1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il a de l'eau."

"Il a de l'eau."

Translation:He has water.

March 30, 2013

93 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?


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.


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.


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

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


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

startled in french


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

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


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

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


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

Yes its right kiera i have a question for you


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

TECHNICALLY, yes. But I am pretty sure there is a different form for that.


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

No. As Sitesurf said. If I talk about an animal: It has water = Il a de l'eau (because no "it" for animals in French, but normal "he" and "she"), if you talk about a river, it has water = Elle a de l'eau, or a bucket, a plant, etc..

If you mean "ça a de l'eau", it's informal, and not very proper, "il a de l'eau" is the correct form.


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

I am sorry for the misdirection. thank you for clarifying that.


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"??


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

yes, or "there is water"


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!?!


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.


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

That's right, you can report it.


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?


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


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) ?


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

du + masculine singular nouns

de la + feminine singular nouns


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'.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

"eau" is feminine


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

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


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


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

Merci beaucoup!!


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 (:


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?


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

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


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

which means, de l'eau means some water.


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.


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

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


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 :)


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.


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.


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?


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"


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

Could it be "He has some water" too?


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?


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)


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

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


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


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!


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.


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!


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

he has water = il a d'eau


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

some of the water does not work why?


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

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


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

specific water lol thx a lot anyway


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Can I say " il a l'eau"?


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

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


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

Why does it say he's some water?


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

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


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")?


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

It should be "some water"


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

The some is not necessary for the translation: "de l'eau" means "(unspecified amount of) water" or "some water".


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

is it ok to translate this as "he is having some water" ? i.e he is drinking some water...


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

Nothing in "il a de l'eau" means that he is drinking any. Could be that he has water in his well or non drinkable water... out of proper context, you should stick to what is meant, without extrapolating too much if you don't want to lose all your hearts!


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

You don't have the "avoir" verb in French meaning "drinking" or "eating", "avoir" here only mean to have with the meaning of to own something. Expressions are different in French and in English.


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

It says I'm wrong if i say loo but correct is loh. Which is it really ?


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

It is close to "low", but with a single vowel (no diphthong), so the "o" sound cuts short


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

"He has" and "he has got" is not the same?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K333222

the meaning is the same; both are present tense (if this is what you're asking)


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

And the "got" is optional.


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

But its so confusing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beevee88

My answer was "He has the water" and it was marked incorrect. Can someone explain to me why it is? The l' is a shortened form of 'la' or 'le', which means 'the', right?


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

"De l'eau" is not the same than "l'eau".

De l'eau, the "de l' " means an indefinite quantity, as "some"

L'eau = THE water, a definite water.


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

i wrote he has the water, that cannot be wrong if he has water is correct


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

No, it is wrong. "he has the water" = "il a l'eau" Please read the rest of the thread.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uru-Tigre

why "he gets some water" is wrong?


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

To get/obtenir and to have/avoir are different in meaning. You should be as precise as possible in your translations


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uru-Tigre

thanks for reply, i have some problem with precise, english isn't my first language, but now I understand it better, I'll do my best :)


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

No problem, if you can learn English and French at the same time, it will be a great achievement!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uru-Tigre

yes, there's a reason why i choose duolingo, very helpful! :) ps. your av is scary


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

Some where we use some and some where is not


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliAbdulla4

Why 'He had some water" is wrong while " He has some water" is correct? That"s not a proper English I think!


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

"he had some water" is wrong because the tense is wrong.

"il a de l'eau" is present tense, so it translates to "he has water"

"he had water" = il avait de l'eau or il a eu de l'eau (past tenses)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brenden12345

CORRECT YOUR SHITTTTTTT!!!!!!


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

Please delete this comment, your tone and manner are inappropriate.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.