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  5. "你要喝咖啡还是喝茶?"


Translation:Do you want to drink coffee or tea?

December 13, 2017



Can we elide the second 喝?


You can also say "你要喝咖啡还是茶?" .


The answer includes "some", but wouldn't that have 一点儿?


This is again a difference between 或者 and 还是.

If you are asking for an exclusive choice with 还是, but add an attributive before only one of the nouns, your question will become confusing. Are you asking me to choose between "to drink some coffee" and "to drink an unknown amount of tea"? It is not wrong, but unnatural.

In order to dispatch your meaning clearly, you will have to add the attributive to both choices.


If we just want to mention the choices in a softer way by adding 一点儿/a little (strictly speaking not Some actually), we should use 或者.


The attributive 一点儿 will be understood as applying to both coffee and tea.

Please note that the question has also changed from a Which question to a Yes-or-No question. Hence, 吗 is needed.

BTW, Duo's English sentence here is a bit on the literal side. It is a close but not exact reflection of the meaning and tone of the Chinese sentence.


Could you explain how to state exclusive vs inclusive choices? Is the second or you are mentioning the inclusive one? What is its pinyin? Thanks in advance!


What do you mean by inclusive choices ? Would you have a sample English sentence ?


Sure thing!

So, I have you over for tea, and I ask you "Would you like some milk or sugar?" That's an inclusive choice, because you may choose one, the other, neither (as I am secretly expecting) or none.

You ask for milk and I ask again, trying to hide my outrage , "Whole or skimmed?" And that's an exclusive choice, since you have to pick one and automatically exclude the other.

The difference, as you can see, is a technicality. Some languages have different wordings for each situation, most rely on context to clarify. But since you mentioned the term exclusive choice in your last post, I wondered if Chinese was of the first kind.

PS: If you ask for skimmed milk, it's the last time I'm inviting you to tea. :P


Thanks! I started it? Haha...

So with 还是 the choice is supposed to be only 1 item of the list.
A, B 还是 C?⇒ Either one of A,B or C

If combinations and options are allowed, there is no specific word, but usually the choices are simply put successively, optionally with a pause (signified by a pause mark 、)or using the conjunctions 和 or 跟.
These are all possible ways of asking about the preference for milk 奶 and sugar 糖. Using 和 or 跟 does not make it compulsory to have both milk and sugar.

只要奶,不要糖 / I want milk but not sugar.
那么需要全脂奶还是脱脂奶? / So would you like whole milk or skimmed milk? (I already know you want milk and I expect you to choose one but not the other.)

请喝茶。糖在这里。需要全脂奶或者脱脂奶吗? / Please have some tea. Sugar is here. Would you like some whole milk or skimmed milk? (I haven't known yet if you want milk at all, I expect you to choose either one as well as saying no thanks.)

BTW I hope you would have whole condensed evaporated milk. Your name suggests that you're from a coffee drinking country. For coffee, no milk please.


Hahaha, thank you for the long answer. Have a lingot for your trouble!

That's a lot of options you gave, I'll have to work in a little cheatsheet to remember them all. I see that you omit the pronouns 你 and 我 in your examples, I'm guessing that's common use?

I'm from Spain indeed and can indulge in a little sweetened condensed milk in my otherwise black coffee from time to time, but absolutely no dairy in my tea! ;)


¡Hola! Thank you for the lingot.

Usually subject is omitted when it is understood. As you are from Spain then you would not have problem about it ; )

I should have said evaporated milk. I confused their names. Condensed milk is too sweet, yikes. Milk and sugar goes well with English tea. For Chinese teas, nothing should be added. : )


This is very instructive -- 非常感谢您!




The difference between 或者 and 还是 could be reproduced in Japanese quite systematically. In Japanese, the words could be dropped similarly to Chinese. But it could not be so simple in English. 或者 = 「か」 还是 = 「それとも、、、ですか?」 或者 is to be just A or B, while 还是 should include another question. < Question A?> Or, <question B?> Would you like to drink coffee? Or, (would you like to) drink tea?


why do i have to write "drink" twice ? do you want drink coffe or tea is not a good traslation ?


I said, "Would you like some coffee or tea to drink?" and was marked wrong.


还是喝茶 is a real tongue twister for me... I simply cannot do it fast.


You have mute H in your language?


Is it just me, or do some of the characters appear with different sounds to the same character and same sound appears with different characters, in other instances?


What you have noticed is true.


If you are doing to require "some" tea on the right side of the exclusive or you definitely should have "some coffee" on the left side. Or leave the "some" out all together, which really is the same meaning in English where I'm from (southern US)


"Would you prefer to drink coffee or tea?" Should this be an acceptable alternitive?


Oh! 和 means and so it can't be used.


This should accept "Do you want coffee or tea to drink?"


It should also accept "do you drink coffee or tea?"


It didn't like "wanna" had to be precisely "want to"


Well considering "wanna" is never written, except in representing colloquial speech, as in comic strips, I wouldn't expect it to.


Can we use 和 in place of 还 是 ?


No. It will then become "coffee and tea" and there would be no choice to make. However you can also add 吗 so that it becomes a Yes-or-No suggestion. Strictly speaking we should use 或者, but it is acceptable to use 和 in such case, and the listener is not obliged to take both coffee and tea.


There is supposed to be a 'ma' in the end of the sentence, right?


No. You can't answer this question with Yes/No. You need to answer coffee or tea.


The english translation of this sentence is bad and it refuses to accept good ones. "Would you like to have a coffee or a tea" should be the real translation

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