tea" (without). ┐('～`;)┌
You would say おちゃをのみます。;)
It's exactly the same sentence, because Japanese -ます verbs are simple present tense (which is sometimes called "non-past") is used to describe 1) general statements, 2) habitual actions, or 3) near future actions. You have to use the sentence's context to figure which of those three applies.