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  5. "I like beer, but I do not dr…

"I like beer, but I do not drink it."

Translation:Me gusta la cerveza, pero no la bebo.

December 27, 2012



why do you need a definate article in this case? Me gusta LA cerveza, pero no la bebo.


I don't know the exact rule for this construction, perhaps it is because is reflexive. but it doesn't work without them. "me gusta cerveza" is totally incorrect in Spanish.

I say you about reflexives because if I use a verb like "comer" I can say "Yo como fruta", but if I use it as reflexive I must use the article: "Me como la/una fruta"


It is my understanding that the verb gustar uses an indirect object. I don't see how it is reflexive. 'to me the beer is pleasing' 'to me' (me meaning to me). I understand the reflexive use of verbs. They all end in 'se'.


Gustar is an unusual Spanish verb. When "Gustarse" has that pronoun attached at the end, the meaning is "to like it." If another pronoun is attached, then the meaning changes. For example, "gustarme" = "to like me" and "sentarlo" = "to regret it." (Remember, however, that "Lo siento" = "I regret it" literally, but translates colloquially to "I'm sorry.") Also, the verb "gustar" converts its object into the sentence's subject when it is translated into English.

I haven't got all the puzzle pieces yet, but as jfgordy stated, "gustar" = "to like" (the connotative meaning) or "to be pleasing" (the literal translation and denotative meaning). So, when "I like beer, but I do not drink it" is translated to Spanish, it literally means "The beer (it) is pleasing to me." Why? Because if you were to substitute a pronoun for the word "beer," that pronoun would be "it," and the sentence would be "It is pleasing to me."

Unlike their English counterparts, it is a grammatical rule of Spanish that Spanish indirect objects (IOs) must have an "indirect object pronoun," sometimes called a clitic pronoun, come before the predicate of the sentence, even when the indirect object itself is a noun. In Spanish, this is not redundant. Rather, it is grammatical Spanish. See:


So, the sentence Me gusta la cerveza, pero no la bebo" says, "To me, the beer is pleasing, but I don't drink it." In the English parsing of the sentence, the Spanish DO (dir. obj.), which is "beer" has been turned into the subject of sentence. Another way of translating the Spanish to English would be "The beer is pleasing to me, but I don't drink it." Notice that this still retains the direct object translated as the subject. However, what the second translation has done is to leave the IO pronoun "me" after the verb, as it must be positioned in English syntax. When the IO "me" is left after the verb, the English translation can also be "The Beer pleases me, but I don't drink it" or "I like beer, but I don't drink it."


So are you saying this is correct depending on the context? If you are holding a beer in your hand and you comment explicitly on that beer you just tasted, you would put the article, but if you are generally speaking (i.e. I like [all] beer) it's ok?


No, It is incorrect always, we don't say "Me gusta cerveza" we always use the article, don't mind if we are talking about a concrete beer or generally.

It doesn't happen the same if we are using non reflexive verbs like "beber", we say "Bebo cerveza", but if we are using the reflexive form (reflexive is a verb that the action is done to the subject, similar to use "-self" in English), then we say always with article "Me bebo la cerveza"


If they always use the article, then why does Duolingo allow omission of articles in various sentences similar to this? And why do they often speak without the article?


. It frustrating to get the articles right. The first rule mentioned several places is if used in English use it Then you will find more specific rules. Here's a link


Now if we look again at this sentence we don't say we like the beer based on the translation shown. We like beer in general, not a specific. So why add it here. There must be a rule. In Spanish the sentence is beer is pleasing to me but I do not drink it.

I think its very subtle vague in this sentence. Notice we have it or more specifically la that actually replaces the word beer. My opinion is that by identifying the pronoun with the subject noun we are making it a specific beer and therefore the definite article is appropriate. And that's just how its said.

Subject and object nouns are in n most cases going to require an article. Exceptions mentioned are after ser, en, de when the article isn't required. I noticed that infinitives usually take an article and with jugar a it follows the noun (this comes up on another discussion).

The reference to DL and the audio omitting articles. I haven't found any problems. Is it perhaps the combining sounds that make it appear as if the article is being dropped. They fix any mistakes if reported.


Thanks for the link; I bookmarked it yesterday.

As far as the omission of articles I was speaking of, it wasn't on the audio portions - they were either on the multiple choice or writing parts. There doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern here for when articles are allowed to be omitted or not. It's frustrating and confusing for those of us who know enough Spanish to recognize when we haven't done anything wrong - and/or when the system has.

Overall, however, I enjoy the daily practice I can get with Duolingo - and that the site is generally responsive to fixing whatever errors are found.


