Quand utiliser l’eau, d’eau et de l’eau ?

French Grammar (see all)

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Quand utiliser l’eau, d’eau et de l’eau ?

•  We say de l’eau when referring to an undefined quantity:
Je voudrais de l’eau fraîche I’d like some cold water (We don’t know how much water)
Il y a de l’eau ? Is there any water?

D’eau is used in the following cases:

•  When the quantity is defined:
Je voudrais un verre d’eau I’d like a glass of water.
Voici un litre d’eau Here is a litre of water.

•  With adverbs of quantity:
Il y a beaucoup d’eau, un peu d’eau, trop d’eau, assez d’eau There is a lot of, a bit of, too much, enough water.

•  With negative phrases:
Il n’y a pas d’eau There isn’t any water.

•  In certain noun and adjective phrases:
une chute d’eau a waterfall, une trombe d’eau a water spout, plein d’eau full of water, etc.

Note that we use the definite article l’ when we speak about water as an entity or ‘all the water present’.
J’aime l’eau ! I like water!
L’eau de la rivière est sale The river water is dirty.
Tu as pris l’eau ? Did you take the water? (= Did you take all the water?)


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