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  5. "With or without water."

"With or without water."

Translation:Avec ou sans eau.

March 17, 2013



Isn't there supposed always to be an article - i.e l'eau...


Not always... you can say "avec de l'eau" but "sans" does not need an article.


http://www.languageguide.org/french/grammar/articles/articles.html, “Articles are frequently omitted after the prepositions avec, sans, sur, sous, par, and en.” this article may help us understand the answer, but "avec" is among the wordlist, so why we say "avec de l'eau" not "avec eau"?


It says articles are frequently omitted, but not that including them would be incorrect...?


"does not need" → so it should have been accepted "avec ou sans de l'eau ", shouldn´t it?


Unfortunately, in that case, the construction is the one coupled with the last preposition, so you can say: "avec de l'eau ou sans eau" or "avec ou sans eau" (as I said, "sans" does not need an article)


this is a real sincere question not just for the sake of arguing - - what if Im preparing something to be or not to be diluted in water, and I was gonna ask "with or without SOME water"? should some be replaced with "petite peu de (leau)"?


In that case "avec un petit peu d'eau ou sans (eau) ?" (with a little bit of water or without (any water)?)


merci beaucoup! what if there are a lot of liquid ingredients around, and then someone asks me "what do you want to add?" and I wanted to answer "a little bit of that / the water." Would it be right again to answer "un petit peu de leau"? Im asking because, you know, when writing a composition theres a difference between saying "Ill have a little bit of water" and "I`ll have a little bit of that / the water". :P And English and French have different constructions.. :P Merci!


If the English is (strictly) "a little bit of the water", you have to translate to "un petit peu de l'eau".


merci beaucoup!


sic! Thank you. I wrote "de l'eau"


if you can say "avec de l'eau, why was my translation, exactly this, marked wrong?


With can be written either avec or a in French. Yet, when I wrote, "A ou sans d'leau" why did I get this wrong? Avec and A are the same = with...right?


Only by exception does "with" translate to "à" (sandwich with cheese = sandwich au fromage)

Its primary equivalent is "avec" : Je me lave avec de l'eau =I wash with (some) water - this is partitive.

Yet, the expression is "avec ou sans eau" does not require any article.


SiteSurf, Thank you so much for the info on use of articles. I have copied it as you suggested. Your patience is amazing!


That is a fabulous bit of info Site Surf! Thanks for your concise and comprehensive explanation of articles. Greatly appreciated!


couldn't it also be "Avec ou dans d'eau"?


"dans d'eau" is not a correct construction. "dans de l'eau" would be grammatically correct, but with a different meaning. "without" = "sans"


avec ou sans d'eau


No, not correct: avec de l'eau ou sans eau (I know, this is not fair... another exception!)


just wondering if there is a rule I'm missing in order to remember when to use the articles or when I can leave them out...??


This one is tricky:

  • "avec du sucre (masc) / de l'alcool (masc + vowel) / de l'hydrogène (masc + mute H) / de la bière" / de l'eau (fem + vowel) / de l'huile (fem + mute H)

  • vs "sans sucre/alcool/hydrogène/bière/eau/huile".

But generally, the use of articles has elaborate rules (not mere rules of thumb) that you need to learn, because they are not intuitive at all for English speakers:

Please copy/paste what follows somewhere on your desktop so that you may refer to it when needed:

o INDEFINITE ARTICLE - "we are eating an apple" means "one apple", so "nous mangeons une pomme" (indefinite article, singular). - "we are eating apples" means "a certain number of apples", so "nous mangeons des pommes (indefinite article, plural).

NOTE: "des" changes to "de" in front of an adjective: "de belles pommes" or in a negative sentence: "je ne mange pas de pommes" (ne...pas, ne...plus, ne...jamais...)

o DEFINITE ARTICLE - "we are eating the apple" means "a specific apple", so "nous mangeons la pomme" (definite article, singular). - "we are eating the apples" means "these/specific apples", so "nous mangeons les pommes" (definite article, plural).

NOTE: articles le/la are elided in front of a word starting with a vowel or a non-aspired H: l'ami (masc), l'eau (fem), l'homme (masc), l'habitude (fem).

NOTE: in an address to a group, article "les" is mandatory: "salut les filles !" (hello girls!)

NOTE: in statements about a generality, article "le/la/les" is mandatory: "je n'aime pas le poulet" (I don't like chicken); it is a frequent case with maxims, proverbs, adages etc: "les hommes sont plus forts que les femmes" (men are stronger than women); "le chien est le meilleur ami de l'homme" (A dog is a man's best friend)

o DE + DEFINITE ARTICLE - "we are eating bread" means "a piece of bread, some bread", so "nous mangeons du pain (du = contraction of de + definite article le) - "we are eating meat" means "a portion of meat, some meat", so "nous mangeons de la viande (de + definite article)

NOTE: "de" does not need an article in expressions of quantity: "moins de, plus de, autant de, nombre de, beaucoup de, peu de, etc". That is valid for countable as well as uncountable objects (little/few, much/many...), nor in negative sentences: "je ne veux pas de soupe" = I don't want any soup


Fantastic, thank you!


if I don't misundertad avec uo sans eau/ suga/huile etc. . Could we say that we do not use articles with condiments or ingredients? thank you


After "sans", the article is dropped, whichever the object (food or other)

  • je pars sans chapeau, sans peur (fear), sans problème
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