Tomar vs. Beber

Brian--216

Brian--216

What is the difference between tomar and beber? In the beginning lessons, when asking for a drink, tomar is used. When using an online translator, beber is used.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Brian, Both are correct and the choice depends on regional differences. When I go out to a Latino restaurant I order in Spanish and regarding what I want to drink, I am always asked: ¿Para tomar? That is at Mexican and Central American restaurants. I believe in Spain and some other countries it would be beber . You would be understood using either one. Saludos, Ricardo
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

When we are first learning these "which word do I use" things can be frustrating. But consider all of the different ways that we have to say the same things in English. Some of them have subtle little differences, some have regional differences (pop vs. cola vs. soda), others are just different ways to say exactly the same thing. Just part of the learning process.
Brian--216

Brian--216

Gracias Dan y Ricardo! I appreciate the clarification. I guess the hardest part in the beginning is getting out of the habit of the English way of communicating.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Brian: De Nada! Awhile back I read some really good advice when learning Spanish: try to focus on Spanish phrases rather than word for word translations. This has helped me avoid some of the frustration when encountering sentences where word for word or literal translations just don't make sense.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola, Sí de nada Brian. Dan has offered some good advice and I agree that one should not seek literal translations. Regarding tomar and beber, beber is to drink and tomar is used that way as well, but tomar has many many other uses, while beber is just to drink. I find that kind of thing fascinating. A couple of favorites: muñeca can be the wrist or a doll. Fresa can be a strawberry or a dentist's drill and "preppy". ¡Viva español! Saludos, Ricardo
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

My favorite is taco as food and also means traffic jam.
Brian--216

Brian--216

One more usage question: que or cual? When do you use que, and when do use cual for a "what" question?
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Good question, Brian. I have been caught out on that one a lot. I don't know the right answer, but it seems like Spanish might be a little more precise in using cual when the question is asking for a choice between 2 or more things, whereas we English speakers are a little more free to use either qual or qué.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola amigos, If you ask, ¿Qué es tu nombre? That would be asking for a definition of "nombre" My name is a word that people use when they call me. ¿Cuál es tu nobre? Mi nombre es Ricardo. Which is my name from the world of names. Qué is usually trying to elicit a definition and cúal aks for for a selection from possible answers ¿Cúal es el problema? What is the problem? Generally qué procedes a noun and Cuál a verb. ¿Que vestido prefieres? Prefiero el vestido largo .Which dress do you prefer? I prefer the long one. ¿Cúal prefieres? Prefiero el vestido largo.Which one do you prefer? I prefer the long one. I have paraphrased from one of the D. Richmond books ad I hope this helps. Saludos, Ricardo
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

This really helps. Thanks. What is the difference between "Come se llama?" and "Cual es tu nombre". I hear the "Como se llama" more.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Aurora, They both mean the same thing and yes "Como se llama" is far more common. I imagine maybe if you were opening an account or something, you might be asked formally ¿Cual es su nombre? Saludos, Ricardo
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

Thanks. I actually discussed your answer to my freshman in high school granddaughter and she agreed that it makes sense. Again muchas gracias.
Brian--216

Brian--216

Thanks again for the explanations! Ricardo, I'm still trying to fully digest your fantastically detailed response!
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Brian, De nada amigo. Though not perfectly, I am fairly comfortable with the distinctions between qué and cúal, which took me awhile. I chose to paraphrase from the Richmond book as I thought that might offer a better explanation than my own. If you have any questions regarding this, I will do my best do help. Any opportunity for discussion amongst the RS community is something I always welcome. We're all here to learn and help each other and that's wonderful. ¿Verdad? Saludos, Ricardo
Brian--216

Brian--216

Hola Ricardo! I appreciate any help at this stage. What is the book you're referencing?
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Brian, The book is titled "Spanish Pronouns And Prepositions" by Dorothy Richmond. I also have her book "Spanish Verb Tenses". Both are from the excellent McGraw Hill "Practice Makes Perfect" series. In addition to those, I have "The Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs" and the " Spanish Subjunctive Up Close" which are also from McGraw Hill. I refer to these books regularly and to the "Big Red Book" daily. I found all of these on Amazon, new and at a fraction of the list price. Saludos , Ricardo
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

I realize I have the "Practice Makes Perfect" Complete Spanish Grammar Second Edition by Gilda Nissenberg PhD. McGraw Hill Education. I haven't even opened it yet. I looked up the Reflexive verbs and I guess I should start using it.

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