"Il a de l'eau."

Translation:He has water.

March 30, 2013

63 Comments


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

Is "de" used only for uncountable nouns? And "un"/"une" for countable ones?

If this is correct, "il a de la pomme" is wrong, as well as "il a une eau".

Am I right?

April 24, 2013

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

Yes, you are right, with a few contextual exceptions:

  • cette rivière a une eau très propre (this river has a very clean water)
  • tu es sale, tu as de la pomme sur la joue (you are dirty; you have some apple on your cheek)

But don't worry, as long as you have short sentences to translate, without any context, you can stick to the rules.

April 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE
  • It's not "de" it's De + article. (de la, du and des, because "du" is de+le and des is de+les)

  • Countable nouns and uncountable nouns are not the same in French and in English. In French, it's better to talk about "indefinite quantity", because, even the notion of countable and uncoutable doesn't really exist (except for liquids), and you can still put articles in front of them. You can say "une eau", or "un lait" (a milk), depending on the context.

So, forget about "countable/uncountable" nouns in French, it doesn't really exist as you think. Only indeterminate quantity and "abstract nouns" makes sense in French grammar.

Je bois de l'eau = indefinite quantity.
Les eaux de la rivière sont rouges. The waters of this river are red.

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnandJain3

Woah, that last line is a bit dark don't you think

November 9, 2014

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

startled in french

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DelaneyMcG1

couldn't it technically be "it has water" too?

November 9, 2013

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

yes it can, "il" can be a bucket, a tree, a dog... ie any masculine noun.

November 10, 2013

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

Yeah I think so.

June 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/javed-khan

Yes its right kiera i have a question for you

February 1, 2015

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

If it had been "il y a de l'eau" would it have translated to "there is some water"??

November 17, 2013

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

yes, or "there is water"

November 18, 2013

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

Why "il a de l'eau" gives an error when I translate it to "It has water"? I thought "It" meant "il" too!?!

December 22, 2013

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

Il can mean it but in any language you have to go by the context of the situation. "he has water" makes more sense in this sentence than "it has water". They want you to instinctively know when they're talking about a man or an object based off context clues.

July 21, 2014

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

That's right, you can report it.

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freya394424

Why is it: "de l'eau" yet the correct translation shows as he has water. Does "de l' " not mean some?

April 1, 2013

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

Whether the English sentence contains "some" or not, the meaning of the sentence is that the man is drinking a certain quantity of water. This is a partitive case where the French version requires preposition de + definite article: de l'eau, du vin, de la bière

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freya394424

Thank you

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baron.k.ch

Why is it that sometimes "de la" can be combined as "du" and sometimes not (also shown in your final examples) ?

February 9, 2014

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

du + masculine singular nouns

de la + feminine singular nouns

February 9, 2014

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

Because if the masculine noun started with a vowel, for example 'alcool', it wouldn't sound right to have 'du alcool', so instead it stays as 'de l'alcool'. With masculine nouns that don't start with a vowel, such as 'pain' it would be shortened to 'du pain'.

June 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/javed-khan

Because we use madculin person du f person de le and m- f person des

February 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/javed-khan

And i want sum french friend if you intrested then you join me on whats up 09718964859

February 1, 2015

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

Why is it "de la" instead of "du"?

November 5, 2013

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

"eau" is feminine

November 6, 2013

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

it talks so fast

September 3, 2014

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

Can someone explain why its "il a de l'eau" and not "il y a de l'eau" ?

January 7, 2015

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

il a de l'eau = he/it has (some) water

il y a de l'eau = there is (some) water

January 7, 2015

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

Merci beaucoup!!

January 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coolio10

So is it safe to say that in french, whenever there is a noun there is an article before it? article being: definite - le, la, les indefinite - un, une partitive - du, de la, de l', des

thanks for answers (:

February 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eri47

When I hover over "de" it says that it means "some." Could "Il a de l'eau" also mean that he has some water?

March 30, 2013

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

"some" does not translate "de", but: "du, de la, de l' "

March 30, 2013

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

which means, de l'eau means some water.

March 31, 2013

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

Yes, and even "water" alone can be "de l'eau" if you mean an indefinite quantity of water.

