"The elephant drinks milk."
Translation:L'elefante beve il latte.
I know Philster wasn't suggesting anyone wouldn't understand without the definite article. But I know what he means by "when in doubt." As a Spanish teacher, I explain to my students that while saying "the" in front of nouns may go by the by when speaking, especially with a native speaker, it sounds more erudite to use the definite article. Me gusta el queso / Me gusta queso both tell someone that you like cheese. That said, I like the cheese does have (at least in English,) some implication that it is a specific cheese. I feel like in Spanish (and other Romance languages) it does not.
about.com has a nice little page. I'm sure there are more somewhere: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare110a.htm
Oh, that's a simple question. "You drink" is "bevi", and "he or she drinks is "beve". Rounding out the amo/amas/amat trilogy, "I drink" is bevo.
Here's a link to a comprehensive table: http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-italian-verb-bere.html
For a hint of when you might use "beva", look under CONGIUNTIVO (Italian for subjunctive).
Now I'm truly stuck. o.O
The verb changes between fact and opinion/hypothetical sentences?
My native language (Hebrew) doesn't really seem to have this type of behaviour, at all.
I therefore tried looking up examples of the subjunctive tense in English. The only example I found that made sense to me was "I wish that it WERE true" vs "I know that it IS true". Though I'm not even entirely sure why "I wish that it WAS true" is wrong besides the fact that it doesn't 'click' as much as the former.
(tl;dr - Either I'm using subjunctive forms without even realizing it, or my English is lacking, lol)
If I were to guess, I'd say that "beve" is used for facts such as "L'elefante beve il latte" (which is a fact since elephants are mammals..) while "beva" is used in a hypothetical scenario, or a wish?
If so, would the sentence "L'elefante beva la limonata" be correct then? (since elephants don't naturally drink lemonade).
You're getting warmer, as we say.
The subjunctive is becoming rare in English. If it were more common, I wouldn't have to explain it. (see how I slipped that in)
The sentence "L'elefante beva la limonata" would not be a correct use of the subjunctive, because there's nothing that expresses doubt, uncertainty, or a desire that may be unfulfilled. Now suppose your elephant was (or were, for subjunctive!) dehydrated, but it looks too tired to drink. Then you could say, "Voglio che l'elefante beva la limonata" correctly.
It seems completely random when they require the article before q noun or not. I hate getting is "wrong" when I do or do not choose to include the article. They need to make their answer the same across all exercises or we end up thinking some important point is being made.