I believe you are right, rmcgwn, when you say that the clitic pronoun must match the gender of the literal noun it replaces. See:



Ah, so if I wanted to say "I, myself, drink beer," by using the pronoun 'myself/me' I am required to use the article! Whereas if I was using only a conjugated verb to state that "I am or he is (doing something)," i.e. bebo or bebe cerveza, or como or come manazanas, the article is unnecessary!

Is this correct, amigo?!

Is a statement like "Tú la bebes," as in "You drink it," whereby 'it' refers to beer, correct?


In English, we use a noun with no determiner to connote a generic meaning, and "the" to talk about something specific. However in Spanish, a noun feels "naked" if there's no determiner or other type of modifier before it, so "el/la/los/las" can be either specific, like English "the," or generic, like an English noun with no determiner.


Is there some rule or even fuzzy logic that can hint as to whether or not a Spanish noun needs a 'determiner?' Is it safe in Spanish to always use a definite article when referring to a noun 'generically?'


I found this link helpful, but still does not answer all my questions. I read that it is easier to remember when NOT to use the definite article than it is to remember when to use it. http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/intro_def_art.htm http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/use_def_art.htm


"A" as in "a table" is the indefinite article and "the" is the definite article. So, any single apple is "an apple" and more than one apple is "some apples" or a few apples" or "many apples." In other words, which apple is indefinite but the number is specific with "a/an" (singular) or "some" (plural). Likewise, if I point to one specific apple and say, "Pick up the apple," I mean one and only one apple. In terms of plurality: some specific apples are "those/these/many/a few," etc.

As undeadgoat suggested, English nouns can be used without determiners/articles in order to denote categories. These nouns can be singular or plural in number, depending on the category, and are generic but definite (as opposed to indefinite). Singular: "Do you like fruit?" is asking if you prefer one specific category (the set of all fruit), not if you prefer one kind of fruit, such as an orange. It is important to remember that fruit is a noun with a plural or singular meaning. So, if we were in a kitchen with apples in a bowl on the table, and I asked, "Do you want fruit?" then the word "fruit" would have a singular meaning in context because most people eat one apple at a time.

In Spanish, this is somewhat reversed. For instance, the English "He is a policeman" gets translated into the Spanish "Él es policia." Not only does Spanish drop the article "la" before "policia," Spanish also uses the generic "policia" to indicate both the singular "policeman" and the plural "policemen."

Conversely, Spanish sometimes uses plurals when English uses singulars, so Spanish has the plural "Los sabados, comemos turrón," while English has "On Sunday, we eat nougat." In this example, the plural article/determiner "los" is the Spanish equivalent of the English preposition "on."

Finally, researching the answer to this question, I discovered when, and when not, to use the personal "a." Quite simply, if the sentence is intransitive, then do not use the personal "a." If the sentence is transitive (i.e., has a direct object), then you should use the personal "a" before a noun/name of something that is living. I am not sure if this is always true, but all of the examples on this website are transitive. See:



The sentence is referring to beer IN GENERAL, which requires the definite article. I.e. dogs are pretty = "LOS perros son bonitos", because you are speaking generally about dogs. He speaks to women = "Èl habla a LAS mujeres" (women are generality).

A good rule of thumb is if you can add "in general" after your noun, it requires the definite article. "I like beer (in general), but I do not drink it"


You need the definite article because the beer is the subject here. Remember, gustar is one of those funny verbs whose syntax is backwards. It's isn't that "you like beer" ... it is that "THE beer delights you".. Without the definite article 'cerveza' could be more than just beer. It could be someone's nickname, the name of a movie, etc... In English we don't require them because, well, English is extremely difficult and I have no explanation.


Triente comentarios del sujeto de la cervaza. Tengo sed. ¿Y tú, mis compañeros?


"no la bebo" I'm trying to figure out why its la and not lo. How do we know which one to use? La is the indirect object pronoun for he, her or it correct? I am getting confused I must admit.


I think the difference between "lo" and "la" is that they indicate male and female genders, respectively. Since "cerveza" is feminine, you use 'la." If the noun was masculine, it would be "lo."


I replied and then deleted because I found this link that explained it for me. Here's the link should anyone else want to read up on lo and la http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/dopro1.htm

Damalojo you were right "However, if the direct object of the sentence changes to a masculine noun, the masculine pronoun must be used" and I learned this as well "Likewise, if the direct object of the sentence changes from singular to plural, the plural pronoun must be used."

Makes perfect sense now. Thanks.


The "la" refers to the beer which is feminine, therefore, you use "la" in lieu of lo.


Both "lo" and "la" can be used for "it"?


I think yes. If you know that the gender of the "it" is female, you use 'la', and when you don't know it for certain, use 'lo'. :)


Thanks caiser. Every bit helps.


what does "reflexive" mean?


