Agreed. Some people have pointed out cases where "coffees" would be used... but not in the context of this sentence that Duolingo wants us to translate. And non-standard usage like that is a great way to confuse learners. Coffee in itself is uncountable in English, and it should be so here.
I don't see the reason for such a foul, mocking attitude, Dalingo8. The context of the sentence is relatively clear, because the most common and reasonable way you would use "coffees" in English is if you were talking about multiple types of coffees....However, if a native speaker were doing that, they would NEVER say "How many coffees do you drink?" instead of "How many kinds/types of coffees do you drink?" or simply "What (kinds of) coffees do you drink?" I studied linguistics, I'm trying to help and form reasonable criticism of the sentence. Come back to me when you have actual arguments and interpretations, not just snarky, but inept comments.
I'm I the only one here who noticed that "coffees" isn't a word. For both of these it would just be "How much coffee have you had". I understand the translation is probably to make it easier to understand the differences, however, in English "How many coffees" is just incorrect. It is grating when I try to answer and I get marked off because the answer I put is correct(grammatically) but it wants me to throw everything I know about English away and say COFFEES! It's not coffees! I don't know why I care so much about this but it has been getting under my skin for MONTHS now. It's like if I said "waters" or "milks" or "wines". It just isn't correct and it is one of the most aggravating things I have encountered recently. Sorry for being so long, I'm just very passionate about this.
I agree with you. I would either ask, "How much coffee do you drink?" or "How many cups of coffee do you drink?", but "How many coffees do you drink?" seems unnatural, being that coffee is uncountable. You could ask about ounces of coffee, cups of coffee, pots of coffee, brands of coffee, varieties of coffee, etc., but never just "coffees". It may well be that "coffees" is a colloquialism, but even if that's the case, Duolingo should not be penalizing those of us who give a grammatically correct translation based on the meaning of the sentence, rather than a literal translation of the sentence that doesn't seem to be grammatically correct.
It's good that you are passionate for language, but are you passionate enough? Have you tried to find the word Coffees in an official Oxford Dictionary, or somewhere similar, or do you just think that the word coffees doesn't exist, because you have never heard of it?
I don't mean to be harsh, but you say this is getting under your skin for months, so what is your proof that this word doesn't exist? Thanks in advance for the answer.
That is a valid response. When I say coffees isn't a word, I understand it is a word. I do have the knowledge that coffees is in fact a word. When I say coffees isn't a word a simply mean that no one uses the word, and there should be a mass murder of all those who use it. Coffees is just wrong, maybe it's my region, maybe it's my upbringing, but I have never in my life heard the word coffees uttered from a single mouth in a normal conversation.
-Note: This is a joke, please don't take the mass murder part seriously. If you say coffees that's fine, I have nothing against you. This is just me applying, what I think to be, humor to my response. Dalingo8 I know it's word however, I've never heard people say it outside of context similar to this.
Joke understood :-) The other part I have a different experience with than you. I have often heard one person asking a table of friends or relatives, "How many coffees do we want?" "How many teas?" Or some similar wording. I'm U.S. Pacific Northwest, so you could be right- it May be a regional thing.
Hey TTP, I'm glad you thought about this. So lets conclude: "How much coffees..." is wrong, and illogical. But "How many coffees..." - even though is unusuall, it is not wrong. So however it sounds, the word "coffees" in right content is a valid word.
P.S. You, or anyone else doesn't have to use it, just don't do anything massive with the people who use it :)
Imagine you are meeting your friend at Starbucks. They order their 3rd Grande. You could say, "How many coffees are you going to have, OMG?!" or, "You could have ordered a Venti instead of buying several small coffees."
The coffee is being ordered in (and discussed as) individual units, not the mass noun form.
I responded with "How much coffee do you drink?" and it marked it correct. I would not ask how many coffees do you drink, but either how many coffees have you drunk or will you drink (if it was a questionnaire, I might ask how many coffees might you drink in a day/week etc)
For anyone doubting that 'coffee' is countable and has a plural, please educate yourselves:
2: a cup of coffee two coffees
[countable] a cup of coffee Two strong black coffees, please.
