Ohhh, I get it.... de la/le/l' is same as un/une in this context, but for uncountables and when you mean that they're eating an unquantified amount of something (i.e. they didn't eat THE onion or ONE onion, but they ate SOME onion(s) or just they ate onion).
Correct me if I'm wrong. :-)
So does this mean if you were refering to a quantified amount of water like a water bottle where in english you might say "a water" you could potentially say "un eau?"
The different ways to phrase a sentence with "eau" have got me quite confused. So, I'm going to try and summarize what I understand (I promise to update this post in case I gather more from other discussions). Of course, native French speaker input would be very welcome here :)
"eau" is a (feminine) mass noun, which means that it can either be modified by definite articles, or partitive articles, but not indefinite articles.
Using "eau" with "de l'" (partitive article): We use the appropriate partitive article (de l') in case we refer to "eau" without expressing any amount. E.g., "Je bois de l'eau." = "I am drinking [some] water".
Using "eau" with "de": In case we do express the amount of water, we use "de" in the sense of "of". E.g., Je bois un peu / beaucoup d'eau" = "I am drinking a little / lots of water". Another example of using only "de" is when we want to refer to something "of water". For example, "Je bois un verre d'eau".
Using "eau" with "l'" (definite article): To refer to a specific water (e.g. the water you got from the river), we modify "eau" with the definite article, "l'". E.g., "Je bois l'eau" = "I am drinking the water". Another use of the definite article is when "eau" is the direct object of a verb that expresses preference: "J'aime / deteste l'eau". However, this use of the definite article is because it is required with such verbs, not because we refer to "the water".
Lastly, "eau" may appear without any article. This is the case when it is used with "sans"/"avec". E.g., "Avec/sans eau" = "With/without water". Notice that we do not mention the amount or referring to a specific water. In this case, we'd say "Avec/sans l'eau", or "Avec/sans beaucoup d'eau", as explained above.
Yes, "une eau, des eaux" is something you can use in French.
- A est une eau plate, mais B et C sont des eaux gazeuses.
Excellent explanation in the difference in the use of partitive articles and definite articles with mass nouns, as well as with nouns following verbs of appreciation. Merci beaucoup
It's not using "de" alone, it's called a partitive. And it's used when you talk about an indefinite quantity, as "some" in English
To say 'some' or 'any' in French, use: -"du" before a masculine word, eg Je mange du pain le matin (I have [some] bread for breakfast) -"de la" before a feminine word, eg Vous avez de la salade? (Do you have any lettuce?) -"de l'" before a singular word beginning with a vowel or silent h, eg Tu bois de l'eau? (Are you drinking [some] water?); Ma mère a acheté de l'huile (My mother bought some oil) -"de"' before a word in the plural form, eg Nous mangeons des légumes (We eat [some] vegetables) I found that on the "Bitesize" French course website, and it certainly helped me!
Does "de l'eau" mean that water is feminine (de+la+eau)? Wouldn't it be "d'eau" if it was masculine (du+eau)?
For a masculine noun beginning with "e" choose the emmental cheese for instance.
- Je mange de l'emmental (can't say de le emmental).
- Je mange du riz (can't say de le).
Both are masculine.
- Je bois de l'eau (can't say de la eau).
- Je bois de la limonade.
Both are feminine.
Why wouldnt you say d'eau. Is "water" (l'eau) masucline or feminine? Is there a case where I would use d-apostrophe? Like when it isn't a combination of de and le? I have talked to french people in which they say "d'eau" is this wrong?
blargums, for this sentence you can't say d'eau, alone. You could say, the glass is filled of water / le verre est rempli d'eau. Or, je bois un verre d'eau / I drink a glass of water.
I thought the same! But i guess no. Rule no. one is i guess to put the "l' " whenever we see word starting with vowel. So it remains "de l' " ! By the way i have no idea about the gender of water!
Someone on another thread helped me. I was confused because you say "mon eau" so I thought water was masculine. But water is feminine, it takes masculine pronoun-adjectives because it begins with a vowel and it's easier to say. So "de l'eau" = de+la+eau. But a masculine word like hotel would be "d'hôtel" = du+hôtel.
"d'hôtel" shouldn't be in your example. Everything you said is right, except the "d'hôtel" part. Because you make the confusion here between the "de" + article = meaning the partitive article, and the "de" alone as a particle, and not an article.
With a masculine word use "du", because it's "Je mange du chocolat", and if it begins with a vowel or a non-aspirated "h", use Je mange de l'emmental (it's a cheese); It's never "de" or "d' " alone, you have always the definite article. (but in "du" or "des" it's contracted inside)
Exactly. But be careful "de l'hôtel" is not a partitive.
It doesn't mean "an indefinitive quantity" of hotel.
Je viens de l'hôtel = I come from the hotel.
Here, "de" is not a part of the partitive article, it's only the particle (and not the article! )
Here the meaning is"from" or "of", according to the uses, and not "some" as when you say "de l'eau".
I also can't understand the difference between " boir de l'eau" and "boir l'eau". And the same is with "manger"
"Je boir de l'eau" means "I (am) drink(ing) (some) water." "Je boir l'eau" just means "I drink water". It could mean "I am drinking all of the water (in the world!)" A teacher once explained without "de" it is like talking about the entire concept of something. "de" narrows that down to just a portion of something.
"Je boir de l'eau" is incorrect. You have to conjugate the verb. "Boir" doesn't exist, the infinitive form is "boire" = to drink.
The conjugated form is "Je bois".
You're wrong in your explanation. "Je bois l'eau" is NOT "I drink water". it's "I drink THE water". It's not "I'm drinking all of the water in the world. That's incorrect. We would say "Je bois toute l'eau (du monde)" in this case. Your teacher is wrong. Or was talking about another grammar case.
