"Tu bois de l'alcool."
Translation:You drink alcohol.
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"Tu bois de l'alcool" has the partitive article "de l'" (standing for "du" before a vowel sound) which means "(some) alcool". You cannot translate "de l'alcool" to "the alcohol" which would be specific and "l'alcool" in French.
French does not have continuous tenses, so context would tell if "tu bois" means "you drink" or "you are drinking". Of course, these alternative translations are both accepted (if the rest of the sentence is correct as well).
"Tu bois de l'alcool" can mean two things:
- this is what you are doing at this very moment: you are drinking alcohol
- this is a habit of yours: you drink alcohol.
In both cases, "de l'alcool" means "some alcohol", as in "an unknown amount of a mass thing", and it translates to "alcohol".
The sentence is given to you in proper French where "de l'" is a partitive article meaning "an unknown amount of a mass thing".
"Alcool" starts with a vowel, so you have to use "de l'" instead of "du" as you would with "du vin" or "de la" as you would with "de la bière".
The same applies to "de l'eau", feminine.
That. I think another thing to add is that for "de la" or "de l'" don't think of the "le/l'" part separately, but rather as a whole. If you think of it separately you may mistake the "la/l'" as "the" which shouldn't be the case. It acts like "de" but except it just happens to contain "le/l'".