1.1A cup of coffee. ‘she'll buy you a coffee’
1.1 [count noun] A cup of coffee. ‘we went out for a coffee’
A coffee is a cup of coffee. *I made a coffee. *
For the present tense, why not allow 'How many coffees are you drinking?'. The '...do you drink' sentence would never, ever, be used by a native English speaker, whereas '...are you drinking' is a common alternative which is also the present tense. To disallow this forces us to choose an English phrase we would never say.
The ending of the verb (in this case, bevere, in the form bevi) tells us who does an action and when he or she does it. Look up an Italian verb conjugation chart and memorize the endings for verbs -- with practice they will become second nature. But for now, just stick with the simple present tense.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coffee https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/coffee https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/american_english/coffee?q=coffee https://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Nouns_that_are_Count_and_Noncount/coffee_2961.php
Example in OED under https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/sourpuss :
‘No-one likes a prima donna or a sourpuss… no matter what work you're given to do, no matter how wet or cold you get on location or how many coffees you have to fetch, smile.’
From OED grammar guide: https://www.lexico.com/grammar/countable-nouns
Some uncountable nouns can be used in the plural as well, depending on the meaning or context of the word. Take a look at these sentences:
Would you like some coffee? uncountable because it's referring to the drink in general
He ordered a coffee. countable, because it's referring to a cup of coffee
The reason "how much" is marked wrong is because they use the plural "quanti" and not the singular "quanto." Quanto/a is "how much" and "quanti/e" is "how many." Because of this distinction, that makes "caffè" plural in this sentence, meaning coffees. This thread is full of debate as to whether "coffees" can be used in English, but overall there are certain situations where it does fit and I've used the word myself ("Deliver three coffees to that table, please.")
That said, a few other recent comments (from March 2019) are saying that they now accept "How many cups of coffee" (with "cups of" being implied).
The difference between "how much" and "how many" is whether there is a countable and uncountable noun. Note that English and Italian have different countable/uncountable nouns (information: informazioni), so you kinda have to look at it on a case to case basis, not as a "Quanto= how much, quanti=how many" general rule.
Since "coffee" is uncountable, and "un caffè" usually means a CUP OF coffee, I don't see why the weird use of "coffees" is correct, or more correct, than "cups of coffee" .
When pluralized, my first thought is "The coffees of the world", ....the different kinds of coffee, again because coffee alone, like water, or milk, is uncountable.
Not again... Every time someone new comes here that doesn't read the explanations - he thinks this is bad English and has to post it. Well guess what Naasei - this is normal English. You can translate this with "How much coffee... or with " How many coffees..." - both translations are correct and accepted, BUT they don't mean the same thing! They are used in two different situations. The first is everyday speech, and the other is not so common, but still it is a perfect English, ok?
You are talking of contraction.. Which is totally different . The example you give "it's" is a contraction of "it is" or " it has". I am not sure how you compare a contraction with the error in that particular statement as coffee is an uncountable noun. It has no article, so in proper English, 'how many coffees" is totally wrong!
That is absolutely right. That is why the translation, as given, is stupid.
But "coffees" is often used informally to refer to "cups of coffee."
To the waiter: "We will have two coffees, please. One for me and one for my wife."
One could also ask someone, "How many coffees do you drink in the morning?" rather than "How many cups of coffee do you drink in the morning?"
This is a colloquialism, but it is very common.
That is why, as I keep insisting, context matters in the translation.
This is one of these situations where it is difficult to know whether to translate very literally - and possibly make it sound somewhat unnatural, or whether to translate the (suspected) meaning of the sentence (with no context to help). I think that "how much coffee" should be accepted for this sentence, even if quant-i- is showing plural. In many(most?) instances the intended meaning would be conveyed. Unless it was one of many of the exceptive examples listed below.
how much COFFEES does not exist in english. this is wrong! coffee is singular and plural. the way to distinguish it is by applying how many cups of coffee you drink. therefore there should not be qualified as wrong when I translate quanti caffe bevi as how many "coffees" do you drink
'How much coffee do you drink' is the correct. We can add How many cups of coffee do you drink. Coffee itself is not countable such as other liquids like water or juice so we use how much. As soon as we put the liquid into something we can use How many bottles, cups, jars, bowls, buckets, glasses of milk do you drink.
This seems ambivalent. Coffee is like flour or water. The translation for how many should be related to cups of coffee. The question how much (quanto) could mean just how much coffee? Or is it in the details> quanto is for cups of coffee and quanti would be just for coffee as a whole amount?