"Io non bevo birra, bensì vino."
Translation:I do not drink beer, but wine.
238 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
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".
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.
Yes: you were right, Duo is wrong. There are several examples here, but if asked "fancy a beer?" I would say "i dont drink beer, but I'd love a glaas of wine". I think it is important that there are good translations, not only for those learning English, but also to validify what we as learners understand as meaning, rather than as literal translation.
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.
To which "answer give at the top" (sic) are you referring? You should know that what Duolingo offers as a correct answer changes; it offers one of the possible translations it has on file. There is no ONE correct answer that it always offers.
If you are referring to "I do not drink beer, but wine", or to "I do not drink beer, but rather wine", neither is "absolutely incorrect". Some may consider the construction somewhat old-fashioned, but they are not "wrong". Both are perfectly acceptable in my dialect (New England).
The sentence you offer, "I don't drink beer, only wine" has a different, more restrictive meaning.
I have a BA in linguistics dating from the 1970s, which I suppose makes me a "longtime linguist". I do not consider it particularly relevant, though, since we are talking about what is acceptable as native speakers, not as linguistic analysts.
"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.
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.
Yes. My university students can barely write correct English. If you want your grand- and great-grandchildren to use correct English, you had better teach them yourself at home. "I drink neither beer nor wine, but water." A perfectly good sentence where and when I was educated. (Western U.S., 40s through present)
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 email@example.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. :)
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).
That has a different meaning. The first part of your sentence establishes a class, and then the second part excludes something from that class.
In the sentence under discussion, the first part establishes a class, and the second part replaces that class. (You could also say that there is an unmentioned class - alcoholic beverages - that contains both wine and beer, and you are placing them in opposition to each other.)
The Duo sentence is semantically complex because the first class is negative. For our sentence to match your pattern, the first part would have to be something that includes the second part, something like "I don't drink any alcohol but beer". (And with an initial negative, the word "except" would be a more natural conjunction than "but").
To me, the sentence sounds better with "rather" in there - "I do not drink beer, but rather wine". However, I (reluctantly) accept it without the 'rather'.
(Reluctantly, because it still sounds very stilted to me - more like something a non-native speaker would say, not a native speaker).
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.
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).
“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.
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!
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.
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
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 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.
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?
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
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. :-)
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?
Good comments! The English translation is perfectly fine. Also, the English translation could have been, ' I don't drink beer, rather wine '. Both ' but ' and ' rather ' express the Italian word, ' bensi '. As was said in this forum, ' bensi ' is used when comparing similar things, such as beer and wine. It's all good. Relax and enjoy life, like the Italians do ☺☺!
I consider it non-grammatical. The word "instead" is an adverb, which acts on a verb. The only available verb is negated, so semantically cannot transform into a positive meaning.
"I don't drink beer, instead I drink wine" would be grammatical; it provides a non-negated form of the verb.
"I drink wine instead of beer" would also be grammatical. Again, the verb is not negated. However, this has an entirely different structure from the Italian sentence.
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.