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  5. "Ela bebe o quê?"

"Ela bebe o quê?"

Translation:She drinks what?

August 4, 2013

56 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juliano94

Would it be incorrect to say "Ela bebe quê?" Or is the article really necessary? Also, I translated it as "She drinks the what?" - I don't really see why that's incorrect.


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

Just another small point, "what" is simply "o que" most places but when it occurs at the end of a sentence it becomes "o quê" just as you see here. The same happens with "why" which is "por que" normally but becomes "por quê" at the end of a sentence. The accent changes the sound of "que" from KEY to KAY (approximately - I am not a native speaker).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juliano94

Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks!


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

without the "y" sound


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

Though both KEY and KAY are spelled with a "y" neither has a "y" sound.

I suppose a better way of pointing out the difference is with the phonetic alphabet and using that "que" = /k'i/ and "quê" = /k'e/.


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

"what" is translated into 2 words: o que.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MT00

Is the "o" gendered in this case? Would one ever say "a que"?


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

what will never be a quê/ a que. I think the reason is that we have a noun quê, and it's masculine. It means a quality that cannot be described or named easily.

Ela tem um quê de mistério = She has something of a mystery / a certain je ne sais quois

Nevertheless, a que actually exists, but it has another syntactic structure:

Qual bala você quer? Eu quero a que for mais barata! = Which candy do you want? I want the one that is the cheapest!

  • Contrast with:
    barata = cheap / cockroach
    mais barata = cheaper / more cockroach
    a mais barata = the cheapest one

Maybe she just drank a cockroach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Robbyy

but if you simply wanted to say what? you would say que? If someone asked if I understand, and I reply o que... it kinda sounds like im saying OK


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

If someone says a thing and you reply "quê?" that means "sorry?" (You didn't get it) or "what!?" (Surprised!)


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

A better translation of this meaning is "Pardon!?"


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

I like this guy


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

"She drinks the what?" doesn't exist in normal English. We have to translate ideas not word for word.


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

Sure it does. A surprised response to tne statement 'she drinks the pizza?' Could be 'she drinks the what?' Not common, but certainly possible.


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

I wrote ”she drinks the what” and I got it wrong, but I was thinking exactly what you said in your example, as in surprised or I didn't hear you correctly ” she drinks the WHAT?


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

"she drinks what?", it is also accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pacoxavier30

Can this question be translated as: "What does she drink?" Does anyone know?


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

I answered "What does she drink?" and duo accepted it.


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

literally means: o que ela bebe?


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

Can I drop the O?


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

No. It becomes a new word. O quê = what / que = that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackherbach12

So o que ( with accent) is also "what?" And it should be pronounced like the spanish que? (KAY not KEY) much obliged paulenrique, I counted on you as I'm sure many others did when I didn't know nadie!


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

Wait! Are both sentences used in Portuguese - the one that starts with "O que" and the one that ends with "o quê" (with a slight difference in meaning)?


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

At the beginning use "o que", at the end use "o quê".


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

I know that. I meant: are both sentences possible? And do they have a slightly different meaning - O que ela bebe? - What does she drink?; Ela bebe o quê? - She drinks WHAT? (expressing surprise)


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

It makes sense, we usually do that.


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

In portuguese is common use what does she drink


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

If I say "she drinks the dirty water" in English, then it is perfectly fine to say "She drinks the what?" as an exclamation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tina2talks

This sounds correct in Portuguese but I think in English it sounds odd. I think this is used when the person asking has not heard what "she" is drinking.


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

Is this an exclamation?


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

No, it's a question mark.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamesalex1

I think both: "What does she drink?" and "She drinks what?" Are both ok, one expresses surprise, the other is more general.


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

Because the "o quê" has a circumflex, o quê needs to be at the end of the sentence, giving us the translation: She drinks what!!!??


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

Tired of report, the correct pronunciation for "bebe": http://pt.forvo.com/word/bebe/#pt


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

Could "What does she drink?" also be translated to "O que ela bebe?"


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

Yes. See native speaker Paulenrique's answer to pacoxavier30 above.


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

I am really confused with the use of these words to form questions. Perhaps I am being too literally-minded. I would have thought that "Qual ela bebe?" would translate as "What does she drink?" Is this phrase an idiom to indicate surprise as others have mentioned below? Because in English "She drinks what?" would indicate either surprise at what she drinks or a question to clarify because it was unclear as to the thing she drinks.


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

Ela bebe o quê?, depending on the intonation, means either What does she drink or She drinks what?. Qual ele bebe? means Which one does she drink?.


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

Is what does she drink correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArthurBors1

"What she drinks" it's wrong ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieBello1

it's wrong...needs "do/does" + action(verb)


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

Could I say 'Que bebe ela?' Or 'Ela que bebe?'


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

Ela que bebe? means is she (the one) who drinks?. Que bebe ela? is archaic, if not just weird/eccentric, but possible.


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

"She drinks what" is bad grammar in English?


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

No, it's not bad grammar. It's a spoken construction. You need to say it with the proper intonation on the word "what" which can signal that it is either a question (rising intonation) or an expression of disbelief (very strong rising intonation). The important thing is that it is not a real wh- question asking for information. The context is often: I didn't hear what she drinks and I'm asking for repetition or I did hear it but I can't believe she drinks THAT.

Others have already explained it in this thread. Read Davu's and pfeil's comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioPic743728

What does she drink?? It isn't correct too??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dulcemelissa77

What is the Portuguese word for "or"? I translated this sentence as, "does she drink or what?"


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

What is the difference between "que" and "quê"?


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

This page (in Portuguese) gives some hints:
http://www.recantodasletras.com.br/gramatica/931322
and explains that the accent is added when the word means "something", is used as an interjection, when it occurs at the end of a sentence and in the expression sem quê nem para quê (which I think must be a close relation of the English expression without rhyme or reason).


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

Thia english translation has an issue with syntax. It should be "what does she drink"


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

Ela bebe o quê? = She drinks what?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alfinete49

"She drinks what?"?? I have never heard such! It's "What does she drink?". And "What she drinks?" is definitely wrong, indeed.


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

Never? Given the right context it works; if I was told that a woman drinks petrol, for example, my first reaction would be "She drinks what?" although I would add a '!' or two. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alfinete49

Yes, indeed! Except if she was a ship. :D

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