1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Portuguese
  4. >
  5. "Você prefere um chá ou um ca…

"Você prefere um chá ou um café?"

Translation:Do you prefer tea or coffee?

December 24, 2012



In english I would say "do you prefer tea or coffee"


in portuguese you can say: "Você prefere chá ou café ?" - too, or "Você quer chá ou café ?" or "Você quer um chá ou um café ?", all are perfectly understandable


I was going to say the same thing. You can't say "a tea", in any case, it'd be "a cup of tea" or "tea".


In english, we say "do you want a coffee" but not "do you want a tea". The sentence would most likely translate as "Do you want a coffee or some tea?"


I'm assuming you're a native English speaker, so in disagreeing with your above statement, the difference might be regional. However, at least in the Southern US we would absolutely say "Do you want a tea?" We do include the article with tea for sure. Iced tea is very common in the South, so this is something you would hear often at a restaurant for example.


I agree agree with you on your usage of it for very informal language ie. "wanna tea?" but this is very informal and probably not best learned for people speaking a foreign language. Better to learn properly and then slip ever further into bad habits :-)


I'm from England and i'd say 'a tea'. If you say 'do you want tea' it can mean dinner aswell


I'm from the UK and I often say "I'll have a tea please" when ordering at a cafe or restaurant, just the same as I would order a coffee.


in English one may also ask do you like coffee or tea in place of prefer


It has an afirmative entonation, not an interrogative one


I would say "Would you" + "prefer tea or coffee?" / "prefer a tea or a coffee?" as it is more polite.


Moreover, it is the way we offer something in English. "Do you prefer...?" is a inquiry about general preference. The presence of articles here suggest that this is an offer and that "Would you prefer...?" is the more correct translation.


Do you prefer...? = Você prefe...?

Would you prefer...? = Você preferiria...?


I was unsure whether to use prefirir or prefere here, but went for the former and was wrong. Google says prefere translates as prefers - are they wrong?


Duolingo is correct. Portuguese does not use inverted sentence order/ auxileries to ask questions, like English does, so you use the same sentence order for a statement. [you prefer coffee or tea] A question mark or a change of intonation when speaking makes this a question. So as você is 3rd person singular, you have to use ´prefere´- the 3rd person present form of preferir. Hope this helps.


So are the articles before tea and coffee required in this sentence or can they be omitted?


Can be omitted "você prefere chá ou café?"


They can be omitted but it changes the meaning.


I agree. Not mentioning that usually an offer would be made using verb "quer" (informal with potential to be interpreted as impolite) or "aceitar" (formal and polite).


In what way does it change the meaning please?


Well, I'm just referring to the English case here, but I assume it's similar in Portuguese. "a tea" or "a coffee" indicates that you're specifically offering a cup of something. Without using articles "Do you prefer tea or coffee?" might just be a question about general preference, too.


Okay. I was aware of the English difference, but thought you were referring to a specifically português difference. Thanks for the prompt response regardless :)


Is this a way of asking if someone wants tea or coffee, that is being served now? or is it a general question about which you like better? I assumed from the articles that tea and coffee were being offered, so wrote in idiomatic English, "Would you like tea or coffee?" Duolingo rejects that in favour of "Would you prefer tea or coffee?, which is a bit stilted usage in my area.


It can mean both things. As a native, reading the sentence here, I immediately think of the first situation, but it can work for both. Normally, we wouldn't use the articles for the second situation, but using them is pretty common in this kind of context (talking about foods or very known brands/things, stuff like that: "Você prefere Coca ou Pepsi?" == "Você prefere uma Coca ou uma Pepsi?" or "Você prefere Samsung ou Motorola?" == "Você prefere um Samsung ou um Motorola?"). They can have different meanings, but their different meanings do "overlap" in the right situations.

I agree with Duo on not accepting like because the sentence isn't really asking what you like - it's asking which one you prefer over the other: regardless of whether you like them and regardless of the situation (whether they're being served now).

I understand the like would be preferable if this was our first situation... But it may confuse learners regarding the meaning of those two verbs (which is already a little confusing since like and prefer are very close in meaning, so to speak).



Thank you. I was confused because in English we would not say "Would you prefer A tea or A coffee" normally and certainly not unless we were asking someone which one they want to drink right now. One of the struggles in learning another language. Obrigado!


To me the inclusion of the 'um' in front of the tea/coffee refers to a choice being given now. Hence it should be translated as Do you prefer a tea or a coffee [now]? Leaving that out simply makes it a general getting to know you question

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