Tomar vs Beber (Spanish)
I saw this two verbs in a book that I have, both translated to "to drink". Can anyone tell me the difference please?
In Spain we use "tomar" and "beber" as synonims.
¿Quieres tomar/beber algo? = Do you want to have/drink something?
Quiero tomar/beber un café = I want to have/drink a coffee.
However, we normally use "tomar", especially if we are talking in the context of a pub or a café. "Beber un café" is not incorrect, but it's sounds kind of weird.
"Tomar" can also means "comer" (eat).
- Quiero tomar un sándwich = I want to have/eat a sandwich.
I hope it's helps!
To complement your answer, in Mexico you can say "beber un café"(To drink a coffe) and it does not sound weird at all, and "tomar" doesn't mean "comer"(eat) for example "tomar un sandwich" it would be understood as "take a sandwich"
Tomé un sándwich para el almuerzo. I took a sandwich for lunch.
If it's said after lunch could imply that I ate a sandwich for lunch.
It's context based.
Both mean "to drink" but in some regions tomar is associated more with drinking alcohol and beber with water, juice, milk.
Actually, where I live it is the opposite, "Tomar" is used with normal drinks and "Beber" with alcohol.
Exactamante. On most situations, "tomar" and "beber" (and of course their conjugations) are fully interchangeable.
It is the context and the region/country that will define which is associated with drinking alcohol. In Puerto Rico, for example, it is "beber".
Also, as a poster already pointed out, "tomar" can also mean to take (even if momentarily) and also sometimes even eating (also depending on region/country):
"Tomó prestado un lápiz" = (He/she) borrowed a pencil.
"El nuevo jugador tomó control del partido" = The new player took over the match.
"Luego de tomarse la sopa, tomó un helado de postre." = After eating the soup (he/she) had ice cream for dessert.
So basically opposite: in English it's "to take a shot (alcohol)", you don't say "drink a shot" or "take a juice"... Well, drinking is usually associated with alcohol unless you specify otherwise, I guess..
Oh, shoot, I had it backwards! (corrected now)
So it's the same in Spanish and English: tomar alcohol, beber bebidas.
A good discussion about this from SpanishDict: https://www.spanishdict.com/answers/262173/beber-vs.-tomar
Hi. It all depends on which country you are in. Beber is always drink. Tomar can be take get and have. If you asked me I would pick tomar as the safest choice.