"Combien vaut-il ?"
Translation:How much does it cost?
It can, I think, have a non-monetary meaning as well. For example a battle can cost you a lot.
But the main point is that coute/cost and vaut/worth are not the same concept.
You have, no doubt, at some point felt like you paid too much for something, or perhaps that you got a very good deal on something. In that case what the object cost was not what it was worth.
Maybe I'm wrong, but even thou Duolingo provide "how much does it cost?" as primary translation, I don't personally think that valoir (which should express a value) and coûter (which should express a cost) are synonyms. The value of an object often doesn't correspond to its cost. What could cost 100, could be worth 1000 to me (or vice versa).
So, unless "Combien vaut-il ?" is the actual expression that is commonly used in French to ask how much an item costs, I don't think that "how much does it cost?" should be accepted (or at least, it shouldn't be the primary translation). It would be interesting if a native could clarify this. :)
When you ask a seller the price of something he's selling, you're asking for both the value and the cost of the object. You're asking the cost for you, which corresponds (unless the seller has some other motives than money in mind which is rare) to the value the seller has appointed to this object.
Value and cost are always extremely interconnected, because as soon as there's a value on something, in order for this thing to pass from a person to another, a cost must be met (which, if it doesn't match the value, is very unlikely to allow a trade).
So yes, "combien ça vaut", "combien ça coûte" and all variants are synonyms. Yes, you're mixing together value and cost but for most intents and purposes, those are the same when doing a transaction.
Not really, but you could encounter this sentence if someone asks for the price of a man having any kind of monetary value placed on his person, like a criminal having a bounty or a slave for example. Rich people are just considered as having money, not being worth an amount of money (in French at least), so we would likely not use the verb "valoir".
"gold digger" = "croqueuse de diamants" (I suppose the masculine version would be "croqueur de diamants")
It's not an expression used much, well, not as much as gold digger is I mean. It's actually the first time I've seen it as far as I know.
I began this lesson with the instruction to translate "How much is it worth" into French, and I gave the response "combien vaut-il", which was not accepted. The acceptable answer was given as "Combien ça vaut." So when this French example come up ("Combien vaut-il?"), I responded "How much is he worth?" and was marked correct. I am mightily confused here...