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"Io non bevo birra, bensì vino."

Translation:I do not drink beer, but wine.

March 9, 2013



I understand that this is the correct literal translation, but just for the information of those of you who are learning English: the English sounds very unnatural here. Depending on the context, one would be more likely to say "I don't drink beer, but I do drink wine" or "I'm not drinking beer, I'm drinking wine" or "I prefer wine over beer".


Yes. someone is more likely to say "I prefer wine over beer" but the original is fine also. Or, "I do not drink beer, but rather wine".


Bensí makes more sense if you think of it as "but rather."


The problem here is not that saying only “but” is incorrect, but that it doesn’t help us learn the meaning of the Italian “bensì” very well. The word “but” has several uses and meanings in English and “bensì” only has the meaning “but rather” or, as I usually translate it, “on the contrary”. So if you learn that “bensì” = “but” you are likely to use it incorrectly at some point.


Thanks for that excellent explanation.


@BrucePlumb, Thank you very much for that clarification. :-)


Thanks that's clear


Thank you. That will help me remembering "bensi" as "but, rather" or "but, instead"...


Thanks. That's the explanation i was looking for


It was marked incorrect when I typed " I do not drink beer, but rather wine". It says the correct answer is "I do not drink beer but wine". Is there a difference?


Maybe it has been fixed, I wrote exactly that and got it right


Your answer = mine = accepted Sep 2019


My answer, same as yours, marked incorrect at 26-5-20.


That's not the same, though. Saying you prefer wine over beer does not mean you never drink beer.


Even saying 'but rather wine' sounds clumsy. You would say 'only wine' or 'just wine'.


Agreed. "...not beer, but rather wine." Is not something that you would commonly hear from an English speaker- if ever. I'm down playing this- let me rephrase it- you are probably more likely to win a lottery than hear that combination of words. ;-)


Exactly what I wrote... & it was marked as incorrect. (?!)


I put exactly that but it was marked as incorrect on 26-5-20.


Yes, I was marked incorrect for translating into 'correct' English - annoying


Yes, "I do not drink beer but I do drink wine" is the correct answer.


It only sounds unnatural if you're talking about ultra-modern colloquial English. Within the last century this would be perfectly normal. Within the last two centuries it would be the preferred form.


I assume that we are trying to teach modern colloquial English. I'm not young and I think the translation they give sounds very stilted.


This is not correct at all. As a longtime linguist and certified English teacher at all levels and contexts, not to mention native speaker, the DL answer is absolutely incorrect and needs amendment. One can say, "I don't drink beer, only wine," but not the answer give at the top here.


This comment doesn't help anyone, mayhap and doth were acceptable centuries ago too. Why bring up archaic language? Good grief!


"I do not drink beer, but wine" is no where near as archaic as mayhap or doth, both of which are still easily understood and have modern cognates, by the way. If it were even half as archaic as doth it would be "I drink not beer, but rather wine" or something similar, and that's still modern compared to your examples. My comment may not help people with translating Duolingo sentences, if it helps anyone at all, but your comment, on the other hand, only sheds light on your ignorance of how recent it was that English grammar and ideas on what should be considered "normal" were a lot different than they are now.

And if you want to know why I bothered bringing up "archaic" language (my parents must be archaic by your standards), I study ancient languages in my spare time. And when I say ancient, I mean anything from Sumerian to Old English. You don't have to go even 1/10th of the way to Middle English, let alone Old English, to find examples similar to this duo sentence. Maybe I'm not the only person in the world who likes reading older literature. Duo is not only for people who never read anything printed before 1970.


Uhhh, a little harsh here, perhaps? Let's continue to be able to express differences of opinion without attacking each other. We are all civilized ladies and gentlemen, presumably here to learn from one another or to ask for help. Sarcasm and personal attacks have no place in these forums.


The comment above was for your benefit, John. I had been thinking of following you, but after your comment above, I decided I'd rather not. Sarcasm and personal attacks will get you nowhere.


You are correct, but for practical purposes, if we read that in English, we would all understand what it means, but since we're translating into English, we're more likely to use language in a more current way. Duoling should accept these different ways to say the same thing as correct.


Thank You very much! I, like You, study many languages. I can actually read and understand Shakespeare. So far, I'm dabbling into old English and Ancient Norse I fear that You and I are a dying breed. They are taking all of the ancient languages out of colleges. They barely speak English in America! They are also taking history and cursive out of primary schools. My grandchildren or great grandchildren, probably won't be able to read writings of mine in cursive. I believe they are plunging us into another dark age. Just My opinion, or mayhaps (teehee) my fear. I think that Your information is fantastic and I look forward, to whatever next you write.


