I think here is a difference between English and German language as i understand it. I am a native Russian speaker, and if that sentence would be in Russian it would sound the same "she is giving water", but my first thought would be about a river(feminine in Russian) which is giving water. ))))which is not a big surprise).. Here the sentence is out of any context, though, and it might be confusing((
This sentence is not grammatically correct in English. The word "gives" cannot be used like this without a receiving object in the sentence.
Proper solutions would be along the lines of "She serves water," "She provides water," "She gives out water," etc., but of course none of these are accepted.
Do "give" and "serve" really mean the same thing? Is there no difference between being "given" something and being "served" something?
On your birthday, do your friends and family "serve" you presents? At a restaurant, would you prefer a waiter who "gives" you dinner or "serves" you dinner?
Does a priest "serve" God, or does he just "give to" God?
And although there is an unfortunate tendency in today's electorate to conflate the two concepts, being a public servant is far more than just being a "giver", and sometimes requires being a taker as well.
So, "give" and "serve" are different words, having different connotations and subtleties. Circumstances lead to one being the better, more appropriate choice over the other. In the absence of additional information--for example, "Im Restaurant gibt sie uns Wasser" where it might be sensible to use "serve" instead of give--it is best to use forms of "give" for sentences with "geben", and "serve" for sentences with dienen.
I suspect--and we would need one of die Muttersprachler here to confirm this--that if a German wishes to impart the sense of "serve water", he would say dienen Wasser. Otherwise, geben means "give".
Come on, Duolingo. Stop teaching such nonsense sentences. I don't mind bears buying newspapers or babies showing dresses to women as long as these sentences teach a useful pattern. But Sie gibt Wasser is not a German sentence at all.
X (noun, nom.) gibt Y (noun, acc.) is not a productive pattern in German. There are some idiomatic phrases that follow this pattern (Sie gibt eine Party / She throws a party), but you cannot use this pattern to produce new meaningful sentences.
When you add a dative object to the sentence, you get a productive pattern:
X (noun, nom.) gibt Y (noun, dat.) Z (noun, akk.).
Sie gibt dem Kind Wasser.
I still don't think it is a pattern that should be taught. Sie gibt Wasser is meaningless, and I wouldn't expect anyone to learn anything from it.
- Kühe geben Milch is idiomatic. Not the standard meaning of to give. If you say Ich gebe Milch, you might hear questions such as Who milks you or How many liters a day?
- Weihnachtsmann gibt Geschenke doesn't sound German at all. In Germany bringt der Weihnachtsmann Geschenke.
- Du gibst Kritik doesn't sound German either. You would say Du übst Kritik.
- Freiwillige geben Zeit is ok, but then it's idiomatic again, to give meaning to donate.
- Ich gebe Beispiele is acceptable, though Ich gebe Ihnen (einige) Beispiele is more frequently used.
Water is a mass quantity, so you do not need an article here in English or German. In another sentence you could say "a cup of water" or " a drop of water" or "a pitcher of water. It basicly means some water, but we do not have to say "some" in either language, since you cannot mean all the water in the world. After the word for "eat" you will find this a lot, because we tend to cut up ingredients and make dishes of combined food that are mass quantities also. You could say " a serving of food", but you are more likely to just name that food. For example, I like to eat chicken, but I am not likely to eat a whole chicken. I will eat some chicken. Again, we do not have to use the word "some" as it is assumed. We also do not use an article with plural indefinite nouns, so "I am eating beef and potatoes." is quite natural to say. I could say "I am eating a steak and a potato." if there were one of each countable noun. We still use "the" when there is something specific. "Who ate the cookies from my cookie jar?"