"With or without water."
Translation:Avec ou sans eau.
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"?
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 l
eau"? Im asking because, you know, when writing a composition there
s 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!
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.
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