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  5. "Water is a drink."

"Water is a drink."

Translation:L'eau est une boisson.

March 2, 2018

17 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naly903624

Shouldn't it be "De l'eau est une boisson"?

March 2, 2018

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

That would translate to "Of the (or some) water is a drink". The partitive article (here de l' ) is only required when the noun is refered to in a sentence such as
"I am drinking water" → "Je bois de l'eau".

Nouns almost never appear without articles in French. When an article is missing in an English sentence, it must be added to the French translation.

The definite article can be used to fill this void before the subject of a sentence to state general truths about it.

To learn more about when to use articles read the Tips Notes here:

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Food

March 2, 2018

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

Does that mean if the noun does not have a verb attached to it (like in your example, "I am drinking water"), then the noun will simply have "le" or "la" before it?

March 10, 2018

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

That's correct. As in the given exercise, "Water is a drink", we cannot simply translate it to "Eau est une boisson". eau here requires an article and as it is a feminine noun but starts with a vowel, we must say "L'eau est une boisson".

I hope that helps. ☺

March 10, 2018

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

Thank you so much! :)

March 10, 2018

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

De rien.
I should also mention that, when preceded by a verb of "appreciation", du, de la or de l' * change to le, la or l' * To borrow Nicholas' examples below:
Il préfère la bière. - He prefers beer. (not the beer Je déteste le vin. - I detest wine. (not the wine) Elle aime la pluie. - She likes rain. (not the rain) J'aime les légumes. - I like vegetables. (not the vegetables.

Hope that helps too. ☺

March 10, 2018

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

The English sentence in the exercise is misleading. Water can be a solid, liquid or a gas. Furthermore, not all types of liquid water can be drunk. What the English sentence is really saying is that in general, water can be drunk or simply: water can be drunk

Now if you want to make generalities in French (whether true or false) then the following two rules apply

Rule 1

Generalities associated with uncountable nouns will use either le or la and generalities for countable nouns will use les.

examples

l'eau est un solide - water is a solid (clearly a false statement)
l'eau est essentielle à la vie – water is essential for life.
la bière est une bonne boisson quand vous avez chaud et soif - beer is a great drink when you are hot and thirsty

Rule 2

Appreciative verbs such as: aimer, adorer, détester, préférer introduce generalities.

examples

Il préfère la bière. - He prefers beer.
Je déteste le vin. - I detest wine.
Elle aime la pluie. - She likes rain.
J'aime les légumes. - I like vegetables.

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peterdb31

No, because "l'" already says the "The" part of the sentance.

March 31, 2018

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

I was rite

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonsina101

why isn't it "eau set one boisson" since the translation is "water is a drink," not "THE water is a drink"

September 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarah139048

GGFC5B class code

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonsina101

wait what?

September 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/negi79

I think the english sentence is so misleading.....

June 18, 2018

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

Not really, anything normally considered drinkable can be called a drink.

June 30, 2018

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

Sorry but whats with the whole feminine and masculine thing. Does it really matter?@districtCricketer

March 26, 2018

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

Yes, it matters. Most Latin based languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese etc) are gendered. Some, such as German, have 3 genders - masculine, feminine and neuter.

March 26, 2018

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

It matters. A lot. A lot of languages have genders and you have to learn them.

June 30, 2018
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