A classroom setting where Iggy, Pocky, and Benji are learning French grammar from top-rated books, with Soren as a teacher pointing to important concepts on a blackboard.

Ah, l'eau! Water, the very essence of life, plays a significant role in French culture and language. From the countless picturesque canals that crisscross the country to the pristine Alpine springs from which the world's finest mineral water is sourced, France has a unique connection with this vital resource.

In this article, we dive into the wonderful world of water as it relates to the French language. We'll explore various French water words and phrases and discover how they are used in everyday conversation.

Our objective is simple: immerse ourselves in all things aquatique while expanding your French vocabulary in a fun and engaging way. So, let's plunge into the linguistic depths of French waters!

Understanding "Water" in French

Before we dive into the vast ocean of water-related vocabulary, let's first learn how to say plain "water" in French.

eau water
eau water

The word “water” — eau — is pronounced as /lo/. Think of saying the English word "low," but with a soft “o.”

However, this seemingly simple word is packed with linguistic complexities; you'll notice that it begins with an apostrophe.

Eau is a feminine noun, so it's paired with the feminine articles la and une:

l'eau the water
une eau a water
les eaux the waters
l'eau the water
une eau a water
les eaux the waters

For situations where you need to express the action when you pour water, such as watering a plant, you can use the water verb:

arroser to water
arroser to water

Now that we've learned how to say “water” in French, let's dive deeper into some water-related vocabulary that you're sure to find useful on your linguistic journey.

Essential Water-Related Vocabulary

As we embark on our linguistic journey through water-related vocabulary, it's essential to familiarize ourselves with various terms that describe the diverse forms of water.

Bodies of Water

A map of the French landscape featuring various water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and the coastline, with labels of French words for each type of water body.

From the smallest puddle to the vast expanses of oceans, these words will help you navigate conversations about bodies of water with ease and confidence.

French

English

les masses d'eau

bodies of water

la nappe phréatique

groundwater; water table

la flaque

puddle, pool, spill

la piscine

swimming pool

le lac

lake

le fleuve

large river

la rivière

small, narrow, or shallow river

la mer

sea

le bras de mer

inlet

le ruisseau

stream, brook, or creek

le détroit

strait

un étang

pond

un océan

ocean

la marée

tide

Water States

Iggy walks under the scorching sun, looking exhausted and hot. She walks by the store with the “l'eau gelée” sign on one of its windows.

Here is how to describe the various states and temperatures of water:

French

English

l'eau gelée

cold water

glacée

frigid, ice-cold

glaciale

icy, glacially cold

tiède

tepid, lukewarm

À température ambiante

room temperature

chaude

warm

l'eau très chaude

hot water

frémissante

simmering

bouillante

boiling

brûlante

scalding

Types of Drinking Water

There are different types of drinking water in French; below, we provide the essential French water terms to distinguish between them, allowing you to quench your thirst with ease.

French

English

l'eau plate

still water

l'eau gazeuse

sparkling water

l'eau de Seltz

Seltzer water

l'eau minérale

mineral water

l'eau de source

spring water

l'eau purifiée

purified drinking water

l'eau distillée

distilled water

l'eau en bouteille

bottled water

l'eau courante

running water

l'eau du robinet

tap water

l'eau trouble

cloudy water

France is also home to several popular bottled water brands, such as Evian, Vittel, Volvic, and Perrier, each offering unique tastes and mineral compositions sourced from pristine natural springs around the country.

Handy Water Phrases

When navigating French social situations, it is essential to understand common water-related expressions. In this section, we provide practical tips along with some popular French idioms featuring water to enrich your everyday vocabulary.

How to Order Water?

Iggy’s at the Parisian cafe, says to the waiter, “Je voudrais de l'eau, s'il vous plaît?”

To ensure a pleasant dining experience in France, knowing how to properly order water is crucial. Here are some common ways to ask for water in a restaurant:

French

English

Je voudrais de l'eau, s'il vous plaît

I'd like some water please

Donnez-moi de l'eau, s'il vous plaît

Give me some water please

Je voudrais une bouteille d'eau, s'il vous plaît

I'd like a bottle of water please

Donnez-moi un verre d'eau, s'il vous plaît

Give me a glass of water please

Je voudrais une carafe d'eau, s'il vous plaît

I'd like a carafe of water please

Expressions and Idioms

The French language is filled with fun expressions containing the word eau. Here are some popular ones to enhance your vocabulary:

French

English

C'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase

It's the final straw] [lit: It’s the drop of water that makes the vase overflow

Se ressembler comme deux gouttes d'eau

To be a spitting image] [lit: Like two peas in a pod

Il y a de l'eau dans le gaz

There's trouble brewing

C'est une goutte d'eau dans la mer

It's a drop in the ocean

C'est une tempête dans un verre d'eau

It is a tempest in a teapot

Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide

Once bitten, twice shy

Clair comme de l'eau de roche

Crystal clear

Comme un poisson dans l'eau

A duck in water, in one's element

By mastering these practical tips and common French water terms, you'll be well-equipped to handle water-related conversations with ease and confidence while engaging with native French speakers or dining out in France.

The Bottom Line

 Iggy walks by the River Seine, thinking, “This is le fleuve!”

At last, we've reached the end of our aqueous adventure! You now know how to say "water" in French and have expanded your vocabulary with numerous related words and phrases.

As we continue our journey through the rich tapestry of the French language and culture, take what you’ve learned today and apply it with confidence. Our Langster app will come in handy in terms of picking up proper phrasing and pronunciation!

Remember, practice makes perfect — so, don't be afraid to dive right in and make a splash!

Bonne continuation!