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"La sua generazione beve il caffè nero."

Translation:His generation drinks black coffee.

March 23, 2014

71 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/birkos

Duolingo asks us to stop the clutter but they would be best served if they made sure their English represented what was naturally spoken. As a natural English speaker from the UK I can confirm that, although not grammatically correct, "His/Her generation drink black coffee" is very commonly used


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanG6

I prefer learning grammatically correct usage, personally. It's best to learn the rules before breaking them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrMacbeth

It's not a matter of being grammatically correct, it's whether you are an American or a Commonwealth English speaker.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Collective+plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethWJ

Even if it is grammatically wrong it is used all the time idiotic speech has to be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meandmyshadow0

Thats true, but this instance, the difference is small. But I also prefer drink to drinks in the statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CallumRoy

But then, what is grammatically correct is what is actually being used and understood. So I say it should be entirely optional which of "drink" and "drinks" you use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rickard3

What's funny is it would probably count as a typo if I wrote "drinkp" instead of "drink".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piamgo

So “Her generation drink/s ...“ would also be a valid translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnBrooks637100

I put that and it was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elena92962

I also speak British English and i wrote" his generation drink..". I expected it to be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tallman69

I was wondering why "generation" was being treated as a singular and not plural noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldineMit

In English both 'Family ' and 'generation' would be treated as 'It' or singular. 'It drinks too much - It sleeps too much 'The family drinks too much' 'His generation sleeps too much'. But Doulingo marks that wrong and insists on 'The family drink too much' and 'His generation sleep too much'. So i` just put what they want- I am after all learning Italian from them not English!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SonoPinguino

You got your explanation round the wrong way ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdithA.Tressl

And you got the sentence the wrong way round !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sebastian852710

But thanks god there are the discusdions. As a German i am forced to learn Italian by digging for my 45 years old English-Knowledges ... and now i really enjoy to leatn two languages at once ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdithA.Tressl

GeraldineMit - Now I have read all the entrances here and although I am a German native I would say that "the generation" as well as "the family" is each a single entity and therefore is the answer "his generation drinks black coffee" correct grammar. After all there is not only one generation, but many generations as well as many families. So both are not so called "collective nouns" are they?

DUO has changed the answer in the meantime anyway! As the change is not marked with a date, nearly all entrances are "barking up the wrong tree"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldineMit

Yikes!! I have just done the above and its wrong again!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flippi273

There seems to be a lot of confusion on whether it should be drinks or drink. I believe that duolingo wants drinks because like in Italian this phrase makes the group of people (generation) singular third person, this can be seen by the word beve instead of bevono. So just like Italian generation should take the third person singular verb aka drinks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SueWaller

Agree absolutely


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elena92962

But we're being marked wrong for our English, not our Italian. If i had translated something wrong in ITALIAN, I'd accept it. In this case, however, it's my English that's being tested.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TopClampet

That is an explanation which leads to my understanding. As Duo is ( I understand) a Spanish based app, I'd surmise that the translation from Spanish would be the same, i.e. generation being third person singular. To me 'his generation' would be replaced by 'they', so I put "drink" and was marked wrong. Goes to show that I shouldn't expect a language to translate word bu word or concept by concept!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizPuffin

'la sua' could also be the formal 'your'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranklinBaldo

I always get an error because of this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buxenboim

Why don't you allow more than one possible answer?! his/her are both correct, aren't they.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnBrooks637100

I put "her" and it was marked wrong. Still can't figure what makes this sentence only "his"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenaappio

I agree, drink is grammatically correct in this instance as well as drinks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoloneyShane

im pretty sure drink should be accepted here...maybe its the difference between british and american english? because i know drink comes far more naturally here than drinks....because youre talking about their generation....so its they in a sense...so you would say they (as in her generation) drink....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

Generation is a singular noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kyotokid

I wrote 'drink' too (from Ireland/UK)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenColle

I was marked incorrect for putting "his generation drinks their coffee black". I feel that this is a good translation, and I will report it. But in case I am wrong, how would you say "drinks their coffee black", as opposed to "white" (with milk or cream)????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenColle

9/30/14...I put: His generation drinks coffee black. Accepted!...but I don't know if "their" coffee would have worked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alvaro1944

To KarenColle: I think the phrase with "their" would not be accepted because the verbal form 'drinkS' is singular and 'their' usually refers to plural antecedents. Greetings. October 06, 2016.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SueWaller

I agree. I put the same and was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariliaMes1

No in Italia the blak coffee is "espresso" A Londra esiste una catena di bar che si chiama "Caffè nero " dove si può bere il vero espresso italiano


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SueWaller

Why was "his generation drinks its coffee black" wrong. It seems a perfectly valid translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gef-callo

Agree that 'drink' coffee is acceptable English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julien_K

Refused "its" instead of "the". The possessive sounds more natural to me in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaguarPaw1

How can we write "he drinks his <coffee> black" and "he drinks <black coffee>".

