"He has water."
Translation:Il a de l'eau.
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
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)
I must have been on some type of drug typing that. I don't why I asked that. I understand what you're saying
You know what? In my opinion, only smart people actually say they can be silly sometimes... Therefore, you are forgiven ;-)
How do you translate specific quantity like "He has little water" or "he had a lot of water"?
- 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
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!
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.
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.
I read the whole thread and here's my confusion: what would il a l'eau mean? Only "he has the water"?
Friends ! which language are the most difficult!? I think english is the easiest one
I thought "l'eau" meant "the water"....so why are we writing "l'eau" for simply "water"?
The sentence clearly say "He has water" not "some water" Most of the mistake are of this patter, this rule should be clarified.
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.
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?
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).
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!
Wonder where duolingo's pulling some of these phrases/words from...haven't done them yet :(
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)
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"?