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"Avec ou sans eau"

Translation:With or without water

5 years ago

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lelawatie

do we not need the article for "eau"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DXLi
DXLi
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It seems that nouns that follow "sans" don't necessarily need determiners. This is especially true for uncountable things, e.g. water (a mass noun) or fear (an intangible). Note that a determiner can be placed after "sans". If you want to say "without a dog", you would have to write "sans un chien".

My French friends told me that this is just a weird quirk that you have to learn.

http://grammaire.reverso.net/4_2_33_sans_suivi_dun_nom_au_singulier_ou_au_pluriel.shtml

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolsmack

I do not speak with authority, but it seems from these exercises that with a preposition, a noun does not need an article.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Djones123

Can anyone confirm or refute this? I have the same question and this seems like a legit answer

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fangfei

I refute this. The statement "with a preposition, a noun does not need an article" is false.

French prepositions generally fall into two categories:

  1. require the use of the article before their object

  2. sometimes require and sometimes do not require the use of the article before their object

So, some prepositions will need an article. "Avec" and "sans" are prepositions that do not necessarily need articles.

What DXLi said should be correct. Which prepositions require articles and which don't is a quirk you'll need to memorize.

I am not a native French speaker, but this grammar rule is laid out clearly in English on pages 441-442 of this French grammar book: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=DBYBAAAAYAAJ

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

So could you ever say "Avec ou sans de l'eau?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cadilhac

I would say you cannot. Be careful there, avec and sans do not behave the same:

  • Without an article, you can say sans eau (which is the most usual way to say that), and you maaaay hear avec eau (but this is very uncommon).
  • With le, sans l'eau means without the (this very) water, and avec l'eau BOTH MEANS with the (this very) water and with water (in general). On s'hydrate avec l'eau, on se déshydrate sans eau, we stay hydrated with water, and we get dehydrated without water. Arguably, avec de l'eau sounds better, see following case.
  • With de l', sans de l'eau sounds very weird, and you probably don't want to use that. Avec de l'eau, on the other hand, means with some water and is completely fine.

I hope this clarifies a little bit your problem.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

So if I understand you, because sans implies a lack, it's not correct to refer to lacking just "some." Avec, because it's dealing with the presence of something, doesn't have that problem.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blue-oranges
blue-oranges
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I was wondering the same thing! surely it should be l'eau?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fangfei

See my reply to Djones123 for the grammar rules regarding prepositions and articles, and why it doesn't need to be "l'eau."

In any case, regarding this specific example, my understanding is that if this sentence were changed to "Avec ou sans l'eau," it would still be grammatically correct, but it would mean something different.

  • "Avec ou sans eau" = with or without water (in the general, generic sense of water)

  • "Avec ou sans l'eau" = with or without the water (referring to a specific water, e.g. the water you bottled from a nearby spring)

Native French speaker input would be very welcome here. :) I'll also update this answer if I glean anything from reading other discussions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

What about "de l'eau"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/islamaah

had the same thought!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YHorvei
YHorvei
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In French, one would never use an article in negation, like after "sans", "jamais", "pas" etc. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/billypuntove

the lesser-know version of the hit song by U2

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liam10210

withh or withouut eauuuuuu!! With or wiiiithout eauuu uhhh ohhh i can't liiiiiivvvve, with or without eauuuu

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharltonTaylor

This is what I came here for.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/analia.antenucci

It's too similar the sound of "ou" and "eau"..

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gulmer
gulmer
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I can live with or without eau.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truddles

i heard" avec ou sans eux", with or without them

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hulderjenta

"Avec ou sans ou" here, haha. :P

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyMorning

"Eux" is said more like a grunt. "E!"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnMiller36
JohnMiller36
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Avec ou sans oeufs, with or without eggs.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sir_Carl
Sir_Carl
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Fool. Water is a necessary resource for almost every living creature upon Earth...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/protocactus_PC

Is there no audible difference between eau, au, aux and "oh" (if this expression is used in French)?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnMiller36
JohnMiller36
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No.

eau, eaux (waters), au, aux, oh, haut, aulx (plural of "ail" (garlic), never used but it exists) are all pronounced the same.

There's also the plural of "os" (bone). This one is weird because it's written the same in the singular and in the plural, but pronounced differently. "un os" is pronounced /os/ whereas "des os" is pronounced /o/ . Though a lot of French people don't know this rule and pronounce both forms /os/ .

That's French for you! ^^

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awefulwaffle
awefulwaffle
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The partititive article is omitted after certain prepositions such as "sans", "en" and "par".

It is also omitted after the preposition "avec" when an abstract noun follows and when "avec" has the meaning of "qui a"/"who has".

  • A Complete French Grammar for Reference and Practice, page 230, Trudie Maria Booth
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Abattage

Avec vous sans eux? - With you without them?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xbender84

I got the same thing...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andrzejhwdp12

je ne comprends pas

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LadyMorning

Qu'est-ce que vous ne comprenez pas?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Steelwing

Le audio :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/islamaah

l'audio :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CAHA191

Pourquoi c'est ne pas de l'eau au lieu de eau?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lothar_ppt

Why it is not "Avec ou sans l'eau?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/igesta
igesta
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I thought it was "with (the letter) u, without (the letter) o" :s

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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The letter u is pronounced with rounded lips, though (as in "tu" or "utiliser"), or like German "ü".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/millymikky

eau sounds like ou

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

The sounds are different and I can hear it in the audio. Ou is [u] and eau is [o].

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/millymikky

must be my computer or the website, i just clicked again and I do hear the "eau" even the zzz with the sound liason between sans and eau

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mimsyc

Nice sneaky joke there!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boringtomi
boringtomi
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I heard “Avec eau sans eau”... wouldn’t that mean “with or without water”?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

It couldn't be that because you'd never say, "Avec eau." Rather, you'd say "Avec de l'eau." So "With water or without water" would be "Avec de l'eau ou sans eau."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrancisBuahin

Can anyone explain why' avec ou sans eaux' is wrong

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

That would be "with or without waters." You don't need or want the plural to merely express the collective "water."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fabieen
fabieen
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Je suis français et même moi je n'ai pas compris. le son "o" pourrait correspondre à "eau", "os", "o", ...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeyCyr

That "sentence" doesn't even make sense.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carte_Blanche66

I was so in the flow after seeing the first 3 words that I translated the sentence as "With or Without You". :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/afoss2023

I saw this ad immediately thought SANS!!!!!! UNDERTALE!!!!!!!!!!!! XD

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CaeciliusEst
CaeciliusEst
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Water is life!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MasterMMedo
MasterMMedo
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Haha I wrote "with or without you" without even reading the end :')

1 year ago