A verb where the action is "reflected" on the person performing it. In Spanish, you will easily recognize the verbs "llamarse", "arreglarse", "peinarse". Notice how "se" is attached to the verb in the infinitive tense. "Se" is then replaced by: "me, te, se, nos, os, se" in accordance with the person/s doing the action. Remember "yo me llamo, tú te llamas, etc"?


Does anyone know the rule for placement of the ''no'' before the direct object ''la'' which is referring to the beer (cerveza)? I answered - Me gusta la cerveza, pero la no bebo. Do object pronouns have to stay with their conjugated verb?


Yes. The word "clitic" basically means "prefix/suffix"; if a clitic pronoun goes with a present-tense verb, it must always immediately precede it. I always like to think that if Spanish had been recently discovered by linguistic anthropologists, rather than having a continuous written history back to Latin, we'd probably write it "labebo" or "la-beb-o" and "literally translate" it as "it [feminine direct object]-drink-I [subject]."


You specified "present tense verb." Am I inferring correctly that you mean that infinitives can have the pronouns attached at the end and only present tense verbs must have clitic pronouns preceding them? Don't all verbs that have objects, whatever their tenses, need the clitic pronoun?


What is the rule for deciding to use me, or Yo for I.


Why is it not bebolo? Should there be an indefinite article here?


I want to drink it = Quiero beberla. You can add the pronoun to a verb when there are two verbs and the second is an infinitive. "La" because I am referring to beer (a feminine noun) here.


We do have but it's la not lo because cerveza is feminine. Now I haven't learned this part yet so don't hold feet to the fire but I believe if you add la/lo/le to a word that word must be in infinitive so bebo wouldn't be right. So if someone else will jump in here can we use beberla that even looks weird to type so I don't think so. Help.


Clitic pronoums are complex for a non native speaker, you can put them after the verb with

  • infinitives and gerunds, always after the verb "cogerlo, cogiendolo" except when you have two verb then it can be afer or before "lo sabe coger, sabe cogerlo"
  • Imperative form, alwayas after: "cógelo"

There are many more rules but I think that these two rules are enough to begin to use clitic pronoums

If you put the pronoum after the verb in other cases it sounds archaic or that you are from North West of Spain, they still use pronoums after verb in many ocassions.


zach.anglin: an indefinite article would be 'un or una' or 'unas or unos'; I think you meant direct object pronoun:)


Is it way wrong or unnatural to say "La cerveza me gusta?"


I used "mas" instead of "pero" for the word "but" not to be so monotone. However it is not accepted in this sentence. Are not those two words "mas" and "pero" equal? Is "mas" not common in colloquial language? Can someone explain it?


"mas" in this context as a conjunction does seem to indeed be correct but its not common.You may want to report it.


http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm read this part all your questions are here . it's so useful for this part of the grammar


Thank you kindly, that was quite helpful.


I thought that "sino" also means "but", like "pero", but it doesn't accept it, do you know why?


'sino' means but, but in a different kind of way; I found a reference and it explains the difference better than I can. 'sino' can be use to contrast a negative with a positive and can even be a noun. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/sino


Thank you, this helps :)


why would 'yo gusto cerveza pero yo no la bebo' be wrong?


Does the verb gustar change according to who is doing the liking or who is being liked?


Why is ME GUSTA CERVEZA wrong???


I'm not entirely sure, but I'll take a guess!

In English I like beer and I like the beer have two different meanings and/or imply two distinct contexts; the latter statement assumes that the other person knows which beer is (being referred to as) the beer.

I'm going to assume that, if the Spanish phrase Me gusta la cerverza cannot encapsulate the meanings of both English phrases (I like beer and I like the beer, depending on the context of a given situation/conversation of course), in Spanish you might say something like "Me gusta Corona" because I can't imagine a native Spanish speaker saying something like "Me gusta la Corona."

But if the Spanish phrase "Me gusta la cerverza" can mean I like beer AND I like the beer, necessarily it all boils down to the context of a given situation.

It would be cool to know what a native speaker thinks about this!


Why is: La cerveza me gusta, pero no la bebo, graded as incorrect?


Probably a stupid question, but why is it "Me gusta" and not "Me gusto" when you are trying to say "I like"?


This was probably already answered in the comments:

Gustar is "to be pleasing to someone" -- what is pleasing, and who is pleased by it?

The cat is pleasing to me ("I like the cat")

The cat - singular noun = gusta. It is pleasing.

Who is pleased by it? Me! I am an indirect object.

Me gusta el gato.

"Me gusto" would mean "I like myself"


“Yes we drank beer, my friends and I, boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer, I like beer, I still like beer, we drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school people were legal to drink. Yeah, we drank beer, and I said sometimes, sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers. We drank beer, I like beer,” Kavanaugh said.


Why isn't "Me gusta cerveza, pero no la bebo" correct? It is beer in general....

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