"A água é boa."

Translation:The water is good.

September 2, 2013

41 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/ken.bellows

Anyone else hear an "h" sound at the beginning of "água"?

September 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wes_car

Yes, this robot sound is very weird. In portuguese, the sound of "H" that we can hear in this sentence is also used as "R", because the H sound is neutral.
For us brazilians the word água in this sentence seems Rágua

September 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/..BATMAN..

Continua errado.
Versão normal: A hágua é boa
Versão lenta: A água e boa (sem acento no e)

28/04/15

April 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/renata_rivera

Since both bom & boa mean good, when is each used?

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ken.bellows

Bom is used to describe a masculine noun and boa is used to describe a feminine noun. Água is feminine, so we say "A água é boa."

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/renata_rivera

Oh alright, thanks.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/domoluv

How can you tell when a noun is feminine or masculine? I thought that we used the masculine version of a word at default if its not the obvious "He, She, Him, Her" in front.

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ken.bellows

Pay attention to the article in front of it. "A água" is feminine, shown by the feminine article "a". "O livro" is masculine, shown by the masculine article "o". Similarly, "um livro" is masculine, and "uma menina" is feminine, shown by the masculine and feminine articles "um" and "uma".

October 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

The best technique is to include the definite article when you learn vocabulary, because the definite article will reflect whether a noun is feminine or masculine.

Here are some resources that explain:
- http://www.funwithportuguese.com/masculine-feminine-in-portuguese/
- http://www.academia.edu/5583132/Portuguese_Nouns_and_their_Genders_Checklist

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elu_A

In my opinion, if you don't contextualize a sentence then there is no way to know if you are referring to a specific water or not. Since this sentence is in no particular context then one must assume (as when an example is given in the classroom) that the water in question is just a generalization. Hence, in my opinion, it should be 'water is good' since there exists no previous reference to any water whatsoever, which would make the construction 'the water I good' sound unnatural in English.

June 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

I disagree. In English, we do distinguish between "Water is good" meaning the general case and "The water is good" to refer to a specific quantity (the glass of water you're drinking, the spot of water you're swimming in, etc.). If Portuguese is anything like its sister language Italian (which makes the same distinction only the other way around), then greater context is irrelevant because the presence or absence of the definite article is all you need to know which you mean.

June 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alguemmisterioso

Portuguese cannot leave off the definite article in the sentence "A água é boa:" Simply saying "Água é boa" is not grammatically correct. If one really wanted to make the distinction, then one could say, "Esta água é boa", but that's generally not necessary.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Luane24

Hi, I am a native brazilian. Your explanation is correct but there is a exception:

We can say: "Água é bom" when you say something like "Beba água, água é bom" or "Coma carne, carne é bom". Even "carne" being a feminine word. "A carne é boa".

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

Yes. That is so because you didn't include the article:

  • Manteiga é bom (correct)
  • Manteiga é boa (incorrect)
  • A manteiga é bom (incorrect)
  • A manteiga é boa (correct)
April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorena660092

Yeah. But thats a language figure called "Metonímia". The word "algo" is implicit. "Água é (algo) bom." About the sound... I'm also Brazilian, and I'm really annoyed by the pronunciation of some words.

July 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/carolwilliamson1

In English, we rarely use the direct object 'the' with water, or any mass nouns, like salt and sugar.

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ken.bellows

How about "Come on in, the water's fine"?

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/..BATMAN..

Venha, a água está boa.

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alguemmisterioso

In this case, we're talking about a specific water (notice that it can be replaced easily with "this water's fine"). When speaking generally, however, it's not correct to use the noun: "Water is necessary for survival." "The water is necessary for survival" is only correct if we're, for example, pointing at a glass of water. So both "Water is good" (generally speaking, that is, all water) is just as fine of a translation as "The water is good" (specifically speaking, some particular body of water or a glass/bottle of water).

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

"The" is the definite article, not a direct object. If I were to say "Throw the ball to me," then "ball" is the direct object and "me" is the indirect object.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/IanSwitall

pass me the salt

March 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

yes, but it's a definite "salt", the one on the table...

April 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GuillermoG16980

Yeah, got it wrong also. In spanish it's like portuguese as for English you would rarely say "the water"

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbyLagas

That's what I was thinking. Non-count nouns almost never get an article.

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DiegoJaviUnlam

I just heard the same that all of you... the correct pronunciation would be: a (a short silence and then... ) água (without any consonant in the middle).

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/royal08

I thought "o" meant "the"?

November 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

It does. Portuguese, like the other Romance languages, has grammatical gender and singular/plural agreement from nouns to adjectives.

o - the (singular, masculine)
os - the (plural, masculine)
a - the (singular, feminine)
as - the (plural, feminine)

November 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sabri18na10

When we make generalizations the definte article is ommited. So the correct translation is 'water is good'

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

Who said the statement is making a generalization?

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alguemmisterioso

Because it didn't say "Esta agua é boa". That's the only way to force the specificity in Portuguese. Both "the water is good" and "water is good" are perfectly acceptable translations for "a água é boa"

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/istephenson

Could the translation also be 'water is good,' as in water in general? If I'm not correct, in French, nouns referred to as general things include the definite article, so is it the same in Portuguese?

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

As far as I've been able to tell, Portuguese handles articles more or less the way English does.

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WaylonDraylon

actually this sentence can also be correctly translated as "water is good" as well as "the water is good". It depends on the context- if we are speaking in general terms "water is good" is fine.

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/fg.ucv

In English, you don't say "the water is good" but "Water is good" in general terms, unless you're talking about a specific glass of water that was served to you.

The English translation should not include the "the" article.

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

As you say, including or omitting the definite article changes the meaning of the sentence.

Both ways are perfectly grammatical. One is the general case and one is a specific instance.

Since it looks like Portuguese uses the definite article the same way English does in sentences like this, then saying "Water is good" would not be an accurate translation.

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jpabbs

in Spanish, this same sentence "El agua es buena" also carries the definite article "El" in front of the sentence and the translation is not "The water is good" as this course states... in English when we talk about something generic, like the fact that water in general is good, YOU DO NOT put THE in front and the answer would be as correct saying "Water is good" unless you are talking about a specific water (like, for example, the one in the glass you are holding)

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/yessvalerine

What's the different between bom and boa?

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

In Portuguese, all adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. bom is for masculine singular nouns, bons is for masculine plural. boa is for feminine singular, boas is for feminine plural.

June 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AshleySutherland

I believe "a água é boa" can mean both "the water is good" and "water is good" since the article "a" in portuguese can also be used in a more general sense. This is based on my experience with a Brazilian husband from Rio de Janeiro, but I would like to confirm.

June 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda6672

WHY NOT BOM INSTEAD OF BOA?

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1974

Because "água" is feminine, so it must be "boa" to match. "Bom" is masculine.

August 27, 2016
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