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  5. "它爱不爱喝牛奶?"


Translation:Does it love to drink milk?

November 17, 2017



Audio was bugged for me.


The audio vocoder seems to have a really hard time with 爱不爱


I'm putting this comment up here so people don't have to scroll through all the useless "me too" comments to get to a useful note about the translation.

"Does it like  to drink milk?" should be the displayed translation (even though, when translating back, it would make the Chinese harder to arrive at from the English). It's accepted, but it should be the default, with "love" as a secondary alternative.

Although "爱" has "love" as its primary meaning, in contexts outside of human relationships it's often not as strong and is typically translated as "like", "enjoy", or "be fond of". Here are a couple of dictionary entries that illustrate this phenomenon:

This is a difference in usage between Chinese and English, and it has nothing to do with the implications of saying "我爱你" to another human being, which some commenters on this page are confusing it with.


Still bugged so I reported it. (Chrome 63).


Confirmed (chrome 62).


Still seems to be bugged


HAHAHAHA THE AUDIO IS SO BAD! Guys PLEASE switch it with the audio from the comments player. The female voice is seriously needed for at least this sentence. Guys, play the audio from the comments version of the sentence, it's actually normal ^_^


still bugged for me (chrome 70 if that matters)


Yeah boy... (ー-ー゛)


Still bugged November 2019


Audio still bugged


on the macbook pro 2018


Still garbled speech in May 2019 (on Chrome under Windows 10)


Still bugged 2020 mobile


Bugged on Android 9 too


"like” is surely at least an appropriate translation in this context.


Yes, 爱 is frequently used to express something you like to eat, and translated as "like."


And "like" is the better translation here.

It's accepted now, too, bu it should be the displayed translation.


it could be for love too


Perhaps. But in Chinese, 爱 (to love) and 喜欢 (to like) have significantly differing implications. The word "love" is much less binding and nonchalant in English. For example, you would generally not say "我爱你" unless you truly had a deep affection for the person.


You're right, but there's also the fact that using 爱 is an oddly strong way of asking this question. The correct literal translation is "love", but I feel like the question would be better as: 它喜不喜欢喝牛奶?This seems like a more likely question to ask in most cases, and would use "like" as a translation.


I only knew this from talking with a Chinese exchange student but this is a big difference between languages/cultures that should probably be pointed out in the before lesson notes.


If you're trying to express "like", you'd much rather write 它喜不喜欢喝牛奶


It's not suitable to try word to word translation, DL should accept like as an alternative answer.


It's not always suitable to do word to word translation but DL shouldn't accept answers with difference meanings. For example: I like steamed vegetables and tilapia on a bed of fresh steamed rice. However, I love pizza. The difference being that I could probably eat pizza daily. While the words do share similar meanings they are different. Think of it in context of different but not similar terms of more and most. I like juice more than water but I like milk the most.


@qianyanwanyu scroll down & read the comment from davidkim2106 to understand why you're wrong.


What is the pinyin for those characters?


●Like and love are amorophus, overlapping categories. But duolingo may still be correct pedagogically that in teaching beginners it is best to reinforce the common translation.

●I'm more upset they don't think 沒關係/不客氣 and you're welcome/ no worries are interchangable in english and chinese!


Like & Love are amorphous in ENGLISH but not in Chinese. Chinese people do not use 爱 as casually as Americans use love. For example you would say I love you man to your bro/mate/co-worker that did you a solid. In China they would only say that to a spouse/partner/elder that they truly had deep strong feelings for. Because of the difference between how the words are used I think it's important to translate it as love & not like though it does conjure an awkward mental image of an asian man chugging milk morning/noon/night.


"love not love" Is this form a common way to ask "does it love" in Chinese?


