Translation:He doesn't want ice water?
The tone is opposite for those questions in English.
"Doesn't he want ice water?" To me this implies that he likely wants ice water, without a "no" answer my assumption would be made to place ice in the water.
"He doesn't want ice water?" To me this sounds like a surprised response to a "no" answer for the question above. "Are you sure? He doesn't want ice?"
If the English sentences really differ in tone, or actually "opposite" in tone, as you claim, then please, tell us which of those tones corresponds to the Chinese sentence, 他不要冰水吗? and, what Chinese sentence would you suggest, instead, for the other English sentence? In other words, if 他不要冰水吗? really means "Doesn't he want ice water?" but does not mean "He doesn't want ice water?" because the tone of each sentence is different, then how would you say "He doesn't want ice water?" in Chinese?
Whether you can reflect the difference in Chinese or not, your personal sense of tone is irrelevant: this single sentence is merely an isolated translation exercise that comes with no context, no implied tone one way or another: no matter what the tone, 他不要冰水吗? can be translated as either "Doesn't he want ice water?" or "He doesn't want ice water?" in English. In English, both forms of the question are correct, and both forms of the question are correct translations of 他不要冰水吗?
In English, substituting a question mark for the period (or exclamation point) at the end of a statement changes that statement into a question. In Chinese, adding 吗 after a statement changes that statement into a question. Perhaps DuoLingo prefers the translation, "He doesn't want ice water?" because it is much easier to see the parallelism, that is, how the interrogative particle 吗 functions in the same way that the punctuation mark "?" can function.
If this question were answered with just an affirmative or negative, would that mean the subject wanted or did not want the water?
I've never actually heard this in the little Chinese I've done - it seems the verb is always in the reply? So it might never be natural to do so, but what is the "feeling" of the question - asking if he "does, after all" like in English, or literally "is it the case that he does not", as in Spanish?
A (affirmative): 要。他要冰水。
A (negative): 不要。他不要冰水。
In Chinese, we do not simply say "yes" or "no;" rather, as you have observed, the verb is always in the reply. Consequently, the pattern is more clear in Chinese: 要 (wants) or 不要 (does not want). However, when in doubt, or for the sake of clarity, you can always repeat the verb in English, too:
Q: Does he not want ice water? (or "Doesn't he want ice water?")
A (affirmative): Yes. He does want ice water.
A (negative): No. He does not want ice water.
The "feeling" or expectation implicit in the question in Chinese is the same "feeling" or expectation implicit in the question in English, viz., that the speaker (the person asking the question) expects that "he" (the person the speaker is inquiring about) wants ice water, or would be surprised if "he" did not. "Does he want ice water?" does not imply that same feeling or expectation.
When water freezes, it solidifies into ice. "Ice water" is a name for a beverage made from liquid water with pieces of solid ice in it.
Some people say "iced water" instead of "ice water."
However, in my experience, many people practice a paradoxically consistent inconsistency with the words "ice" and "iced," usually saying "ice water" but also usually saying "iced tea." "Iced tea" is basically like ice water, except there is cold tea in place of the liquid water. I do not know why, but usually, with water, I hear "ice water," but with tea, I hear "iced tea," which is odd, as "iced tea" is so much harder to say than "ice tea" (so some people who prefer to say "iced tea" end up slurring or jamming the words together, sort of "ghosting" over the "d" with a slight hesitation rather than clearly finishing the "t" sound of the "d" at the end of "iced" before continuing with "tea"). With coffee, I have not noticed a preference one way or another: I hear both "ice coffee" and "iced coffee," but have not noticed which phrase is more popular.
In the United States of America, many full service restaurants routinely serve ice water to their patrons shortly after those patrons get a table. (By "full service" restaurants, I mean restaurants with a wait staff, not "fast food" restaurant chains.) One reason for the practice is practical: the host at the restaurant can easily see which tables are available, and which patrons are still waiting on a waiter, by the presence or absence of ice water at the table. However, over the past few decades, many restaurants have abandoned the practice, as many patrons ignore the ice water, resulting in waste and needless increased cost (not only for the water itself, but the additional cost of making the ice and washing those extra glasses). Ice water is going the way of parsley in that way. Anyone old enough to remember when restaurants would put a sprig of parsley on the plate with the main course?
EDIT: changed "inconsistent consistency" to "consistent inconsistency," even though it still sounds right. ᵔᴥᵔ
What context can this be used in then? Can this be used as asking to confirm that someone does not want ice water (like, he doesn't want ice water does he?) Or is it more like "don't you want ice water?" Like a surprise that someone doesn't want ice water. Im so confused ahahah help
Both. And you also could use it when offering him water (through another person, maybe because he is a little boy or can't speak Chinese): "Oh, I see he does not have iced water yet. Doesn't he want some? Here you are!"
Only the tone (sounding helpful or condescending) and the context will tell which one it is.
Using the tiles, I put “does n’t He want ice water”. (I preferred it to be an obvious question.) It was accepted, but I was told I had a typo and it should be “Does not he want ice water?” ... Ugh!! (Doesn’t he want ...? & Does he not want ...? are fine.) To differentiate between He does not want ice water. & He does not want ice water? the tone would rise at the end of the second sentence.
I do not see a typo in "Doesn't he want iced water?" but there seems to be a glitch in the DuoLingo app that counts contractions as typos, even if the "word bank" offers a "word bubble" or "tile" that says "n't:" an English answer that contains "n't" (e.g., as in "doesn't") might still be counted as correct, but the app indicates a typo, there. I do not know why, but I have seen this glitch in several of the language courses here (not just this Chinese course, but others I have studied as well).
Another possibility is that DuoLingo wanted "ice" instead of "iced:" "ice water" rather than "iced water."
The sentence, 他不要冰水吗, ends with 吗, an interrogative particle, a character that indicates that the preceding clause, 他不要冰水, is a question. The question mark ("?") is a punctuation mark that Chinese "borrowed" from Western languages; traditionally (especially prior to the 20th Century), Chinese did not use the punctuation marks common to Western languages in printing. Chinese text was either not punctuated at all, or punctuated with a "。", roughly equivalent to a "full stop" or "period," to indicate "the end of a sentence" and a "，", roughly equivalent to a comma, to indicate a pause or to separate one phrase from another within a sentence. Traditionally, even the 。 and the ， were typically used only by scholars annotating texts, as a sort of study aid, or an aid to understanding or interpretation.
The question mark is not necessary in Chinese, but is a stylistic choice that has become increasingly popular since the 1910s or so, under the influence of Western printing standards. Even today, any of the following options clearly indicate a question in Chinese:
他不要冰水吗 (the interrogative particle 吗 by itself indicates the question)
他不要冰水吗。 (吗 indicating the question and 。 the end of the sentence)
他不要冰水吗? (both 吗 and ? indicate the question)
Note that 吗 is necessary in every case: 他不要冰水? would not be a question in Chinese; rather, it would be a statement, "he does not want ice water," incorrectly followed by a question mark ("?").
"He doesn't want 'ice' water"
, i thought Chinese never made a difference between nouns and adjectives. For me the correct English translation should be
" He doesn't want 'iced' water?" Because there was "吗？" At the end of tge question.
And " iced" should ve used because Duolingo did not propose the adjective " icy".
I tried to give the translation as "Doesn't he want ice water?" because of the question indicator. "He doesn't want ice water" is a statement. You can make it function as a question in English with rising intonation or by sticking a question mark on the end, but it's phrased as a statement, which would be incorrect. I think the answer to this question is wrong.