Luckily for me a Uni in a nearby city just started offering Old Norse (in addition to Latin and others). If I can find the financial means, I intend to get a BA from there and a MA from somewhere that offers courses in ancient Near Eastern languages like Akkadian. Glad to see I'm not the only one on here with these interests. Also, I think you'll find Chaucer's late Middle English to be not too much less readable than Shakespeare. Of course, the spelling isn't standardized and is highly different, and there's a lot more Germanic vocabulary that we don't use anymore, but it's still fairly understandable.


Sorry it's taken so long to answer, I'm replying to Your reply to Me. Rev Judi ~ I see You're taking English. Is it not Your primary language? At what Uni are You looking to matriculate? Do You know of Prof. Jackson Crawford, He's now in Colorado and will be teaching ancient languages there, starting in Sept of 2017. You can find Him on Youtube and He is amazing. He thinks all education should be free! If You're interested in a continuing conversation with Me. My email is sacredgroundhm@gmail.com.


I am taking two of the reverse courses (Spanish and German) for additional practice. I am going to take the last 2 years or so of my BA at CU Boulder, where Jackson Crawford is teaching this fall. Yes, he is awesome! I will save your email for later, as I haven't the time now. It's nice to see we share interest in Prof. Crawford's teachings. :)


cant i say 'i dont drink beer but i rahter wine'?


shouldn't "i don't drink beer, only wine" accepted as well?


Should not be accepted because that would be SOLO VINO ; only wne. Different vocabulary.


I think we can say: I do not drink beer but wine


I don't know... In England, at least, we do say "I like everyone here but him" or "I drink everything but gin", but then I guess it is limited to "every". I wouldn't say it is outrageously weird though?


"I drink not beer, but wine."


There is nothing wrong with saying "I do not drink beer, but wine". There are many contexts in which this sounds natural. "I don't drink beer, but I do drink wine," you say when you want to put emphasis on the fact you dó drink something (f.e. alcohol), which is wine. "I'm not drinking beer, I'm drinking wine" is said when you're talking about what you're not and are drinking now (to (not) be ...-in). Not in general, like the tense of the example sentense implies. "I prefere wine over beer" one says when conveying their preference. It does not state that the person doesn't drink beer.

So like Elena18 said, it certainly is about context and "I do not drink beer, but wine" also has contexts in which it sounds natural. The only thing I would change is to say "don't" instead of "do not" to make it sound more natural. But even here one could think of contexts where "do not" might be prefered (emphasis).


Thank you for clarification. i am one of those. Duolingo uses often "Bensí " but it is a little archaic and rarely used.


The Duo translation is more like Dutch: "ik drink geen bier, maar wijn."


The English translation is very awkward


it needs to be understood that some things don't translate 1 to 1. Take the time to "learn" the language instead on translating on the fly.


Thank you, and a Lingot for you : )


Why "bensì" and not "ma"?


You use bensi when things are similar but there is an opposition. in this case, the similiarity is the fact that beer and wine are both alcoolic beverages, but the opposition is that you drink beer, but not wine.

another examples:

mangio caramelle bensì biscotti (i eat candy but not cookies)

mangio bistecca bensì pesce (i eat steak but not fish).

voglio una ragazza, bensí un ragazzo (i want a female child, not a male child).


Instead of your example, did you actually mean:

non mangio caramelle bensì biscotti (I do not eat candy but rather cookies)

In your example, you're saying "I eat candy, but rather cookies". As a result, isn't the following more accurate:

mangio caramelle ma non biscotti

"Bensì" just doesn't seem appropriate after a positive expression.


Is it like "sondern" in German?


“Bensi“ would rather be “vielmehr“ in German: “Ich trinke kein Bier, vielmehr Wein“. “Sondern“ is more likely “ma“: “Ich trinke kein Bier, sondern Wein“ = “Non bevo birra ma vino“. In German you could use either “sondern“ or “vielmehr“ meaning the same. Although, “vielmehr“ is more poetic.


In your examples it seems 'bensi' is translated as 'but not'. I am a beginner at Italian. Should there be 'bensi non mangio' somewhere in your sentence?


Bensì could mean rather or but rather. In this sentence, it should have showed a translation using "rather" after the comma. Ma means "but" and only "but" unlike bensì.