Yes, very common. Both "S. + V. + O. + 嗎/吗?" and "S. + V.不V. + O.?" are common ways to construct interrogative sentences in Chinese, at least for simple sentences.
In addition, for adjective sentences, both "S. + Adj. + 嗎/吗?" and "S. + Adj.不Adj.?" are both correct.
If V. or Adj. is a two-syllable word, like "喜歡/喜欢(xǐhuān, like)", you can even only keep one syllable before 不: "你喜欢不喜欢?" or "你喜不喜欢?" are both OK. The latter (omitted) form is even more common for me.
One exception is "有(have)," you'd rather use "有沒有" instead of "*有不有"


So both 他爱不爱牛奶? and 他爱牛奶吗? would be correct, right? Can you also use 吗 in the first example or does the V不V construction render the question particle obsolete? Or does it just add a level of politeness? Sorry, I'm spamming you with questions...


Yes, both of those sentences are correct and interchangeable.

As for combining V不V with 吗, I partially agree with V.Lagopus' response: I have never heard the two forms combined in Mandarin Chinese, but I have heard the two forms routinely combined in Cantonese Chinese.


I have never encountered 吗 being used after a V不V-sentence.


Just wanted to second this followup question. I'd love to hear an answer. I find this particular syntax confusing and the lesson notes do not address it.


It's more like saying "do you like it or not" or "do you love it or not" if you prefer


Literally that's correct, but in English when you use the "... or not" phrasing, it often carries a rather impatient or even judgy tone. In Chinese this is not the case, it's just one way of asking a question.


when would you ever use 它 in this context?


when it's a animal.


In Chinese anything non-human is 它. 他 and 她 are "human he/him" and "human she/her". So it's not a direct translation of "it", they love their animals all the same


This is a good question. In english you rarely refer to an animal as an "it", particularly if it is a pet, which would be assumed in this case since the subject area is "family".






Is niunai only used for cow's milk or also for other animal's milk?


I believe it is just used for cow's milk, as the 牛 (niú) part of 牛奶 (niúnǎi) means "cow."


"Niu" is literally "cow"

However, "runai" i think would be funny wrong. Just use "nai" or sometimes 乳


yes, in Chinese we differentiate very well things like that, because it's easy(just change a character), and runai means women' milk:)



Tā ài bù ài hē niúnǎi?



Doesn't the bu4 turn to bu2 before 4th tone?


Yes, but you write it as bu4 nevertheless.


What is the reason that 他 is not accepted in the listening exercise? Isn't the pronunciation the same for all 他, 她 and 它? There is also no way of reporting "My answer should be accepted" when it is the listening exercise.


爱 always bugs out the TTS


Audio is buggy


It is weird to me to not us 牠 here, as inanimate objects don't have emotions or drink milk. Maybe in Toy Story?


It obviously talks about a pet. A cat maybe.


It bothers me that we can't use they either, as "it" implies something inanimate to me, and if it can drink milk, it's probably a they


"does it like milk?" seem like a more natural translation but DL insists on putting "drinking" there. yes, i reported it.


Same here. It's implicit that it doesn't love bathing in milk for eg


(for exercise writing Chinese from audio) without context, shouldn't 他 and 她 also be acceptable instead of 它?


The audio file still remains bugged. Can you fix it, please?


Audio for 爱不爱 is bugged-like they spliced it into an old recording. Is Duolingo going to fix it?


it's the old robot voice male version they use on all the questions. The funny thing is, THERE IS A PERFECT FEMALE VOICE ON THE COMMENTS. So if you ever have trouble listening to chinese, you should click the audio on the comment section and it will definitely help you ^_^


The audio will always be buggy


I never say it about a dog or a cat, I say he or she.


Sure, but the important is the common usage, though I do feel quite same as you (actually I Don't encounter the problem in my mother language anyway, since in French even inanimate objects have a gender, as you well know, right).


Be careful with the simple grammar mistakes that will be count as wrong answer. Might make user to lose interest in the app


The audio is fine on the app. 24 March 2020


4th July 2020, bugged


它爱不爱喝牛奶?- why in this question there is no 吗?it's a yes no question and there aren't any other "question words" in the sentence...


You either use "爱不爱" (love or don't love?) or end the sentence with "吗"


Thank u this confused me.


