"Voglio bere qualcosa."

Translation:I want to drink something.

September 29, 2013



I started with the 'right' translation, but then I thought that no one would ever say that in English, so i went with 'I want something to drink', and was marked wrong. Is the sentence given actually good Italian, as the supposed English equivalent is rubbish?

March 10, 2015


Just like in English, in Italian there is a distinction between "I want to drink something" ("Voglio bere qualcosa") and "I want something to drink" ("Voglio qualcosa da bere"). It's a difference between wanting to drink and wanting a drink.

December 13, 2016


There is a difference in meaning between the two forms, although in many cases they could both be used.

"I want to drink something" ("Voglio bere qualcosa") has the emphasis on the drinking. Implies that I already have the drink, or can easily get it myself. Also implies that I am thirsty and want to drink it now.

"I want something to drink" ("Voglio qualcosa da bere") has the emphasis on wanting it, ie. wanting to have it in my possesion. Implies that I do not already have it, perhaps asking someone to bring me a drink. Does not necessarily mean that I am thirsty - perhaps I want to have it prepared to take it with me to drink later.

Often both forms are applicable, such as if I need to get the drink (or am asking for one), and want to drink it straight away. However if I already have a selection of drinks in front of me, it would not make sense to say "I want something to drink". If I want to pack a bottle of water into my rucksack to go out, it would not make sense to say "I want to drink something".

June 26, 2018


I think you are being overly pedantic and your implied distinction between 'to' and 'a' is not something that a UK English speaker would agree with. Both statements imply you are thirsty so I cannot see a clear distinction (not does my wife who was a teacher for 37 years and studied language development). US English may be consider them to be distinct from one another but any difference is far too subtle for a basic DL foreign language course and only leads to frustration and annoyance for the inconsistent appoach that DL takes to literal and paraphrasing translations

December 27, 2016


I agree entirely. I have taught English all my life (in England) and I see no distinction. Very little notice is taken on this Italian course of points made by British people,

December 27, 2016

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tekkytyke, i hear you. though remember duolingo is largely built by volunteers. i don't think they are trying to frustrate or confuse folks.

December 31, 2016


Speaking of pedantic...

April 21, 2017


The same is true in American English. "I want to drink something" and "I want something to drink" would be considered equivalent in meaning and entirely interchangeable in most contexts. (There my be a few contexts in which they had ever-so-slightly different connotations, but those are rare.) The only difference I can see between them is that "I want something to drink" sounds more natural, whereas "I want to drink something" sounds like something you are more likely to read in a book than to hear in everyday conversation.

May 16, 2017


Your answer is good, "I want something to drink." It's how I'd say it.

April 17, 2017


"I want to drink something" is also good; I might say it (native US). Depends on the context and the personality of the speaker.

April 22, 2017



July 1, 2015


Why is "I want something to drink" not accepted?

September 29, 2013


"Voglio qualcosa da bere". Maybe they didn't think of that, maybe they drew the line.

September 29, 2013


I agree, this program is VERY inconsistent when it comes to "Anglicising" translations. In English, you would generally say "I want something to drink". I''m reporting it.

May 22, 2014


Because it's not literally what's being stated - Viaggiatore has already given the correct translation of your sentence. True, they have equivalent meanings, but are not exactly the same thing written/sounding ;)

May 29, 2014


Really? Is not the cardinal rule of translation that it must make sense to the receiver? Try translating from English "the trouble and strife gave me and me china Barry White for dinner last night" directly word for word into Italian and getting even remotely near the actual perceived meaning.

June 18, 2014


that sentence doesn't even make sense in english! so I don't think I'll be attempting to translate it anytime soon ;)

I'm not following how this is adding to the discussion of this very simple statement/translation… I find duo is more forgiving with the more complicated sentences, tends to be more literal with simple ones such as this. As I had said, the literal translation is the one that's accepted; sure, sometimes Duo will take an equivalent statement as a correct translation, but often times (such as here) it does not. As can be plainly seen from Viaggiatore's comment, the two statements have different italian translations, so it would be best for beginning students to recognize this fact instead of getting so bummed about making a mistake. I don't think a professor of italian would accept "I want something to drink" for "voglio bere qualcosa," so why should it be accepted here?

