"My cat drinks milk."
Translation:Мій кіт п'є молоко.
Just wondering: what does the apostrophe in п'є mean? Why is it there - does it change the pronunciation? I've seen it a few times now and I'm still not sure what it means. Does it have to be there - for example could п'є and пє be different words with different meanings? Or does that never happen?
The apostrophe there means that /p/ and /je/ sounds are pronounced separately.
In its abscence /p/ turns into its palatalised version /pʲ/ (the same consonants pronounced with the middle of your tongue very high), so the word sounds like /pʲe/.
As for different words, I cannot give you any, maybe a native speaker could help. Given that most words would be longer than in English, such collisions might be be unlikely. An apostrophe just reflects the pronunciation.
Shady_arc explained how it affects pronunciation. When do you have to put it? Well, you can think of an apostrophe as a part of a spelling of a particular word. You can usually meet it after м, в, п, ф, б, р and before я, ю, є, ї, between prefix and я, ю, є, ї, in some compounds word. There are a lot of different rules, but you'd better just memorize a word with an apostrophe in it.
You also may hear a difference of the pronunciation:
in Russian пять http://forvo.com/word/%D0%BF%D1%8F%D1%82%D1%8C/#ru
in Ukrainian п'ять http://forvo.com/word/%D0%BF%27%D1%8F%D1%82%D1%8C/#uk
And like manner in other words.
I hate to ask dumb questions, but following on this one, where do you find the apostrophe on the Ukrainian keyboard? It's the only one I haven't been able to locate yet