I was confused by the use,of it in this context


Audio is awful


The translation here is questionable at best. I would probably translate ”爱不爱喝” as the questioning form of "like to" or "enjoys". 爱 literally translates to "love" in English, but that neglects that it is used far more casually in china, and to imply strong affinity towards something a modifier is used.


In isolation the use of 爱 here does seem strange, but maybe in some conversation about what things really "do it" for their pets... Person A: "My dog seems lazy lately, she doesn't seem to like her regular food any more." Person B: "My Fifi just LOVES some milk mixed in her food, does your dog love milk too? If she does then you should try that to get her to eat more." This video uses "我爱喝牛奶" in a song to encourage kids to drink it. https://youtu.be/grr8Ce6jVlg


Bugged audio, android app


the audio for this is corrupted


They need to redo this whole question


"Does it love to drink cow milk" should absolutely be accepted because 牛奶 is cow milk.


Why was "do they like to drink milk" incorrect? Is it the they or tge like, and why?


Neither. Here 它 is being used. It means "it" and is used for animals. So it should be "Does it like to drink milk?".


Audio is buggy for me also. Android 8


The audio for this was super weird.


Audio is very disordered


The sound on the phrase love not love is really bad


Why "Question Tags" are not recognised by Duolingo? The following should be accepted:

"It loves drinking milk, doesn't it?"


That's not the sense of the Chinese. The Chinese is a simple question, whereas your English sentence implies that we expect the answer to be yes.


Interesting, thank you for pointing that out. Just curious: how do you get a similar sense of a question tag like my sentence in Chinese then?


You can make a statement and then put one of a number of tags on the end:

  • 是不是?
  • 对不对?
  • 是吗?
  • 对吗?
  • 是吧?
  • 对吧?
  • 不是吗?

You can also get something similar by intercalating "不是...吗" into the sentence:


I cannot distinguish the second word.


The audio is garbage and the verb is not the right one... Ouch!


It should be "Does it love milk?". The verb is necessary in Chinese but not in English, and the version with it on the other hand sounds rather awkward.


Not strictly sure it's necessary in Chinese either... I'm sure it's fairly easy to understand the meaning... I mean what else is a cat going to do with milk... play with it? (Don't answer that!)

What Duo is doing here is keeping up your identification of characters...


audio be like: T'aib'aibuyumei!


How do you tell the difference between the third pronoun with the he/she/it?


They are all pronounced the same( Tā ), the only difference is the character that is used: 他 = He 她 = She 它 = It


What was going on with the audio?


The audio did not state some words


Woowww wowww wowww what happend to the audio?!?!?


I'm sorry, but doesn't the "bù" in the sentence make it negative?


Here "爱不爱" offers a choice between liking and not liking, so you can think of it as "does it like to drink milk or not" (though the emphasis isn't quite the same — in Chinese it's usually completely neutral, whereas the English can have an impatient edge).

If you want to ask "doesn't it like to drink milk", you can say "它不(是)爱喝牛奶吗".


Great explanation - i just wish that Duolingo wouldn't explain the 是不是 concept as "it's just another form of asking a question "in the Tips, and then penalize us when we answer "doesn't it drink milk" instead of "DOES it drink milk?" when they are both fairly equivalent questions in English. (Here is where I must concede that, like with other lessons on Duolingo, it chooses to be semantical for the purpose of literal translation)


I haven't read the tips, but it would certainly be misleading to compare Chinese verb-not-verb questions to negatively phrased English questions.


Could you please provide a link to the DuoLingo tip that actually says "it's just another form of asking a question - just like in English when you say 'DOESN'T it drink milk?'"

I would be surprised if any published authority on Chinese grammar equates the "Verb 不 Verb" form of asking a question with asking a negative question, and I would like to see the actual source of such a claim.

I had never read any of the DuoLingo tips for Chinese before, but here is what I did find, from the Tips section of the "Family 2" Lesson:

Asking Questions

You already know how to use 吗 (ma) to ask questions with a yes or no answer; for example,


(nà shì nǐ de qīzi ma, Is that your wife?).