Actually, "Bensì" would come after a negative saying. non mangiate pesce, bensì pollo. :) and not after a positive one


Rather is used in another way. This sentence would be like "I'd rather drink wine over beer"


I'd like to know too


Just confirming that "I do not drink beer, but rather wine" is accepted as well if you want to use it in the future. It makes a little more sense in english than "I don't drink beer, but wine" :)


Undomiele, thank you very much for your help. You cleared up the problem very nicely and concisely. I owe you a lingot when I get back to my computer.


Idiomatic english: "I drink wine, not beer." (Which duolingo marked as wrong). If you really want to stay close to the word order in Italian, then "I drink not beer, but wine." is better than "I do not drink beer, but wine." I don't agree with bedda33 that the latter is 'fine'.


How about: i drink no beer but wine?


Hi, Winterthur! I don't know if you are an English speaker or not, but I'll try to help you see where you went wrong. If you had said, " I drink no beer but Coors Light (or Budweiser, or Heinekin,etc.) THAT would be correct and make sense. The way you wrote it implies that wine is a type or a brand of beer. Other examples might be, "I wear no jeans but Levi's" or "I buy no sneakers but Nikes" or "I use no laundry detergent but Tide." I hope that helps, rather than confuses you. Buona sera, mi amico!


Agreed. 'I do not drink beer, but wine.' is not grammatical English.


If there are any Dutch speakers, the translation of bensì would be "maar wel":

Ik drink geen bier, maar wel wijn.


so is bensì like sino in spanish?


Podría decirse ;-)


In my opinion it is


this is not a construction that a native speaker would use in english


I translated this as "I don't drink beer, but I do drink wine", and it was marked wrong. The correct answers given here seem very stilted and unnatural to me (I'm a native speaker of English from Britain). I can see other people made similar comments a few years ago, so I'm surprised this version hasn't been accepted.


At times I'll give the answer I know Duolingo wants me to give RATHER than the natural answer. In the process of trying to remember what Duolingo wants, I'll get sloppy with the rest of the sentence! But it's still a good overall experience.


John, as I've mentioned before, sometimes trying to guess what DL wants is a lot like playing Minefield, and a heck of a lot less fun. What makes it worse is the inconsistancy, with them accepting an answer in one instance, and marking you wrong in an identical one further along in the lesson. The next "BOOM!" you hear will probably be my head exploding the next time it happens to me! %P


I put "I don't drink beer, I'd rather drink wine" and I was marked wrong..


Great, now I'm learning how to lie in italian


I'm laughing way to hard at this.


For future reference for non-native English speakers: there can be several accurate translations of this which are real sentences in English. "I don't drink beer but I do drink wine" is one of them. "I don't drink beer but wine" is not, and the person you're talking to will think you haven't finished the sentence.


"I do not drink beer, but wine" is indeed a grammatically correct and literal translation of the Italian phrase, but a native English speaker would say, "I drink wine, not beer" or "I drink wine rather than beer"...or what Elena 18 suggests.


This sentence makes no sense


I translated the statement as, "I drink not beer, but wine." It may have the grammatical structure that one would only likely hear in a Shakespearean play, but I think it sheds a little light on how modern Italian grammar works.


I agree with the objections to poor English and being marked wrong hoping numbers will bring a correction


This would be very wrong if ur a kid. LOL


So, 'bensì' is to 'ma' what 'oppure' is to 'o'? But rather / but, or rather / or?


Do I detect an anti-beer bias from duo? i am sure that's about the fifth time something similar has been said in this section.


I took the dangerous route and wrote what i would say as an Aussie speaker of English: "i drink wine, rather than beer". This of course was wrong. We're trying to learn Italian, and i realise Duo can't cater for the complexities of English, but i think you need to provide for the most logical equivalent. After all, that's what we need in translating from English. A small issue; appreciate the program so much otjetwisr.


That last word is "otherwise", not some Nordic profanity!!


Why not correct the mistake and write correct english as suggested


If anyone said, "I don't drink beer, but wine" they would be asked what they meant. It is, simply, not idiomatic.


I feel that this is a confusing English translation and I am left unsure about how one would use it. I would think that the correct translation would be either “I do not drink beer, but I drink wine” or “I am not drinking beer, but I am drinking wine”. These two sentences have different meanings (I am a native English speaker). The first implies I never drink beer and the second, that I am not drinking beer now. Which is correct my Italian friends?


"Io non bevo birra, bensì vino." Best translations are> "I do not drink beer, but RATHER wine"


Then what is the difference between oppure and bensi? they both mean ''rather than'' don't they?


