water in french

“Water” in French and 80+ Related Words and Phrases [Plus Pronunciation]

There’s more to water in French than Évian and Perrier.

Consider La Côte d’Azur (French Riviera), the Loire, the Seine, the famous fountains of Versailles and the healing eaux thermales (thermal springs) of towns like Vichy and Évian-les-Bains.

Since it’s such an essential, in this post we’ll teach you how to talk about water in French—from the all-important word eau to everyday expressions, water temperature, degrees of wetness and more. 

Ready to dive in?


How To Say “Water” in French  

Before we get into all the different water-related words, here’s how to say just plain “water”:

As you hear in the audio sample above, eau is pronounced similar to an English “o” sound, but less forward in the mouth (this is a sound represented by the IPA symbol /o/).

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

The verb meaning “to water” (like watering a plant) is arroser

Below we’ll go over several categories of French water terms, vocabulary and phrases.

Water-related French Vocabulary

French Expressions Involving Water

Fill your linguistic well with these poetic water-soluble metaphors.

  • Pleuvoir des cordes — to rain heavily (this phrase is the French equivalent of ‘‘it’s raining cats and dogs’’)

Everyday French expressions like these are easier to pick up if you hear them used in context. These phrases are common enough that you might come across them in French literature or TV shows.

If you’re looking to pick more French vocabulary and phrases, you could try learning with the help of authentic media using a video-based learning program like FluentU.

This app and website immerses you in clips made by and for native speakers, so you’ll learn words and expressions by hearing them used in natural contexts.

You can search FluentU’s video dictionary for phrases related to water, weather or any other topic that interests you. This connects you to videos that feature the vocab and phrases that you want to learn.

Temperature in French

These descriptors for water temperature (la température de l’eau) will take you from freezing to tepid to scalding.

Different Types of Drinking Water

L’eau potable (French bottled water) is just about as iconic as la tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower) and the béret. With this fluid vocabulary, you can be fluent in the most basic and necessary beverage of all.

French Wet Weather Terms

Pack your poncho and prepare to ride the rapids of le temps pluvieux (wet weather) terms.

Degrees of Wetness in French

Master a scale for measuring les degrés d’humidité (degrees of wetness) — especially in the context of food, clothing and nature.

Bodies of Water in French

From underground water to the largest ocean, you’ll do swimmingly with these words describing les masses d’eau (bodies of water).

Water-related French Verbs

This collection of des verbes qui concernent l’eau (water-related verbs) will help you talk about wet weather and water activities such as gardening or doing laundry.


Now that you have this pool of French water words, you can glide confidently through water-related content and conversations in French.

Bon voyage! (Have a good trip!)

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