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"L'eau nous est indispensable."

Translation:Water is indispensable to us.

January 5, 2013

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deldar182

I don't understand the structure- would it not be "l'eau est indispensable (a nous)" or something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is indeed what it means, but pronoun "nous" needs to be placed before the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nijuniro

but is that the only possiblity or either are correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"nous" before the verb is the correct form and preferable (more fluid). If the object is not a pronoun, you put it afterwards: "l'eau est indispensable à notre santé"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malamuse530

Great explanation and example - thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InvertedGo

Could you put it after if you were stressing that it was specifically us?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, with a change in the preposition: L'eau est indispensable pour nous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

Would someone mind providing another example (or a few) of using 'nous' in this way? As far as I know, using pronouns like this hasn't been shown thus far in Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf
  • xxx nous est utile (useful to us)
  • xxx nous est agréable (nice to us)
  • xxx nous est recommandé (recommended to us)
  • xxx nous est impossible (impossible to/for us)
  • xxx nous est autorisé (allowed to us)

enough?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

So 'xxx' could be replaced with any noun (and article) and 'nous' could be replaced with any pronoun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

yes, 'xxx' can be any noun and the pronouns (indirect objects) can be:

me/m', te/t', lui (both masc and fem), nous, vous, leur (both masc and fem)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GraemeSarg

Can you do this with any intransitive verb?
(According to Larousse, être is intransitive)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I answered you on another thread.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r0c_87

"Nous" here is an indirect object. In english it means "to us,' with l'eau being the subject. Il nous parle, for example, has the same structure and means "He speaks to us" in english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattriccimusic

"To us, the water is vital". I get that "water" in general is the better answer, but "l'eau" can't mean "THE water" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

If you say: "l'eau est froide", it won't be a generality and then you can translate it to "the water is cold", which refers to specific water (already mentioned or implicitly pointed to).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ketutsf

But imagine that you are packing for a hike. Your partner feels that his pack is too heavy and starts to remove the water bottles. In that context, could you not say "L'eau nous est indispensable," referring specifically to the water you packed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, that is right, this is why "the" is optional in English (generality or specificity) but not in French where both generality and specificity need a definite article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AFineLion

Really bad audio enunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I have just listened to it: frankly there is nothing wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lpacker

She doesn't enunciate the "t" at the end of "est". That seems to happen a lot here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/klooth

I'm not sure why the downvotes, you make a good point.

The following link seems to indicate that the liaison after "est" is optional, but more likely to be heard in formal than everyday speech.

http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-o.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vamagman

I always thought "est" was pronounced "eh", but the male speaker here seems mostly to pronounce the 't' at the end of the word--'et'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, the male voice is marking the liaison "est-T-indispensable" that is necessary to avoid the vowel conflict [eh-in].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barbie21144

I thought water should be pronounced more like "low" than "lu"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"low" has a diphthong, that l'eau does not have.

The sound is "lô", not "lö" either.

Please check it on forvo.com


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnetteKelly

Thank you for that. My American ears can't recognize the small differences in pronunciation without these corrections.

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