"Combien doit-il ?"
Translation:How much does he owe?
I have how many/ how much as the definitions for combien. I have owe, duty, has to be as the definitions for devoir.
When presented with Combien doit-il even my rigid, linear mind reached the conclusion that it must be how much does he owe .
I can see someone getting it wrong but I don't see how the question doesn't make sense either in English or French.
Thanks. I wondered why people seemed upset.
Some of the examples that Duo uses are rather artificial and take a little imagination to make them work. Not surprising given they are trying to make some point or other using a very limited vocabulary.
I could see how the other two translations could be made to work in English but only as a mildly challenging, direct response to a previous statement. Even then it would be pretty unusual.
We English speakers should not be guessing at what English sentences actually mean. For non-English speakers, that's totally confusing. I agree that both these sentences are a lot less than perfect. I don't think we would ever say "How much must he?" and we would only use "How much does he have to" with an infinitive verb as in Albert Yin's example. My question is: does this phrase sound OK in French?