Another way to ask the same question is to say 不 (bù, no) after the verb (in this case, 是) and then repeat the verb again.


(Nà shì bu shì nǐ de qīzi?) Is that your wife?


(Tā yào bu yào niúnǎi?) Does he want milk?

I do not see anything wrong or misleading about that tip; in fact, the tip seems rather clear: the "Verb ... 吗“ form and the "Verb 不 Verb" form are functionally identical methods of asking a binary ("yes or no") question in Chinese.

I searched, but did not see another tip that equates the "Verb 不 Verb" form with asking a negative question (e.g., "doesn't it drink milk?"). If a DuoLingo tip really said that, then that tip is mistaken. PeaceJoyPancakes provides a correct example of asking a negative question above, viz., 它不爱喝牛奶吗? (just one 不 , before the verb) for "Doesn't it like to drink milk?" Again, in Chinese, any statement, such as 它不爱喝牛奶, "It does not like to drink milk," can be made into a question simply by appending 吗 to the end of that statement.


I guess I read the Tips incorrectly. I wonder why my brain filled in a negative in the English where there wasn't....except that it's grammatically correct in English, and also perfectly mirrors the Chinese structure....

I (apparently I'm not alone) just really hate being told I'm wrong due to semantical reasoning when I could make equally semantical arguments back in my defense. It discourages continuing with the course IMO.


Still bugged January, 2020


To me it sounds OK, doing the course on laptop with Chrome (Jan 12, 2020)


Two years since the audio was reported as being bugged and it still isn't fixed? Shame.


Someone explain this sentence it doesn't make any sense at all honestly speaking tho.


Well, when using anyone verb in negative form after the positive form that becomes on positive form, it is like in maths (-×+=- but this is in +). So that, explained, its easy to say: Does one (它) love milk? One, the third people in singular and neutro.


What a weird sentence. In English we noramlly establish the sex of the animal during the conversation and then refer to it as either he or she.


Often we do, though ultimately it depends on the context.


I think it's important first to find out whether it loves milk before we go imposing social roles on the thing. ᵔᴥᵔ


C'mon the animals have got bits, they're not a celebrities. Pets play no "social roles" with their gender; we just dont want to refer to them like a can of soup.


Good look with that in Chinese... he she it = ta.


我的猫爱牛奶。 my cat loves milk 僕の猫は牛乳が好きです meu gato ama leite


Show off! I can barely do this in English. :'(


Lol audio busted


The audio on this one is garbage. If I hadn't seen the sentence before I'd have no clue.


Audio reported. 2020-08-23.


Why "it"? He or she makes more sense.


Where is the ma at the end of this sentence?????


The "verb-not-verb" structure is an alternative to asking questions with "吗".


I'm not expecting an answer but its prob bc there's a shi bu shi in there.


Does it drink milk should be accepted


"He" sounds like "chī".


Should be "like" not love


either or. In English we use love or like interchangeably. If you live in certain parts of the UK you use love after every other word.


Nice, so that's the Chinese Accusativus cum Infinitivo.


some one comes up to u like does ur cat love milk (i dont have a cat by da way)


Confusing for a new learner with "love" in the sentence twice


the way questions are asked in chinese whether or not it is would be "is not is" (是不是) and for loves or does not love would be "love not love" (love or not love) (爱不爱)


Hello everybody, audio is still buddged 2019-12-29


The audio is fine on app. 24 March 2020




Yo creo que el audio se oía entrecortado o que saltaba porque la oración provoca que así suceda, si fuera —你愛不愛喝牛奶?— no sería así.


This has been bugged for two years. Wow.


The negative framing of the question "doesn't it" should be accepted.


'Love' + -ing. What is 'love' +to verb? Indian English, clearly...


“Loveing?” “I love learning” is what they are referring to.

This is a racist comment. Many Indians are native or fluent English speakers.


I reported that the answer doesn't accept "cow's milk" as this could easily be in context of what kind of milk.


It love no love no love love no love no no loves to drink milk. (Nice......)

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