Thank you, this makes more sense! I just couldn't picture anyone drinking straight from a can of condensed milk. Here, if they are not drinking out of the can, but it describes where the milk comes from, we would be more likely to say "She drinks canned milk." or "She drinks a glass of powdered milk from a can." We'd probably say "We go through a can of milk a week." It is totally interesting how it is said in Portuguese.
Yet, it is not so far off, we do say "They drank a bottle of wine." and we mean they drank the whole bottle, but they probably used wine glasses. So, we are talking about quantity, rather than container used.
In the US, it is common for children to drink small cartons of milk. Baby formula comes powdered in cans here, but regular powdered milk comes in boxes. Fresh milk can come in bottles or waxed cardboard cartons. In Canada, it can come in plastic sacks straight from the milking machines of the dairy, which you put in a special pitcher to hold it and snip the corner off to pour into your cup or glass.
My question to you is about the containers. Does "lata" only ever mean "can" or "tin" or can it mean box, or can it mean carton? If not, what would the words be for those?
I'm back. Thank you so much for the information below.
And lata is always a metal container, probaly a can or tin.
Box is "caixa" (mainly made of cardboard or carton)
Cardboard is "papelão", but we use this word only for the material, not meaning the container. A box made out of cardboard would be called "caixa" or "caixa de papelão".
Bottle is "garrafa"
Plastic or glass containers, square or round, usually shorter than a bottle and wider, without necks are called "pote/potes"
AWow...many interesting points. In Brazil powered milk usually comes in cans, but also in sacks (packages). As for the milk itself, there is more than one type. Milk in Brazil is classified into three categories: A, B and C (for more info on it, you can look up on the internet)l. The best one is classified as A and it you find it mainly in cardboard cartons or plastic bottles. The other types you usually find in plastic sacks. In small cartons of milk you find chocolate milk or some vitamin =)