80+ Water-Related Vocabulary Words in French

How to Say Water in French

When you first start out learning French the word for water probably one of the first that you are going to look at and have absolutely no idea how to pronounce it. Fortunately for us, it’s actually much easier than you would think.

The French word for water is eau and is pronounced the same way you would pronounce « O » in French (this isn’t much different from how it’s pronounced in English.) The word itself is feminine. To make it plural you add “x” to the end to make eaux.

If you’re talking about water in general or a specific water that was previously mentioned you’ll want to say l’eau.

How to Order Water in French

Let’s say you’re at a restaurant (or somewhere similar) and want to order some water. What do you say? Here are a few different things you could say depending on your situation.

Je voudrais de l’eau – I would like some water

This is easiest and most obvious way of asking for water in French.

It simply means that you would like some water, but doesn’t specify any quantity or container. One thing to keep in mind is that in France (as opposed to many other parts of the world) sparkling water is very common.

If you don’t specify what kind of water you want then you very well may receive sparkling water.

Keep this in mind the next time you are at a French restaurant or anywhere else you may need to other water.

If you want to specify the container that you want your water in you can say one of the following.

Je voudrais un verre d’eau – I would like a glass of water

Je voudrais une bouteille d’eau – I would like a bottle of water

Je voudrais une carafe d’eau – I would like a jug of water

Remember how we just mentioned that if you don’t specify what type of water you would like you may receive sparkling water? Well here is you specify different types of water that you may want to choose from.

  • L’eau plate – still water (normal water)
  • L’eau du robinet – tap water
  • L’eau minérale – minérale water
  • L’eau gazeuse / L’eau pétillante – sparkling water
  • L’eau de Seltz – seltzer water

Other Types of Water in French

While we’re at it let’s go over some other types of water that may come up in conversation. These aren’t the types of water that you would order in a restaurant, but are still important to know.

  • L’eau de table – table water (this is basically tap water that you can buy bottled)
  • L’eau bouillante – boiling water
  • L’eau chaude – hot water
  • L’eau froide – cold water
  • L’eau de mer / L’eau salée – sea water
  • L’eau douce – freshwater / soft water
  • L’eau courante – running water
  • L’eau de pluie – rainwater
  • L’eau bénite – holy water
  • L’eau calcaire – hard water
  • L’eau de source – spring water
  • L’eau tiède – room temperature water
  • L’eau non-potable – Not-potable water
  • L’eau de javel – bleach (technically not water, but still uses the word eau)
  • L’eau-de-vie – a clear, colorless fruit brandy (also not water, but an alcoholic beverage)
  • L’eau de toilette – Cheaper more diluted perfume (it’s common to hear this in English as well)
  • L’eau oxygénée – Hydrogen peroxide
  • L’eau de rose – rosewater
  • L’eau purifiée / L’eau épurée – purified drinking waterL’eau distillé – distilled water
  • L’eau trouble – cloudy water

What are the Most Common French Water Brands?

What if you want to refer to a specific brand of water? Here are some of the most common French water brands.

The most common types of mineral water in France are Vittel, Evian, Volvic, La Salvetat and Contrex.

The most common types of sparkling water are Perrier, Quézac, Saint Yorre, Vichy Célestins and Badoit.

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water in France?

Yes, it is safe to drink the tap water in France. There are sometimes exceptions to this, but they are not very common.

I personally have drank the water in France many many times and have never had any issues.

However if this is something that you are worried about you can check this website and put in the city or postal code of the location you are visiting.

Water Vocabulary Related to Geography

Here are a bunch of geographic-related vocabulary that has some sort of connection to water.

  • La rivière – A river
  • Le fleuve – A river that flows into the sea (the word rivière is for a smaller river that flows into another rivière or a fleuve, but never the ocean. There is no English equivalent for this word.)
  • L’éstuaire (m) – The spot where a fleuve meets the ocean
  • Le lit de la rivière – river bed
  • Le courant – current
  • L’embouchure (f) – mouth of the river
  • La rive / la berge – river bank
  • Le ruisseau – stream
  • Une piscine – a swimming pool
  • La mer – sea
  • L’océan (m) – ocean
  • La pluie – rain
  • La flotte – rain (informal / slang)
  • L’inondation (f) – flood
  • Déborder – to overflow
  • Le débordement – overflowing
  • La crue – rise in the water level
  • La marée – tide
  • La marée basse – low tide
  • La marée haute – high tide
  • Un lac – a lake
  • Un étang – a pond
  • Une mare – a smaller natural pond
  • Un bassin – a small man-made pond
  • Le bras de mer – sound
  • Le détroit – strait
  • Une flaque – puddle
  • La nappe phréatiquewater table

Water Vocabulary Related to Weather

As we all know, water plays an important role in the weather. Here are some weather-related vocabulary that involved water in one way or another.

  • La pluie – rain
  • La chute de pluie – rainfall (one single instance)
  • Les précipitations (f) – rainfall (for a cumulative period of time)
  • La pluie verglaçante – freezing rain
  • L’averse (f) – rain shower
  • Le déluge – downpour
  • La pluie torrentielle – torrential downpour
  • Les fortes pluies – heavy rainfall
  • La bruine – drizzle / mist
  • La brume – mist / haze
  • Un orage – storm (thunderstorm)
  • La neige – snow
  • La neige fondue – sleet

Adjectives Related to Water

In many cases you want to describe with adjectives that are in some ways related to water. Here are a few adjectives you may want to use in these situations.

  • Mouillé(e) – wet (the verb to moisten or dampen something is mouiller)
  • Mou (m) / molle (f) – soggy (you will often see this used with regards to food that is soft or floppy when it’s usually hard. In many cases, this is due to the addition of wate)
  • Trempé(e) – soaked
  • Détrempé(e) – soaked (often used for terrain such as the ground after a heavy rain storm. You probably won’t hear this used when speaking about people)
  • Humide – moist, damp
  • Saturé(e) – saturated, full (like a container full of liquid)

Miscellaneous Vocabulary Related to Water

  • Une boisson – a drink
  • Un breuvage – a beverage / drink (Canadian French)
  • Un bain – a bath
  • Une baignoire – bathtub
  • Une mare – a smaller natural pond
  • Un bassin – a small man-made pond
  • Un puits – a well
  • Un chauffe-eau – water heater
  • Un ballon d’eau chaude – water heater tank
  • Un brumisateur – spray bottle used for cooling off
  • La glace – ice
  • Un glaçon – ice cube
  • Une paille – a drinking straw (paille is also used for the agriculture byproduct)
  • Une douche – a shower
  • Une gorgée – a sip
  • Un tuyau – a pipe (the kind that water and other liquids flow through

Not only should you know how to order water in French, but you should have a good guide to other water-related vocabulary that you can reference and learn from. If you would like to learn more French vocabulary, then head on over to the French vocabulary page.

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