1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Bevi tè oppure caffè?"

"Bevi oppure caffè?"

Translation:Do you drink tea or coffee?

April 3, 2013



Any subtle differences between "oppure" and "o" that we ought to know about?


They're interchangeable. Oppure might be considered more formal or can be used to emphasize alternative, but or translates into both.


Is it like "o bien" in Spanish?


Great comparison...reminds me that there is "ou bien" in French...


probably! good observation!


In spanish: bebes té o puro café? Would it be?


humm cesars3 i think puro cafe can mean just coffee or pure coffee which does not really make sense in this instance


Bebes té o café? (Puerto Rico)


You can also say: Bebes té o prefieres café? (Prefieres=rather)


No. For oppure, the question is or/or rather. either one should be correct, shouldn't it


it would be bebes te o cafe, not puro because that mean "only"


In english it would be: do you drink tea or rather coffee?


According to Treccani.it, the Italian encyclopedia of sciences, litterature and art, "oppure" is a strengthened version of "o". It has a stronger disjunctive value. That means it just has more emphasis on the fact that another option exists. On the other hand, "rather" would be translated as "piuttosto", "anzi" or "ovvero" depending on the context, but it is not a valid translation of "oppure". http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/oppure/


Is it fair to say that "o" is "inclusive or" whilst "oppure" is "exclusive or"?


no it wouldn't; certainly not necessarily. it could be asking if you have a preference; but it could just as easily be asking if either is something you drink at all.


Thanks a lot! I appreciate you taking the time to comment questions such a this one.


So both can be accepted. Grazie mile ;)


This is good to know. Grazie!


Thanks Monica. How about or/or rather shall be the best question


The "pure" in oppure meaning pure, so think of it as "or pure", not just or.


It appears that oppure is sort of more... er... emphatic as it implies the instead or rather element in it. Al least, this is what emanates from the following:


I think the term is "mutually exclusive"- as in "do you drink tea or coffee?" implies that you are expected to pick one or the other. Whereas in English, our "or" can mean in this case "do you drink either of these beverages, tea or coffee?" and it can also be mutually exclusive like "oppure". You just have to figure it out using context.


Well o means "or" and pure means "even", "also" and "rather" so that's must be where oppure came from and the element of contrast


Thanks for the etymological info! That always makes it easier to understand and remember new words!


Really helpful follow-up on this issue! Thank you!


Thank you. The last two links help point out the difference, as does your comment.


I think it means they have only coffee and tea to drink, so you have to choose one of them.


I agree with you. It means I have two choices, pick your favorite. The best answer is or. But or rather means more like the other choice is ... They shall accept any of those.


In English, "or" can suggest either-or alternatives or (!) simply connect items in what may be an ongoing list: "Do you want to live or die?" vs. "Have you got a wife or a girlfriend?" Out of context, the second sentence here could be ambiguous. The difference may be indicated by intonation. With falling intonation, it's "either-or"; with rising intonation, it's "have you got a significant other."


I liked the way you subtly asked the question :D


The "pure" in oppure meaning pure, so think of it as "or pure", not just or.


Is 'oppure' to be used as instead, (when referring to two objects), or can it be used for multiple objects as well? Eg: "Do you like raspberry, or cherry, or peach jam?"


Oppure means or or rather. Whichever I use shall be correct, shall it not?


I heard this as 'beve' and lost a heart. But is this not correct if you are addressing someone formally and using the third person?


Well if you were transcribing what you hear, no. It's either beve or bevi, and in this case it was bevi.


I don't know why my answer is wrong: You are drinking tea or coffee?


Besides that, remember it is a question, so it is better to write: are you /do you?


'you are drinking' doesn't apply because technically it is a different tense. You are drinking translates to 'stai bevendo' whereas you drink is 'bevi.'


This is all taken from the following blog which I found extremely useful and wanted to share with all of you. =))


"In contrast with English, in Italian, one tense can be used for a variety of meanings.

For example:”Vado spesso a…” (I often go to), “Ciao, vado!” (Bye, I’m going!), and “Vado domani al..” (I’m going to the xxx tomorrow”).

The same verb form “vado” is used to refer to general time, to “now/at the moment”, and to the future.

How does a listener tell the difference? From the context, of course, just like in the “I go yesterday” example above." ...

"The 3 Tenses You MUST Know To Speak Italian

I speak Italian every day. I employ a whole bunch of Italian teachers too (I’m the director of a language school).

But I rarely (really!) hear or use more than three tense forms.

I recognize the others when I read or hear them. But I don’t USE them. Life’s too short.

So, at least at first, if you want to SPEAK Italian, I mean, actually have conversations with people, and understand what others say to you in return, the solution is to focus on learning just three tense forms as well as possible:

  1. The present: Io vado – I’m going, I go

    (Use it for now, for the future, for routines. Anything really!)