Oppure is used in the context of "this or that," when only one option is available. Tu mangi pollo oppure pesce? Do you eat chicken or (instead) fish? Bensì is used to mean "this rather than that," when the second option is in place of the first. Non mangio pollo, bensì pesce. I don't eat chicken, but (I do eat) fish. You can see the word "sì" in "bensì" which helps me remember that it means "Yes, I do do this even though I don't do this." I hope this is helpful, and that others will help check my accuracy. :-)


Is it maybe like french word "ainsi"?


No. I would translate bensì as "mais bien" in French. Another example I just created:

Le magasin ne vend pas les magazines belges, MAIS BIEN les russes. (The store does not sell Belgian magazines, BUT they DO sell Russian ones).


As a French (and English) speaker, I wrote down "mais...,oui", which really seems best to me, as both natural and accurate, and helping to remember the word: "Je ne bois pas de bière, mais du vin, oui!"


why downvote a person who is asking a question?


I agree wtih you, but it wasn't me who downvoted her.


ok, I'm sorry... Actually my answer was bigger addressing you. I had even downvoted you, but then I realised I misunderstood your point in your reply and edited it to just that sentence and removed the downvote... yes, I should have moved it to one level up.


I'm still a little confused, but glad things are sorted out... :)


Je dirai en français BENZI = mais plutôt


In the previous lesson, 'ma' is also 'but '. When do we use 'ma' and when do we use 'bensi '?


i'm not sure, but this exercise makes it sound like "bensi" should be used in a similar way as "instead of", like saying you drink wine instead of beer.


"bensì" means "but rather" or "rather"; in very few situations you could translate it as "but". "Ma" is the general word for "but, however."


I wonder if "I drink not beer, but wine" would be accepted.


In a casual context, could you answer 'Bevi birra?" with "Bensi vino." ?


So this is like "pero" vs "sino" in Spanish ?


I wrote I don't drink beer,but wine, and it was marked wrong ..ugh


Any rule for the accents on letters ?


"I drink not beer, but wine" should be accepted.


I think that BENSÌ is like SINO in spanish in this sense.


why is "bensí",'but'? I thought "ma" was but. I got it wrong because of this and i did twice and finally had to look at the answer.


I drink not beer, but wine. Why was that wrong


Sounds archaic to a native English speaker.


"I do not drink beer, but wine" was accepted.


I wrote "I do not drink beer, but wine instead" and it marked it as wrong. Shouldn't that count?


but rather wine = benzi vino


why the special ì in the word bensi?


A more natural way to say is "I don't drink beer, but I do wine" rather than the literal translation.


Im confused as much as you lot... I thought 'ma' meant 'but', not 'bensi'??


"bensi"... left field... surprise!!


Grazie per il chiarimento. Gosh, I love the Italian language!


is it possible to use instead of the bensi the word "ma"?


what's the difference between oppure and bensi


Oppure = or, bensi = but rather.


You drink your whiskey & I'll drink my wine. You tend to your business & I'll tend to mine.


So bensi is the equivalent of the Spanish sino?


Since a lot of people have given a translation of "bensi" in another language, I'll give my interpretation of it in Bulgarian: bensi = по-скоро; а по-скоро Hope this helps Bulgarian speakers


"I drink wine rather than beer" - this doesn't mean that I don't drink beer at all. Just that I prefer wine to beer. Does anybody know if this truly conveys what is meant by the Italian sentence?


Am I missing something? Where am I to get the vocabulary word bensi from? It's not in the TinyCards lesson.


Bensì = rather i don't drink beer, i rather drink wine


The audio, on repeated listening, says "birre" instead of "birra." A native Italian speaker would probably not notice, but this is hard on learners.


Where is the Moderator to correct the English?


Could I also use "ma" instead of "bensì"? Or would it sound stupid?


This is awkward in English, but does the Italian sound normal to an Italian speaker?


It sounds just like if you were to listen to them say it in English.


I have been taking Italian classes for 6 years now and we never learned bensi, we always learned ma.


I was warned to watch the accents, but my sentence was identical to the answer they give... is it because I didn't type the coma?


Actually, I don't drink either.


'but' and 'except' should both be correct.


why can't i say "i don't drink beer, but wine yes"?


This is so Italian LMAO


my sentence was correct


my translation is right


In an earlier lesson we just learned that BUT is MA. What is the difference between Ma and bensi?


Answer is not idiomatic


This answer is not idiomatic.


Please if bensi = but, Ma = ?


The word "but" has several different uses in English. Also there are several possible substitute words in English, i.e. however, still, nevertheless, nonetheless, though, although, still, yet. So be careful, bensì and ma can both be translated as "but" but they aren't used quite the same way. Would an Italian native please give some examples of how bensì and ma differ and where they cannot be interchanged?