May 25, 2014

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

What is the difference between du and de -- don't they both mean "some of"?

January 9, 2014

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

Please use "du" before masculine nouns. E.g. Du fromage (some cheese), du lait (some milk), du pain (some bread). Please use "de la" before feminine nouns. E.g. De la glace (some ice-cream), de la salade (some salad), de la soupe (some soup). I hope the above examples help :)

February 11, 2014

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

No, not "some of", but just "some" it's more accurate. Don't translate the "de" as "of" here, it's a whole expression. "De la" = some.

May 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shenhou1023

why use de?

April 1, 2014

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

It is not "de" but "de la" with the a elided in front of a word beginning with a vowel sound: de l'eau.

Du/de la/de l'/des are partitive articles meaning undetermined amount=(some). I put it within parentheses since the "some" is not always necessary in English whereas the partitive article is necessary in French.

April 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shenhou1023

helpful, thanx!

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evdokia.mono

Why did my phrase "He has the water" was corrected to "He has got water"? I know my answer should have included the word "some", but wasn't it said that the word "got" is optional? Why wasn't it corrected to "He has got some water" then?

June 16, 2014

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

Il a de l'eau = he has (got) (some) water.

both "got" and "some" are optional for the same exact meaning: he has an undefined quantity of uncountable water.

"he has THE water" is about specific water and back translates to "il a L'eau"

June 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zoe423

Could it be "He has some water" too?

June 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johans2103

Why is necessary the "L' ", i mean, i guess that translate "He has the water" because is using the "L", but if it's only water (Not specific) may be "Il a eau", it's possible?

July 2, 2014

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

No, it is not, because you need an article.

• Try adding "some" in front of the singular object, and if it works, use the partitive article (du, de la, de l')

"he has water = he has some water = il a de l'eau" (preposition "de" + "la", elided to l', for phonetic reasons)

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Marcellous-

Because they use de la or de l', does that mean water is a femanine noun?

July 4, 2014

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

eau is feminine. (learn it like this: une eau).

de la is used with all feminine nouns starting with a consonant or an aspirate H

de l' is used with masculine or feminine nouns starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H

July 5, 2014

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

why isn't he has the water because of the l ? l´eau... L´aeuf is the egg... I don´t understand this part!

July 16, 2014

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

In the absence of any article in English:

• Try adding “in general” to the end of your sentence, and if it works, use the definite article (le, la, l', les).

Ex: Water is essential to life = water (in general) is essential to life (in general) => L'eau est essentielle à la vie.

• Try adding "some" in front of the singular object, and if it works, use the partitive article (du, de la, de l').

Ex: He has water = he has some water => il a de l'eau (fem)

• Try adding "more than one" in front of the plural object, and if it works, use the plural indefinite article (des).

Ex: These are clear waters = these are (more than one) clear water => Ce sont des eaux claires.

July 16, 2014

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

Why got?

August 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kearra.anders

I'm on my computer and I have this question no matter how many times I say it it won't give it to me? I'm getting really frustrated and I have to skip it sometimes why does it not understand me when I say it when I say it perfectly clear? Also they should have the three strikes your out but don't lose a heart rule on computer because I've done it 25 times without passing. This is BS!

August 16, 2014

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

he has water = il a d'eau

August 25, 2014

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

some of the water does not work why?

September 3, 2014

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

no, it would be "un peu de l'eau" (specific water).

September 4, 2014

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

specific water lol thx a lot anyway

September 4, 2014

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

He has got the water? How waa I supposed to know to reply in british

September 16, 2014

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

What makes it "He has some water" as opposed to "He gets some water?" I'm confused. Thanks

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christopher031

Shouldn't it be 'he has THE water' ?

October 13, 2014

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

Can I say " il a l'eau"?

October 27, 2014

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

Please back translate: il a l'eau = he has THE water

October 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bev18064

Why does it say he's some water?

January 22, 2015

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

How do u identify if a food is masculine or femine ???

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wesley16_

I don't understand... Why would it be wrong to say "Il a l'eau" (or, maybe, "Il a eau")?

March 1, 2015
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.