June 18, 2014


No, it's not, but only non-native speakers use the constructions they want in English.

June 2, 2016


Literal meanings are irrelevant "I want something to drink" is probably more common English in usage, means the same and would be understood in any language. It needs adding as a correct translation

February 14, 2016


"I want something to drink" is not a good translation? Why is that? Please help me :)

October 5, 2016


There are different mesnings: "I want to drink something" - you want a beverage of some sort. "I want something to drink" - you may want a straw or a soups poon.

December 12, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Sorry that is wrong. 'I want something to drink with' would be what you could have said if you wanted a straw or a spoon. 'I want something to drink' OR 'I want to drink something' DO mean the same in English

    December 12, 2016


    OK. I'll accept that.

    December 18, 2016


    So annoying that DL does not accept "I want something to drink." Their given version is so very unnatural - why do the people on this Italian course never heed native English speakers?

    December 26, 2016


    What's wrong with "I want something to drink"?

    December 26, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      Nothing whatsoever. That is the way most people would say it in English. I suppose DL are using the literal translation from the word order in Italian, but I would have thought that the whole point of learning a language is to understand that although word order may differ between languages it still conveys the same meaning.

      December 27, 2016


      Perhaps it is a basic sentence that can be built onto - I want to drink something...hot (di caldo) something cold.. (di freddo) etc. Giving you conversational building blocks to expand on.

      February 17, 2017


      Why I can't say: I want to drink anything. ? Why must be "something" and not "anything"?

      March 11, 2017


      This is a very tricky bit of English. You would say "anything" when it was negative. So it is: "I want to drink something" but "I don't want to drink anything."

      March 11, 2017


      "I want something to drink" should be accepted as correct also.

      August 29, 2018


      I want doesn't get...

      June 7, 2016


      I want something to drink.... .ehhhh, no you don't you're wrong

      June 13, 2016


      If qualcosa means "something" or "something else" according to the drop down translation, why is is wrong to translate this as " I want to drink something else":? Only wish there was a little more explanation and so many points.... As others have said, we wouldn't ever say "I want to drink something" ...

      February 23, 2017


      "Something else" would be "qualcos'altro." "Qualcosa" by itself does not have this meaning.

      February 23, 2017


      Thank you - Will change my notes!

      February 24, 2017


      What is the difference between beve and bere

      April 5, 2017


      Bere is the infinitive - to drink. Beve is the 3rd person singular of the present tense of the verb Bere. Lui/lei beve; .. he/she drinks or is drinking This is basic verb stuff, any verb book will explain it.

      April 5, 2017


      I want to drink anything. What's wrong on that?

      May 1, 2017


      One of Duolingo's little foibles is these totally unrealistic translations. In the Subjunctive section they have a literal translation which reads 'it is not necessary that you out out the hand'. No English speaker would say that but it's Duolingo and it's free!

      August 27, 2017


      Thanks for the answer Jeni!

      August 28, 2017


      As a native speaker of English (American) I would interpret "I want to drink something" as equivalent in meaning to "I want something to drink." The only difference is that the former isn't the word ordering a native speaker of English would normally use. I can't even think of a context in which I would say "I want to drink something."

      June 25, 2017


      We might be in a restaurant or a bar. I would look over the menu and then turn to you saying, "I want to drink something, but I can't decide.. What are you having?"

      June 25, 2017


      I put, "I want something to drink." Which is the more natural way an American would say this. It wasn't accepted, but I've put in for it to be

      August 26, 2017


      The two translations are equivalent in meaning, and since the point of language is to communicate "meaning," I think either should be acceptable. Both are grammatically correct.

      July 30, 2018


      DL: This is a distinction without a difference. Accept both your version and "I want something to drink". Sometimes word order does make a difference; not this time.

      November 26, 2018
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