Why bensi, and not ma


Thank you, that helped


I found this example on wikipedia more natural: La terra non è una stella, bensì un pianeta - The earth is not a star, but (rather) a planet. Etymology: bene + sì


Real Italians do not speak like this - found in literature.


Why bensi and not ma?


Sometimes I get red/wrong without touching the enter key!!!!!!!


Don't and do not is the same


But like that.. I always said Ma... Bensi is more than but to me... As some said it here, I see it more like but rather...


Isn't I don't drink beer, JUST wine essentially the same?


No... it would be solo vino


The correct answer does not sound natural in English. We would say "I don't drink beer, but I do drink wine". "...but wine.." is not enough. Even adding "...but rather wine"...sounds odd, or even pretentious. Sorry, Duo Lingo, I disagree with your answer.


Doesn't that merely mean, since we don't have an organic corresponding word or phrase, that it is idiomatic? Yes, my question is rhetorical.


I have no problem accepting that "but wine" is just an abbreviation and implies: "but I do drink wine". You could argue that it is too abbreviated to be correct English but I think the meaning would be clear in context. DL often uses very casual English.


If you look at the meaning in English I think the exact translation would be " Io non bevo birra, ma vino." or "Io non bevo birra, però vino." Could one of these sentences correct?


For Pete's Sake. I spelled it besi and was accepted. :-( Will report.


this is the second time this week I have done this exercise first time I followed the Duolingo model and was right the second time looking at it felt was more normal in English to use but I drink wine marked wrong when I went to the comments and saw this was first brought to people's attention 7 years ago I feel this is a case do Duolingo ever take heed of many people's comments as the majority think although technically right it's a very poor example of the use of bensi in this translation and come up with better example I am sure that over 7 years people find it not a good example surely it could be dropped and another example used


This English translation is very awkward and unnatural.


Spiacente, accidentally did not tap an answer


there are many ways to convey this message, but your correct answer is not really used in conversation. I hope it's OK in Italian !


"I don't drink beer, instead wine" wasn't accepted. Surely this is consistent with the intent of 'bensi'. No?


Not grammatical English, sorry.


It's not non-grammatical, it's just awkward phrasing.


You'll not find any native English speaker using this format, unless there is a question mark after "wine". The meaning would then be "I don't drink beer, but, ask me about wine. That is something different!"


Awkward English. The actual words one would use in English e.g. Elena18 are so different that we are bound to be marked incorrect.


One time I wrote ma and it was correct this time the correct word was bensi. I lost a star not fair.


Curse my Spanish-hearing ears! I put venci


So did I. I swear it was a 'V" not a 'B'.


Too annoying that typos get marked,


I agree... they should consider the whole sentence wrong. Like when the person forgets the question mark. It should be considered wrong.

  • 400

OMG! Again "bear" instead "beer". Will I ever memorize the difference?


Try to remember a bear has ears


I cannot imagine any English person speaking like this. Better to say : I do not drink beer only wine. Even then it is somewhat a stilted expression.


The "correct" translation is NOT correct! It was reported 6 (!) years ago, and still we are not allowed to translate it into ENGLISH.


"I do not drink beer, but wine," is correct English—but it IS awkward and a bit old fashioned. Duolingo should accept newer style English phrasing.


Your English is incorrect. We would never say 'but wine' in this context!!!!!!


very unnatural english.


awful english We don't have a word for this


why isn't "i don't drink beer, only wine" accepted?


Because contextually speaking that would work, but bensì functions in a way that is differen than "only". The closest thing in English I can think of is "but .... do ____." Example: "I don't drink beer, BUT I DO drink wine." Where we use two words to express this idea (BUT... DO) Italian has one: bensì. Do you see how this is different than "I don't drink beer, ONLY wine" now?


sure. but that "but" is terribly alien to me. outside context, I wouldn't normally understand that sentence. I'm not a native English speaker, so I still don't get these "not really grammatical friendly" sentences... And anyway, I thought the main point in translating a sentence is translating the meaning and not the literal words.


Well, to tell you the truth, I don't think this "bensì" example is a good exercise for this level. Bensì is more of a literary term that isn't used much in spoken Italian, and the English translations lead to a lot of confusion. So yeah, I agree, if I was designing this duolinguo course, I would have taken it out and replaced it with something much more common and less confusing.


i wrote correct,and you didn`t accept,why??


Is this aph France


Yes, wine is much classier


atrocious english !


this is stupid and it sucks


Totally agree the final translation does not make sense in english!


This is the literal translation of this sentence, so it wants you to type it.

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