"Water is indispensable to us."
Translation:L'eau est indispensable pour nous.
As others have commented, nous is an indirect pronoun and therefore comes before the verb. source = http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indirectobjects.htm
I haven't see such a sentence before in French. Altough this feature exists in Greek as well (for example "Το νερό μάς είναι απαραίτητο" is the same with "Το νερό είναι απαραίτητο για μας"), we don't use it so often, mainly because of the verb "to be". It may be harder for English speakers to understand why "nous" is there. But I guess it's the same with "L'eau est indispensable pour nous".
@nz6s, at https://www.thoughtco.com/french-indirect-objects-1368865, why is there "a" in front of "ecrit" in the following : She wrote to me. Elle m'a écrit. Why isnt it, "il m'ecrit".
It's because the past tense being used is called Passé composé (Compound Past). It uses the past participle of the verb écrire (which is écrit) with an auxiliary verb (avoir). A handful of verbs use être as the auxiliary verb. This tense may be translated into English as Simple Past or Present Perfect. It looks like this:
- Elle écrit = she writes (simple present), she is writing (present continuous)
- Elle a écrit = she wrote (simple past), she has written (present perfect)
- Elle m'écrit = she writes to me (or) she is writing to me
- Elle m'a écrit = she wrote to me (or) she has written to me
The Passé composé is actually very straightforward when you get the hang of it. See here:
Because in French, there must always be an article or some kind of determiner in front of the noun. In this case, it is just the notion of water in general so it must be "l'eau". Take a look here: https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-french-articles-1368810