  2. The near past: Io sono andato – I went, I have been

    Essential for talking about things you’ve done or did. But, don’t worry! If you don’t know it yet, you can still have a conversation. Just use the present, and “ieri” (yesterday)!

  3. The imperfect: Io andavo – I used to go, I was going, I went (repeatedly)

Whenever you want to talk about “the way things were”, or “what you were doing when something else happened”, this is the way to go. Use with 2. above for sophisticated narratives. Is that it?


“And if I want to talk about the FUTURE???”

No problem. Use the present. Italians do."

This is all taken from the following blog which I found extremely useful and wanted to share with all of you. =))


Ačiū. (lithuanian) :) Thanks


Actually, 'bevi' can mean either 'you drink' or 'you are drinking', although technically 'stai bevendo' is the true Present Continuous/Progressive as Grantito pointed out. The problem in your answer was that your answer was supposed to be written in the form of a question - 'Are you drinking tea or coffee?'. And that would be accepted as a correct answer, as well as 'Do you drink tea or coffe?'


could one drop in 'or perhaps' as an equivalant ?


I am afraid, it can't. I think "or perhaps" would be "o forse"


Do you drink coffee or tea?... is incorrect?


That's right. Usually, you need to translate objects in the same order as they appear, with a few idomatic exceptions (e.g. "bianco e nero", which is commonly referred to in english in the opposite order).


Out of curiosity, aside from the question mark, how would one know that this is a question rather than a statement?


By taking context and phonetics into account :)


What are the phonetics, exactly? Do they have a rising inflexion exactly like English?


It appears that in general, this particular type of question ("do you do this, or rather that?") end with a slightly falling inflection, instead rising on the this-part.

Most other types of questions, like "vuoi un caffè?" and "come si chiama?" seem to - generally - end with a rising inflection like you suggested.

I should add that this might vary significantly, depending on which region you're in and/or who you're speaking with.


I gave it some thought, listening to myself asking the question while trying different inflections, and I think another trick is to forget a bit the "oppure ..." part. I think it's important you use the rising inflection on the "tè" to make the "bevi tè" sound like a question already, which sets the tone of your sentence. Then you continue with "oppure caffè" without putting much effort into a special inflection, because thanks to the first part you've already set the tone and people know you're asking a question.


GRAZIE! At least someone knows this one.


Why is "Do you drink tea rather than coffee ?" considered wrong?


That favors tea as an answer, whereas the original Italian is more neutral.


One of the translations shown for oppure was or else But my "do you drink tea or else coffee?" was marked wrong. Why give us an explanation for a word, but if we use what you've shown us... then mark it wrong?


The translations are not put in context.

I think it's already a great feature they give that to help when we have no clue what a word means, so that we don't have to reach for a dictionary.

It also makes us think, reflect check the comments, try to understand why one option is not correct... this actually helps the learning process better than if they would just give you only the right answers in that context, in which case we might risk going a bit brainlessly through the exercises.

So putting the translations always in context, might be a considerable investment into the Duolingo engine, which would almost be counterproductive for the purpose of the application.


I transalte in english the sentence and it was right but u say its wrong


I am soooo TIRED of getting the slashes over the letters wrong. I put one over te and caffe... but they were going the Wrong way! Later I changed it from this issue on finche...( to go the same way as in te & caffe)... and I got it Wrong again.. b/c evidently finche (the e) has a slash that goes the opposite way as in te or caffe. If I don't understand when to put the slash pointing FORward or BACKward... I'll never do it correctly. Anybody have a simple rule to remember it by???


No simple rule that I can find but a good summary here of the accents and where they are used here http://www.michaelmunevar.com/website/accents_in_italian_are_easy and for a more scholarly explanation http://www.locuta.com/eaccent.html


Why "do you rather drink tea or coffee" isnt correct??

  1. Because 'rather' indicates a slight preference or even a suggestion from the one asking that you should rather go for that option.

  2. Because it's another word, which might confuse a beginner who will wonder which of the words in the Italian translation is 'rather'?

I mean, based on the same logic, a waiter can as well ask "do you prefer to drink tea or coffee?" - same meaning, arguably neutral choice as well, but it's a different word used to ask the same, which can confuse a beginner and it's just not the most accurate translation.


"Do you drink tea or rather coffee?" doesn't sound right to me as good, American English (my native language.) Would it be going too far to translate this, "Do you drink tea, or would you prefer coffee?"


can i say "Do you drink either tea or coffee?". Thanks


You could, but I wouldn't, because it adds some unnecessary nuances:

  1. It sounds like you force a bit the person to make a choice. It feels to me you reduce the person's freedom to answer "both" for example. Maybe not many would want both, but to give you a better idea, let's change a bit the context: a) "Would you like soup or steak?" One can still answer "Both actually"; b) "Would you like either soup or steak?" This would give me the feeling I can't really have both without imposing a bit.

  2. It also tends to move the context from "now" to "in general". So if you have a big group of people and want to know who prefers tea or coffee (because you'll prepare some, or just for your general information), then you could use 'either'. But for a more personal question to just one individual, I wouldn't use it.


