I made the same mistake, but I think it's because 'elefanter' is indefinite. Taking Swedish, "Elephants" is "elefanter" and "the elephants" is "elefanterna".
My confusion stems from a verb's double-meaning. Ex: "drikker" means either "drinks" or "is/are drinking" and "What are elephants drinking?" is poor English, so I added a "the" to make it work...but it didn't because it wasn't a definite plural noun.
"the elephants" is elefantene in Norsk, so "What are the elephants drinking?" would be "Hva drikker elefantene." :)
Correct me if I am wrong, though. I don't want to give false information.
I don't really understand this one or how it corresponds to"What do elephants drink?" There's no 'do' there. Literally, it is: "what" "drinks, is drinking" "elephants". Maybe I'm overthinking it?
While English uses (to) do as an auxiliary verb in questions, other Germanic languages like Norwegian or German, for instance, don't. Hence there is no need to translate it.
Could you explain the difference between "what are the elephants drinking" and "what is drinking the elephants"
You can think of slightly older-english constructions: what meanst thou? How fare thee? Et cetera
How can you tell the difference between "What is drinking the elephant" and "What is the elephant drinking"?
I am still a bit confused on how "What are the elephants drinking?" isn't accepted, none of the answers I've read here have fully explained it to me. Can someone explain it, please?
"Elefanter" is the indefinite form. "The elephants" would be "elefantene".
I also made the mistake "What are the elephants drinking?" but I do see now that it was indefinite..... Also buying a round of drinks in Norway for a herd of elephants would be quite expensive.
It should work; the sentence "Hva drikker elefanter?" means both "What do elephants drink?" and "What are elephants drinking?". Report it!
I see a likeness between norsk and Chinese in that they are both efficient languages. Both languages leave a lot of the little words like it and to out and imply them instead from the sentences context. Works for me anyway. I struggle with French and Italian which do the opposite.
Before you continue, here's some spelling advice: Don't write 'strawberries' as 'strawberrys'. This is from the German course.