But why is it translated as "What are you drinking?" (present continuous) and not as "What do you drink?" (simple present). Is it not usual to use the simple present for questions? I've been confused by this for a while :S .
Hi chupipe, "What do you drink" shows up as correct, I don't know if did before. But "what do you drink" is in a more general sense, like "if you were drinking, what would your choice be?" "What are you drinking" is now, "what is that drink you have?" This is also used for "what would you like to drink" when somone is about to buy a drink for another person. Romance languages don't tend to have this distinction.
Can you say 'cosa bevi' in both cases? Or would you have to use another tense?
it is grammatically correct, but in English you'd say in PC, while in Italian, that sentence, even being SP means what you usually drink AND what you are drinking on this exact moment.
Because that would be che bevanda. Bevi is the 2nd person singular conjugation of to drink
Small difficulty: Why does this sentence mean 'What do you drink?' and not 'What is your drink?' Should the sentence be a little longer or am I missing something?
The full sentence should be "Che cosa bevi?" (what thing do you drink?), but since that's simply the customary construction for asking a "what" question, it's commonly shortened to either "cosa bevi?" or "che bevi?" (the latter more colloquial).
So cosa in this case is "thing" or "it", just a stand in. Since cosa is the new word here and the other definitions include "work" and "matter" can you give an example of that use?
The word hints were originally imported from some dictionary, long before there were multi-word hints, so sometimes they only make sense in certain (often very) specific contexts. For instance wordreference uses the "work" definition in "all in a day's work" ("cosa di tutti i giorni", everyday thing) and "matter" in "insignificant matter" ("cosa di poco conto", thing of little worth).
Beside what f.formica said, I think that the answer to your question would be that in this sentence 'bevi' is the verb and a drink (noun) would be 'la bevanda'. Also the subject here is 'tu' (which can be omitted, like it is done here) and not the drink.
OK, so I translated this as "what would you like to drink?" Is the phrase ever used in this way?
I'm not a native Italian speaker, but i would say that your question would be "Cosa vuoi bere?"
Just asked a native speaker: "Cosa vuoi da bere?" or "Cosa vorresti bere"
I asked him about the "da" he said that if you were asking what someone would like to drink (if you were getting them a drink) you put da bere. But you just want to know what this person wants to drink, you just say bere.
For example, 1.At a party, the host walks up to you with a bottle of coke, and says "Cosa vuoi da bere?" 2.At a restaurant, you are curious about what your friend is going to order, "Cosa vuoi bere?" I think. Well no native speaker is going to kill you for forgetting to put the word da, before bere.
I did the same translation. I think it is a better english translation than the others.
'Bevi' is familiar/casual, asked among friends. "Che beve" is more polite/reserved.
what is the past tense of "cosa"? Like in this example," What did you drink?"
I agree with you, chupipe. "What are you drinking?" can imply or gives a stronger impression that the second person is already drinking and that the first person is curious to what it is. "What do you drink?" only implies or gives the impression that no drink has taken place, yet.
i would think this means "something to drink?" as tho an offering of, "would you care for something to drink?"
Conjugating verbs in Italian after recently studying Spanish is starting to get confusing. Just sayin.......
I said 'Something to drink?' As in short for, 'Would you like something to drink?' Could cosa bevi be used like this and if not how would you say that?
you would have to use the continuous form of the verb. I personally rather use the continuous than the one in this exercise: cosa stai bevendo?
So, what's the differance now between :
1- Cosa bevi ?
And 2- cosa stai bevando ?
"Cosa stai bevendo?" asks what you are drinking right now; "cosa bevi?" can be used to ask the same, but also what you usually drink or what you are going to drink. Generic as it is, the simple present is more common when there is no need to strongly imply the "right now" part.