There is slight difference but I am not able to come up with a better example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sharkbbb

I'm not sure if there is a way to distinguish "coffee black" and "black coffee" in Italian, as "nero caffè" seems to be the same as "caffè nero", just accented. Using another verb (preferire, together with essere) makes all the difference.

lui beve (il) caffè nero:

  • he drinks black coffee

lui beve il suo caffè nero:

  • he drinks his coffee black
  • he drinks his black coffee

lui preferisce il suo caffè essere nero:

  • he prefers his coffee (to be) black

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cate899590

I agree that “his generation DRINK black coffee “ is what would be said in normal conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnBrooks637100

I used google translator to translate English to Italian - "her generation drinks black coffee" and it came up with "la sua generazione beve caffè nero". However, when I used "her" not "his" in my Duo answer I was marked wrong. Can anyone please tell me why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerry-H

Reporting because this speaker has a habit of becoming inaudible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veelysium

If I'm understanding you correctly, I think we have the same problem. I get lots of "type what you hear" exercises wrong because the little "il" and "lo" and "ho" pieces get smooshed in with the rest of the sentence, so it's really hard to hear. And as a learner still getting the hang of the basics of Italian, this issue can be really frustrating. A little more articulation would go a long way! (If this isn't what you meant, my apologies - but thanks for letting me vent :) )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/u6c00

I put "His generation drink black coffee" which seems roughly equivalent to the actual answer, but mine was marked wrong. Is there a difference I'm not seeing here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d.batta

I guess you missed the desinence -s in the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/u6c00

I get what was missed but to me a person drinks black coffee, while a group of people drink black coffee. When talking about a generation I imagine it means a group of people and therefore drink should be the correct verb. Not sure if this is just one of those quirks of English though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

It might be different in the UK but generation is a singular noun (as opposed to generations) and therefore takes the singular verb form, as in Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/birkos

No it's Duolingo being stupid


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garrypas

This course is awful. Use "drink" instead of "drinks" and get marked down. I feel I am doing an English test, not an Italian one!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Selvmoord

Why can't I use "Your generation"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmdeluca73

Why isn't it "La sua generazione BEVONO il caffe' nero"? Generazione = loro..? Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane540044

Once upon a time when I was young, I was taught that 'la sua' could be translated as 'her' or the polite form of 'you' , i.e. third person. Is that no longer true in Italian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaynK8

Whether too use the article (il) or not to use it is the question. This drove me nuts with Spanish and now it is with Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SueWaller

Yep.. I'm with you. I get caught all the time leaving it out when it should be in and vice versa. I think there are rules, but I can never remember them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris778163

Generation is a singular entity. Drink is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaye718128

Is this definitely in the present continuous? How would it be written in Italian if it was happening right now, rather than habitually?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamM.G

Boring, same ol' same ol'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamM.G

"La sua generazione beve il caffè nero da Starbucks; e costa moltissima".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldineMit

Ha ha!! I love getting replies on the discussion thread - it makes the lonely task of struggling with Italian grammar more fun! At least you realise you are not the only one who doesn't immediately 'get it'!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NadiaRausc

Duolingo takes (or take :)?) upon itself (themselves?) the responsibility of correcting our English. I agree with someone here that they should concentrate on Italian, and correct the English counterpart only in glaring cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt388907

I think the problem here is that "black coffee" isn't really a phrase that Italians use. I asked for caffè nero in an Italian cafè and they just laughed (and no, it wasn't just my accent!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/richardden328382

Why "his"? It could just as easily be "her". This is weird sexism. It would depend upon whom we were talking about but the words in Italian would be the same so BOTH versions should be considered correct. Or am I missing some hidden clue as to the gender of the person we are talking about?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethWJ

It is drink black coffee in this context drinks is NEVER used in this context I get it wrong every time. English first language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MannysSub

La mia generazione preferisce il hamburger impossibile.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred294860

Her generation drink black coffee - I believe that as the word "generation" is a collective noun then the verb should be singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WillT0930

Ok Boomer...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerryraynelson3

For all y'all out there, drink is conjugated in the first and second person and in the third person plural. Drinks is conjugated in third person singular. He drink is wrong. Their generation drink is wrong. If they say it in UK, it must be slang. To be grammatically correct, you must put the s on the end of a verb conjugated in the third person singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jihel5

Their coffee black is fine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raimundo-55

Collective nouns in British English can take the singular or plural form of the verb so 'drink' or 'drinks' are both correct. Similarly, when we refer to a team we say 'England have won' rather than 'England has won' which is much more common, with the latter sounding a little strange to a British ear.

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