Could you say "Do you drink tea rather than coffee?" ????


You could, but for an accurate translation better not, because you lose a bit the neutrality of the choice between the two options.


I put "Do you drink tea or even coffee?" and it was marked as wrong. But "pure" means "even"........


"Oppure" is another word. It's related, but it cannot always be broken down to the literal translation of the original words forming it. The English "However" is also "How" + "Ever", but it's not like the two words forming it have together the same meaning as the composed new word.


Okay. So not everything can be translated literally or else it won't make sense. I see... It's just that there are so many idiomatic expressions in Italian and some are confusing and hard to understand..... Comunque, grazie mille per l'aiuto!


so many ways to say 'or' its confusing to keep up


So, if I say coffee or tea, that's wrong? Jeez


"do you drink tea or do you prefer coffee" is less awkward English than "do you drink tea or rather coffee"


I'm looking for someone to help me in english and I'll help him in italian. I'm italian. If you are interesting write me! Bye ;)


Coffee... ahem from Anteiku, please.


"You drink tea rather than coffee" I thought that 'oppure' was also 'rather than' as well


oppure translated by me prefer but the translation was rather to me they are the same & should bemire correct.


wouldn't "do you drink tea rather than coffee" work?


Just wondering, might an acceptable translation for "Bevi tè oppure caffè?" be "Are you drinking tea rather than coffee?" If not, then how would one say that?

(Sorry if this is a repeat, but I'm still having trouble scrolling through the entire thread.)


this sentence sounds like you could say "or just coffee" for oppure cafee. In Spanish people say " o puro cafe" to say "or just coffee"


Is ossia, which I have often met with in musical contexts with the meaning 'or' (e.g. Don Giovanni ossia il Dissoluto Punito, the full title of Mozart's opera) not used in modern Italian?


Do you drink tea rather than coffee?


I answered "Do you drink tea or prefer coffee" and Duo said that was wrong. Is there really a difference? In English it would be awkward to say, "would you rather coffee". You would ask, "Would you prefer coffee?"


"rather than" is no good for "oppure"?


you could also say (do you drink tea or just coffee?this answer should be correct also


Do you rather drink tea then coffee? Mama mia!


"do you drink tea rather than coffee" Not accepted 27 March 2018. Couldn't report it, as it was on timed strengthening.


does oppure emphasize the first item listed the way "or rather" would in english?


Marked wrong for Do you drink tea or prefer coffee?... and I'm English. The 'or would you' is implied and understood.


As a native Spanish speaker, when I hear "oppure" makes me think of "o puro" when means " or pure/or only..." so it sounds like "Do you drink tea or pure/only coffe?"


Non tutti i persone bevono bevande calde, Duo.


As my translation "Do you rather drink tea or coffee?" was wrong I'd very much like to know how you'd say that in Italian :)


Why not rather than coffee?


Tè, Io Bevo Il Tè.


In English we almost always ask do you drink coffee or tea. Tea or coffee feels very unnatural.


The intonation of this woman is simply hilarious.


O is typically used when speaking and can be used when writing, but oppure is more formal and used mostly when writing.


Why was "Do you drink tea rather than coffee?" rejected?


How do you know the difference between 'Bevete' and 'Beve te'?


Maybe it's closer to 'as opposed to' ?


What the different between o and oppure... also e and ed


When I lived in Italy I rarely if ever heard anyone use "oppure"


She needs to enunciate more clearly..."Bevete"? Or "Bevi te"?


What's wrong with Bevete te oppure caffè?


In slow motion she says "bevi ste"


The voice for this course isn't pleasant at all.


I agree. I have so much trouble understanding and some of the words seem to be "gobbled up" . The voice in the S panish is so much better.


Then my username in Italian would be: "Verità oppure conseguenze" right?


This is not quite right, "o" should be used instead of oppure only in this case


if anyone needs to know a difference between caffè and latte, think of caffè as like you're getting coffee from a caffè


What's the difference between tè and the?


Thought oppose meant prefer?


It translates do you drink tea or rather coffee? That's not proper grammar in English. Why not say Bevi te o caffe?


Why do we use the conjuction "oppure" in this sentence instead of "o"?


I understood "oppure" as "only" in this context, as if they were speaking of the only two options for drinks. "Do you drink tea, Or only coffee?" I feel like this could be considered correct in English.


Not really. Oppure implies a choice: "or" / "or rather". That's it. You're describing a different context - "Do you also drink tea, or only coffee?", in which case I believe it would be "Bevi anche tè, o solo caffè?", so you need "o solo" if you want to express "or only".


Can anyone explain when to use o and oppure


I put "rather than" and it was marked wrong for no apparent reason. I would never say "or rather" in this context: Do you drink implies generally; if it is just this time I would say do you want.


I wrote tee instead of tea. That's supposed to be a typo not an incorrect answer :(

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.