"J'ai de l'eau."
Translation:I have water.
du: masculine singular
de la: feminine singular
de l': m or f in front of a vowel or h muet
des: m or f plural
Its not just l'eau its ’de l'eau'. Its called partitive article generally used for food. Water is feminine so it becomes 'de la' here 'de l'' ( starts with a vowel). If it was masculine then it would have become 'du'. Try the app 'collins'( easy french learning app for understanding grammar).
boit de l'eau = drinks of the water (water in general, uncountable water). In English... drinks water
boit l'eau = drinks the water (that water right there) The same in English and French
boit d'eau = Homer Simpson drinks (boit) what he thought was beer and then says d'eau when he discovers it's water. That's because boit d'eau (drinks of water) doesn't exist in French or English.
In this example it's J'ai de l'eau which is about having water. All the grammar issues are the same although I suppose the translation is a little less comfortable.
Actually, since I first posted this I have come across an example of the exceptional use of d'eau that is appropriate.
There is a use of d'eau (of water) where the water is an object of possession eg: glass of water, jug of water etc.
In the English I'm most familiar with (United States) we usually don't use the contraction of "I have" with physical objects. You can say "I've got stuff to do", "I've seen them before", or "I've got to get there before noon", but not "I've fifteen dollars" or "I've a dog". I have seen "I've" used for possession but I'd say it isn't common usage for (at least) my dialect.
"J'ai de l'eau" = "I have some water." "J'ai de la limonade" = I have some lemonade. "J'ai des questions" = I have some questions. (All feminine.)
"J'ai du vin" = I have some wine. ("de le" can't be said, so it changes to "du") "J'ai du café = I have coffee OR I have some coffee. "J'ai du poisson." = I have fish OR I have some fish. "J'ai des problèmes = I have some problems. (Masculine.)
Des = de les/ of the (pl). l'eau = the water, so......J'ai des l'eau = I have of the the water.
J'ai de l'eau = I have of the water. = I have no particular water, not all of it but some undefined amount of water.
J'ai l'eau = I have the water = I have the water, that water right there.
you should take notes of what you read "somewhere".
"du" is the contraction of de+le, which means that in "du" you have "de" - it is used with masculine names, except those starting with a vowel or a non-aspired H. In that case, it becomes "de l' "
"de la" changes to "de l' " in front of a feminine name strating with a vowel of a non-aspired H
"eau" is a feminine name, so the partitive form is "de l'eau"
finally, the article disappears in negative sentences: je n'ai pas d'eau
Use "de" when you're trying to negate the use of the article "the" before a noun. So, in the sentence "J'ai de l'eau", water is feminine which means you use"DE" to make the sentence "I have water" (not, "I have THE water") you would add the "de." If the word was masculine you would use "du" if plural "des."
Saying "I have water" in English never means you are drinking water, it always means you are in possession of water. It might be implied that if you have water you would be drinking it, but the sentence does not mean that.
At least, I cannot think of any sentence where "I have water" means you drink it except for speaking of past events perhaps.
Like Wunel, I haven't heard "I have water" to mean "I am drinking water." I have heard, "I'll have some (or a) water," for instance when ordering a drink in a restaurant. But that's a different verb tense. In French, it wouldn't be, "I'll have," but more like "I will take" (they use "take" for ordering or to mean eating/drinking - "Nous prenons des bières," "We are having some beer"), so "Je prenderais." Or "I would/will like," "J'aimerais."
Perhaps you are thinking of English constructions of having water that are used to imply the drinking of water.
EG: .....Do you have anything to drink? ......I have some water.
....I have to have some water right now!!!
Both of these examples speak only of possession of water. Drinking of water is only assumed to be the result of having water.
De can be several things. It can indicate possession (le livre de Jacques = Jack's book), it can link two verbs in a sentence (j'essaie de comprendre = I'm trying to understand). It can fill several other roles, but, in this case, it helps make up the partitive article. It actually does not stand alone. "De l'eau" is "some water" in which the noun is uncountable, or a mass noun. (Some water, but not three waters, unlike some books, which can also be three books.) De l'eau is some water, and both the "de" and the "l'" are important. "L'eau" is "the water," while "d'eau" is "of water." The partitive articles are:
de l' (for mass nouns when noun is either masculine or feminine and starts with a vowel), de la (for mass nouns when noun is feminine and starts with a consonant), du (which is the contraction of "de le," and is used when the mass noun is masculine and starts with a consonant), and des (for countable nouns, both masculine and feminine).
Examples: de l'argent, de la charité, du café, des animaux
So "de" in French is used really similar to the way it's used in Spanish? As far as I can understand, to me "de" means exactly the same in Spanish and it is essentially used the same way. However, I'm starting to feel like "du" is use the same way "del" works in Spanish. Would you be able to provide any sort of correction or assertion, some sort of opinion? If not, its perfectly fine! I am aware you've just started heading into Spanish, and your information was very well explained. It definitely helped in my understanding of the usage of "de". Anywho, thanks for the help again!
Mostly, yes, it's the same. But the Spanish de isn't used in all the same contexts as the French de (so same goes for Spanish del vs. French du) and vice versa. Of course you will find a lot of similarities between French and Spanish (and Italian and Portuguese and Romanian and Catalan and Corsican if you also end up studying those) because they are all romance languages (derived from Latin).
I figured they shared similarities due to the fact that they all derived from latin, so I was fairly confident I would pick up most of those languages with better ease! I do plan on learning Portuguese and Italian as well, in the near future! I have noticed that the French do use du and de la with more frequency and variety of purpose, so that's still sorta tricky, but once I realized they shared a connection, it sort of made the whole thing easier to understand! Thanks for the helpful explanation.
Just started some Spanish lessons, so I can't help with that. I'm just trying to learn a few useful phrases, mostly to be polite, for an upcoming trip to Spain. Is it "de + el = del" in Spanish? If so, there are at least some similarities, as "de le" doesn't exist in French; it must be the contraction, which is "du."
Indeed, "del" is a contraction of "de el" due to the fact that it would sound funny and redundant. Looking at it in retrospective, I get the feeling its safe to say they serve the same purpose. So jealous of your trip to Spain! Never visited the Motherland myself (Motherland because I'm mestizo). Hope you have an incredible time in Spain! I'm sure once you are there and you have Spaniard speaking Castelian all around you, you'll find that most words share a common ground with the French dialect! Godspeed!
There is an expression in English about passing water which is an anglo-saxon way of referring to urinating. A doctor might ask have you had any difficulty passing water where the focus is more on the mechanics of urinating rather than the need to engage in the process. He then might focus on the process by asking how often a patient felt the need to urinate.
In the Victorian era mentioning body functions involved euphemisms but having water and needing to urinate would be poor substitutes for each other as they would generate too much confusion. It would draw even more attention as it would require frequent discussion to clear up the matter.