You can never say just "eau" because you always need an article in French. Super.chouette explanation is not correct.
"boir" doesn't exist.
The infinitive verb is "boire". (to drink)
Boire de l'eau = to drink some water = indefinite quantity.
Boire l'eau = to drink a definite water. For instance, I'm on a riverside, and I drink THE water (implied: of the river)
haeun- boire is the infinitive form. bois is conjugated, je bois, tu bois.
With the "l'" before eau, does that make it I am drinking some the water????? I wrote "I am drinking the water", and that was wrong...
There is no "some the water". Apart from this exercise, you could say "I am drinking THE water" (Je bois l'eau) referring to some specific water, for example. Or you could say "I am drinking (some) water" (Je bois de l'eau). For an explanation of when you use "de" in this context, see here: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_4.htm
I have a question. In English, someone might ask you "is the water safe for drinking from the tap?" And in English I could respond with or without a yes, "I drink the water".
How does this sentence "I drink the water" get translated into French. The "the" is emphasised because I don't just drink any water, I am drinking the specific water from this source (in this illustration, from the tap).
Anyone can assist? Thanks!
In the exercise sentence, this water is not specific.
- I drink the water = je bois l'eau - specific water
- I drink (some) water = je bois de l'eau - an unknown amount of a mass
Please take a look here about how to conjugate verbs: https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-french-verbs-1371059
Here is your answer
few people say ¨i am drinking SOME water" most people just say simply ¨i am drinking water¨ please change it.
I dont exactly understand where you saw "suis". But assuming you are trying to translate "am + drinking" to "suis + boire". This would be incorrect. "bois" can stand for "drink" or "am drinking", so you don't need the "suis" to indicate "am".
By the way, "drinking" (present participle) is not "boire" (infinitive) but "buvant" (present participle). This does not change your perfectly correct explanation.
Thank you. I didnt intend to equate the infinitive 'boire' with the participle 'drinking' but my explanation does sound like that. PS: I wasn't aware of "buvant". I'm yet to reach that level in French. So thank you for adding that new word to my vocabulary. :)
How do I refer to particular water... when in English I would refer to THE water. Example: "It is a nice place, but don't drink 'the' water."
When the excercise said l'oeuf it's "the egg". and when it says l'eau, it's just water. Correct that please
"Un/l'oeuf" is countable and "l'eau" is usually uncountable, at least when you are drinking some.
- I am drinking (some) water = je bois de l'eau
- I am drinking the water = je bois l'eau
- I am eating an egg = je mange un oeuf
- I am eating the egg = je mange l'oeuf
- I am eating (some) eggs = je mange des oeufs
- I am eating the eggs = je mange les oeufs
I got l' eau wrong in two separate circles because I didn't tap l'eau in one circle! If I were writing, it would still be l'eau!
I got it wrong when I tapped de (l') (eau), in two circles. Four sentences later, I got it wrong by tapping de (l'eau) in one circle! Either way it is de l'eau! The other words were Je bois. What am I missiing?
The previous question was translate l'eau: "the" water so in this one I answered "I drink the water". Incorrect apparently.
I drink THE water = Je bois L' eau. And it means a definite water.
When you say "Je bois DE L'eau" the meaning is quite different with this "de l' " expression, it means "I drink (some) water" = indefinite quantity.
"De l'eau" literally means "of the water". I'm not sure if Duo lingo would have accepted "I drink of the water" or not, but it is correct in a way.
No. That's not correct. When you use "de" alone, it means "of", but when you use the expression "du" or "de l' " , it is "some" and means an indefinite quantity.
There's a confusion between the "de" particle and the "du" , "de la", "de l' " etc, that is not a particle, but a partitive article ("de la" even if it's in two words, it's considered as an article, the partitive one.)
brittany- Boire is infinitive, I want to drink, je veux boire. To drink is important for your health, boire est important pour votre santé.
French uses what is called a "partitive article" to refer to an undetermined amount of something (usually food or drink). "Du" is used for masculine nouns; "de la" is used for feminine nouns. "Eau" is a feminine noun and so it uses the "de la" construction but since "eau" starts with a vowel, it becomes "de l'eau". Some people like to translate the partitive as "some" but more often that not it is not used in English. I.e., we don't have to say "I am drinking some water" but just "I am drinking water". Check this link for all the good information about partitives. https://www.thoughtco.com/du-de-la-des-1368977
You have to conjugate the verb. The infinitive form is "boire". But you say "je bois" = I drink (or) I am drinking.
why is there "de" and "le" it should be "I drink some of the water." ?¿?¿?¿?¿?¿?¿?¿?
"Some of the water" would have a specific water and the French would be "un peu de l'eau".
The apostrophe after "de l'" replaces "de la", because "eau" is a feminine noun and it starts with a vowel sound.
You don't need "some" to translate "de l'eau". "Water" by itself is sufficient to mean the same thing as "de l'eau" in this sentence, where "de l'" means "an unknown amount of a mass thing". In French you have to use "de l'", but in English, you don't need "some".
If I drink the water is a wrong translation here..Then how does one say I drink the water in french?
Because English has 3 articles (a, an, the) while French has 8 (un, une, des, le, la, les, du, de la) and French speakers use them with precise meanings.
There is no way to answer the flawed question. The answer is a word in frenchn not English. Question is flawed.
Exactly what is the problem? What was the form of the question presented to you? And please state what about it is flawed?
The meaning is not the same as "je bois de l'eau", which only means "I drink some water", as an unknown amount of a mass thing.
"Some of the water" has specific water, so the French sentence would need to be "un peu de l'eau" to get the same meaning.