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  5. "Я не могу вам это продать."

"Я не могу вам это продать."

Translation:I cannot sell it to you.

November 22, 2015

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TEHHOERS

Because my potions are too strong for you traveller


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachel270

It is incorrect to say "I am not able to sell it to you"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gustav_Lundin

I suppose this goes toward another question too. Can't you or won't you sell it? Not being able to sell it is a stronger way of denying the possibility. Is this possivle to distinguish in russian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

I can't sell it to you = Я не могу вам это продать

I won't sell it to you = Эта вещь не продаётся /Я не стану вам это продавать


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

That's fine too. It is just that "cannot" is much more widely used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squonkalini

Not where I live - NYC.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex2537

Yes it's correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

There are two direct objects in this sentence, "это" and "вам." Either one can follow the verb in English. "I can't sell YOU THAT," or "I can't sell THAT to YOU."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alipaulam

вам isn't a direct object, it's an indirect object (to you)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

My mistake, you're right. Still, "I can't sell YOU THAT," is not incorrect. Duolingo marked it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justinbrisk

I agree that "I can't see you that"" is correct. More marginally "I can't sell it you" and "I can't sell you it" are used and perfectly understandable in practice, if more in conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

"I can't sell it you," is a very rare form. It is used by a small percentage of English people living in the Midlands, but I have never personally heard this form used. It has to be "...to you," to be commonly understood.

Yes, "I can't sell you it," is correct but less common than the form used in this exercise.

Most likely one would say, "I can't sell you that."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

OK, thanks. I stand corrected. It's not completely incorrect. I wouldn't teach it here to non-native English speakers, though. I would teach the most common form which is already used in this exercise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TahitiTrotsky

"I can't sell it you," is used in England. Refer to this linguistic commentary on "Give it me." http://linguistics-research-digest.blogspot.ca/2014/01/give-it-me_27.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daughterofAlbion

@TahitiTrotsky: I have indeed heard "Give it me" used in the Midlands, and also "Give it him". But I can't remember ever hearing this construction used with other verbs. Have you actually heard "I'll sell it you", or are you simply inferring it from the blog about "give"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TahitiTrotsky

@daughterofAlbion. My family is from Lancashire, and I grew up in Canada. "I can't sell it you" sounded like how my relatives spoke and led me to look up the link I posted. So, the blog echoed my original opinion; for me, "sell" fits the "give" or "tell" examples of (AltDOC) mentioned in the blog. Here is a "send it me" link; http://eng.sagepub.com/content/44/2/138.abstract Here is an academic paper with lots of examples: http://www.isle-linguistics.org/resources/Biggs--passive_variation--2014.pdf


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daughterofAlbion

@TahitiTrotsky: thanks for the links; they are very interesting. It's intriguing though that the first link is arguing that the usage is dying, and "has gradually been restricted to...Northern British speakers", whilst the second paper treats it as a recent development.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rpoole15

A'int no way "I can't sell it you" is correct lmao


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/an_alias

I imagine it would be a word order thing (as it is in English), but I wonder how you would differentiate between the two sentiments in Russian (and which meaning this sentence intends):

I can't sell you that. [but I can sell you something else]

vs.

I can't sell that you you. [but I could sell it to someone else]

Of course there is the third option of I can't sell you that [but someone else might be able to sell it to you] - which, without formatting codes, we would have trouble expressing in written English but something tells me could be entirely possible in written Russian... maybe?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

In Russian, that's less of a word-order thing than which words are stressed when spoken, like the italicized words in your example. However, without vocal emphasis/intonation, the Russian sentence structure puts the "news" at the end.

Не могу тебе это продать. I can't sell you that.

Не могу тебе продать это. I can't sell you that.

Не могу продать это тебе. I can't sell that to you.

Продать тебе это не могу. I can't sell you that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ginorodrigues

Would it be wrong to use "Я не могу продать это вам” ? It seems so inverted to me as a portuguese/english speaker. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

It's perfectly fine in Russian. The written emphasis becomes вам. In this exercise, продать is the written emphasis. In Russian, without specific vocal emphasis, or italics or bold in writing, the last word is always "the news" in a sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

The words это and вам can be placed in any order anywhere in this sentence except between не and могу. The basic meaning will remain the same, but if you put either of the words in the beginning, you will automatically emphasize it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ginorodrigues

Thanks guys!

I learned that the position creates emphasis, but I am not really sure whether it happens on the beginning or in the end of the sentence (va-diim called it "the news"). Is is possible to point either one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

You can emphasize any word in the sentences except не by applying special intonation to it, without changing the given word order. So, ultimately, it is the intonation that matters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ginorodrigues

Great, thanks Dmitry, I think that what va-diim said applies to "written emphasis”, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Yes, written emphasis only, since there is no intonation in writing; unless, italics or bold is used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/impulsief

what is the difference between продавать and продать ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Продавать is imperfective, which means that it refers to either an action in progress (to be selling) or to an uncertain number of actions (in negative sentences it means "to sell at all"). Продать is perfective, which means that it refers to a particular one-time action.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Продавать is to sell something consistently, or without specifying a specific time, event, or even a sale. Продать is to sell a specific something at a specific time, in other words, a specific sale uses the verb продать.

Я хочу продавать машины. I want to sell cars (in the general sense, as a profession, not which specific cars).

Я хочу продать машины. I want to sell (some specific) cars (for example, my cars).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/impulsief

Thank you very much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xnaut

Shoot, what's могу again?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Могу means I can

Не могу means I can't


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Я не могу means 'I can't [in a particular situation]' or 'I don't have an opportunity' or 'I am not allowed to'. The infinitive of могу is мочь.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henry132109

Сколько лет вам? "Мне 16 лет." Я не могу вам это продать. Не законно. (It's illegal)

Can I use it this way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natasha789288

Can't it translate as: I cannot sell you those. Or I cannot sell those to you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Это implies a single thing as opposed to the plural "those," but I guess if you refer to "those" as an aggregate "it" or "that," then it could make sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StripedAdidas

What is the familiar term for Вам?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shani.gorm

I am unable to sell you that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zebby.mann

Would "I can't sell you that" be more correct as an example if "Я не могу вам это продать" is the answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

It's equally correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morgan1039

Why is «Я не могу это вам продать» incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Well, it is also correct; however, DL software developers failed to enter all possible translations in their database. They just picked the most common equivalent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morgan1039

Thank you, I will report it if I ever get this prompt again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanashe

How would you say I could not sell it to you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitry_Arch

Depends on the context. If it is a hypothetical situation, we would say: «я не мог(ла) бы продать его/её вам/тебе». If it is just a past tense form of “can”, then it will be «я не мог(ла) продать его/её вам/тебе». Могла is the form used by girls or women. The choice between его and её depends on the gender of “it”. «Это» here would mean “this” rather than “it”. The choice between «вам» and «тебе» depends on what the buyer is to you. It is safer to use «вам» if it is an adult who is not part of your family and is much older than you, or any adult stranger who is not likely to become your friend.

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