"He drinks water."

Translation:Il boit de l'eau.

January 24, 2013

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/spacelime

I'm having some difficultly understanding the behavior of l'eau vs. d'eau/de l'eau. As I understand it;
He drinks the water : Il boit l'eau.
So why is it the same when the water is unspecific?
He drinks water : Il boit l'eau.
I was under the impression that d'eau and de l'eau were the correct expression for some water. If anyone can explain it to me I'd really appreciate it.

January 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Specific: il boit l'eau Unspecific (a certain quantity of water, some water) = il boit DE l'eau

So, there is a bug in this exercise, I think.

January 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/spacelime

Ah thank you. I thought I had misunderstood.

January 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lai_mesunda
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They now accept both "Il boit de l'eau" (unspecific) and "Il boit l'eau" (specific). Remembering another discussion thread, "d'eau" (unspecific) can be used if the said water was in a container. So can "d'eau" also be used here? It's most likely that a person drinks water from a container than, say... the rain.... or something...

June 7, 2013

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o "boire l'eau" : drink the water. Same meaning as in English, ie, not water in general, but the water that is identified (the one on the table for ex.). Since "eau" (feminine noun) starts with a vowel, you have to "elide" the definite article and use an apostrophe, to ease the pronounciation (LO instead of LA-O).

o "boire de l'eau" is the way to mean "drink (some) water", ie a certain quantity of water. The construction is "de + definite article". Note that, again, the article was elided (de l' =de la).

o "boire d'eau" is only used in negative sentences: "je ne veux pas boire d'eau". Here, for the same reason as before "de" is elided, and the meaning is the same as above (unspecific water).

Note1: "un seau d'eau et un verre d'eau" is "a bucket of water and a glass of water", respectively. "De" here indicates the content of the noun (seau, verre). "un robinet d'eau" (as opposed to "un robinet de gaz") indicates its function.

Note2: with expressions of quantity: plus d'eau, moins d'eau, beaucoup d'eau, un peu d'eau, peu d'eau, autant d'eau... "de" (elided) is used without article.

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/lai_mesunda
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Thank you, especially for clarifying the use of that misunderstood "d'eau"!

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/reklar

Why not du here?

April 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Because "eau" is a feminine noun (de la) and starting with a vowel (de l' )

April 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MadmDePompadour

Boit-il l'eau should be accepted as an appropriate answer.

June 20, 2013

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No, because it is not appropriate.

"boit-il l'eau ?" (with a question mark) is a question (does he drink water? or is he drinking water?), whereas "il boit l'eau" is a statement (he drinks water or he is drinking water).

June 20, 2013
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