In this paper stability and error analyses are discussed for some finite difference methods when applied to the one-dimensional shallow-water equations. Two finite difference formulations, which are based on a combined Eulerian-Lagrangian approach, are discussed. In the first part of this paper the results of numerical analyses for an explicit Eulerian-Lagrangian method (ELM) have shown that the method is unconditionally stable. This method, which is a generalized fixed grid method of characteristics, covers the Courant-Isaacson-Rees method as a special case. Some artificial viscosity is introduced by this scheme. However, because the method is unconditionally stable, the artificial viscosity can be brought under control either by reducing the spatial increment or by increasing the size of time step. The second part of the paper discusses a class of semi-implicit finite difference methods for the one-dimensional shallow-water equations. This method, when the Eulerian-Lagrangian approach is used for the convective terms, is also unconditionally stable and highly accurate for small space increments or large time steps. The semi-implicit methods seem to be more computationally efficient than the explicit ELM; at each time step a single tridiagonal system of linear equations is solved. The combined explicit and implicit ELM is best used in formulating a solution strategy for solving a network of interconnected channels. The explicit ELM is used at channel junctions for each time step. The semi-implicit method is then applied to the interior points in each channel segment. Following this solution strategy, the channel network problem can be reduced to a set of independent one-dimensional open-channel flow problems. Numerical results support properties given by the stability and error analyses. ?? 1990.