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"He has water."

Translation:Il a de l'eau.

5 years ago

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Why can't it be "Il a eau" ? If I'm correct "de la" means "some" but the sentence doesn't identify the quantity of water he has which is why I exclude "de le" out of the sentence translation

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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That's the point: with or without "some", as long as you don't know which quantity of water (or any other uncountable material) it is about, in French it will always be "du", "de l' ", "de la", depending on the noun coming after:

  • il a du vin (masculine, contraction of de+le)
  • il a de l'eau (feminine, elision of "de la", in front of a vowel)
  • il a de l'hydromel (= "mead", masculine, elision of "de le", in front of a non-aspired H)
  • il a de la bière (feminine)
5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I must have been on some type of drug typing that. I don't why I asked that. I understand what you're saying

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You know what? In my opinion, only smart people actually say they can be silly sometimes... Therefore, you are forgiven ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I don't know when you submitted this comment but merci!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adelejoon

merci

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tasdeeq

How do you translate specific quantity like "He has little water" or "he had a lot of water"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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  • he has little water = il a peu d'eau
  • he has a little cater = il a un peu d'eau
  • he has a lot of water = il a beaucoup d'eau
  • he has more/less/as much water = il a plus/moins/autant d'eau
  • he has no water = il n'a pas d'eau
  • he never has water = il n'a jamais d'eau
  • he does not have water any more = il n'a plus d'eau

Therefore, the rule is that if there is a quantity or a negation, there is no article after de or d' - and this is valid for all nouns, singular, plural or mass nouns.

  • il n'a pas de mère, il n'a pas de parents, il n'a pas de chance
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eliot.banks

thanks for this and your translations below, great stuff!

3 years ago

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

exactly i have the same problem, i don't know where i should put 'de la'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BriannaKW
BriannaKW
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Sitesurf, correct me if I'm wrong, but l'eau versus de l'eau (or le vin versus du vin, etc.) was once explained to me as "de" (or any conjugation thereof) comes in when it is a smaller quantity than all the water in the world versus some water. Example: "Il a l'eau" would essentially translate as " He has all the water, everywhere.", which is why you need to limit it with "de". Similar example: "Je voudrais DES haricots verts", because, "Je voudrais LES haricots verts", would be a pretty tall order, as you'd be wanting ALL the green beans in the world. Hope I'm not off base, and that this helps!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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This is not quite right:

  • de l'eau is used to mean "an undefined quantity of a non-countable thing" = some water.

  • l'eau is used in 3 main cases:

-- as a definite article when the English is "the water", ie specific water.

-- when "water" is object of an appreciation verb (aimer, détester, préférer, adorer, haïr...) expressing global like or dislike: I like cold water = j'aime l'eau froide

-- when the sentence is a generality, ie a universal truth, a proverb, etc: l'eau est nécessaire à la vie = water is necessary for life.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BriannaKW
BriannaKW
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Best explanation ever. I took 3+ years of French, and no one ever explained it so clearly. We're all lucky to have such an excellent teacher at our disposal. Thank you, Sitesurf.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Abdelwahed1999

I dont know me too fault

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose_boatly

Right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zvisa

I read the whole thread and here's my confusion: what would il a l'eau mean? Only "he has the water"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Yes exactly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zvisa

Thanks!

4 years ago

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

Thank you weeping angel statue.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Not weeping, but thinking hard! ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zohrevenus

Friends ! which language are the most difficult!? I think english is the easiest one

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moi_ankita

I thought "l'eau" meant "the water"....so why are we writing "l'eau" for simply "water"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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we are not, we are writing de l'eau for simply "water".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jim19611

The sentence clearly say "He has water" not "some water" Most of the mistake are of this patter, this rule should be clarified.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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The rule is clear: "some" is optional to express "an undefined quantity of an uncountable thing".

For the rest of the rule, please read post nb2 on this page.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jim19611

Thanks a lot and you are doing a great job, big support!!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chebur_pam

in my view, "he has some water" &"he has water "= il a de l'eau; "he has the water"=il a l'eau the same situation as some other words like"nourriture";"viande" is that correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Yes, "the" specifies the object in this case (he has the water/food/meat mentioned before), so "the" automatically translates to definite articles le, la, l', or les (followed by countable or uncountable nouns).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chebur_pam

thanks! merci beaucoup!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShelseaL

It said I needed the article l' but I very plainly put it there...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MiltonCPrado

Hello people!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sheelagh7

Think it would be really more encouraging to be given the benefit of the doubt until we get as far as learning about what noun comes after etc!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gbaby87

Wonder where duolingo's pulling some of these phrases/words from...haven't done them yet :(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tasdeeq

I really don't understand avoir and all the forms of it

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tasdeeq

I'm wondering if eau a root word and somehow connected to words like beaucoup?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, it is not and most words connected to "eau" are different:

  • watery = aqueux (Latin "aqua" = eau)
  • water pipe = aqueduc (Latin "aqua" + "ducere" = drive)
  • waterproof = étanche (old French = to stop)
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tasdeeq

Good to know :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OurDailyBran

I thought "de" was only used if the water is the subject? but "il" is the subject?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanieleJorge

An anterior exercise translated "de l'alcool et de l'eau" as "some aalcohol and some water". Now,the actual exercise translate "de l'eau" just as water. Following the anterior exercise logical, shouldn't the correct answer be "He has some water" instead "He has water"?

3 years ago