https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielD38325

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?

August 31, 2019

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hey.eco

Hi!

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!

Peace!

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielD38325

Thanks! It's nice to see a real spanish person opinion.

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juan_17zzz

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"

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrakoLykoi

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.

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

Both mean "to drink" but in some regions tomar is associated more with drinking alcohol and beber with water, juice, milk.

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tita.popi

Actually, where I live it is the opposite, "Tomar" is used with normal drinks and "Beber" with alcohol.

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guaybana_elBravo

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.

September 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielD38325

Thanks! I also noticed that tomar means "to take" am I right?

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MopasMipy

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..

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

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

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielD38325

Thanks!

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MossQuartz

take a sip

September 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nash1984

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.

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielD38325

Thanks for replying!

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nash1984

Welcome!

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sjyoshida

Gracias, Daniel.

August 31, 2019

Related Discussions

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