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"Vendent-ils des livres ?"

Translation:Do they sell books?

February 10, 2013

39 Comments


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

How can I tell singular (il vent) from plural (ils vendent) when listening?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/br13lle

I think the difference can only be heard in the question. "vend-il" sounds like "venDDDil", and "vendent-ils" sounds like "vendenTTTils". Notice how the two words are connected.


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

you mean "il vend"


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

I was thinking of the same question, isn't "vend-il des livres" also correct?


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

I can answer that in the negative. I can't hear a difference between the singular and plural forms. Sigh.


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

Sorry, I don't think there is a difference between singular and plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Jackjon - des applies to the number of books, not the number of sellers; it has nothing to do with whether the subject/verb is singular or plural.


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

I think if you listen really hard you hear the d and the t in plural but only the d in singular?


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

If there is a difference, it has to be the "t"/"d" distinction which is very hard for speakers of American English to hear since the distinction is lost in certain environments and they both become a "tap" (cf. ladder/latter).


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

The only problem with this is that the French don't actually pronounce the t in the -ent termination. They will correctly say 'vend il' in this case. Duo is teaching a bad habit here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

That's true in declaratory subject-verb form, but in the case of vendre, the d in vendent is pronounced in declaratory form, so you can tell the difference. With other verbs, sometimes there's no difference between singular and plural in declaratory form.

In verb-subject pronoun question form, the t at the end of vendent and other verbs is pronounced, as both possible plural subject pronouns (ils/elles) begins with a vowel.

The real issue is whether in quesiton format, native speakers pronounce the d at the end of vend, and, if they do, whether they pronounce it as d or a t - or not at all. My exploration of on-line translators doesn't shed any definitive light on this quesiton.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hiba632376

(il vend) we don't pronounce the "d" while in (ils vendent ) we do


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2070

For the plural form (vendent-ils), you will hear the liaison "T" which is not present on "vend-il".


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

Does anyone know if "vendre" has been lent to the english "vending machine"? A selling machine?


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

Yes it has, as is Vendor for a seller as in "Street-Vendor"


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

How would this sound any diffentent from "Vont-ils des livres"? I know that sentence probably wouldn't make sense, but "vendent" sounds like "vont" to me.


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

Yeah, I can't tell the difference either, but I think "vont" is "vɔ̃" and "vend" is "vɑ̃" - the same difference as between "on" and "en", semi-open and open (ie not much for an Anglophone!).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2070

When a sentence doesn't make sense the way we think we hear it, it's a good idea to back up and consider what is a more likely sentence. Understand it first--then translate it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yamen469

"Vende-t-il des livre? " this phrase has the same pronunciation !


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

Your article is plural while your sentence is singular. The one would have Du and the plural has Des.. Du and Des sound very different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yamen469

Thanks Jackjon for your reply , that was a typographical mistake , so "vende-il des livres" is correct ? my point is about the pronunciation of "vende-t-il" and " vendent-t-ils" , it is the same ! it should be added i think :)


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

Ah, I see. Well the audio on this one is not good and does need "cleaning". Now I stand to be corrected here, but I think that Vende-il should sound like "Vende- Till" (with silent "D") and Vendent-ils should sound like "Vendeh-Till" (with the "D" sounded).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

This is not correct. "Vend-il?" (with no E at the end of "vend") would have no T sound in it, and the D would be pronounced. "Vendent-ils" has both a D and a T sound.


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

Why could'nt I translate as 'they are selling books?'


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

Because it's a question, not a statement. Ils vendent des livres is 'they are selling books' Vendent-ils des livres? is 'are they selling books?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.wilder

When do pronouns precede or follow the verb? In this case "ils" follows "vendent," but would it be incorrect to switch the order of these words?


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

No it wouldn't. Jwild you seem to know more of grammar than I, but I can tell you this: "Ils vendent des livres"= "They sell books". "Vendent-ils des livres?"="Do they sell books?"........ Vous mangez=You eat.... Mangez-vous?=Do you eat/are you eating?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.wilder

Thank you! That answered my question. From what I understand now, when the pronoun follows the verb, it is a question, but when the pronoun precedes the verb, it is a statement.


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

Usually. but just to add some spice, the sentence may be in statement form with intonation raised at the end of the statement which turns a sentence structured as a statement into a question. Like "Vous Mangez?". " You are eating?"There are other, more formal ways of asking a question and your lessons will take you through all of them. Remember, though, when you invert the noun/verb to ask a question, you ought to include the hyphen between the inverted verb/noun as in my post. Bon chance!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.wilder

Excellent, thank you for your help!


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

Why is there a hyphen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2070

It is a method of asking a question called inversion. For example,

  • Vous avez des livres = you have books
  • Avez-vous des livres = do you have books?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharkitron3000_

So would this sentence be correct when asking it to a store worker?

Vendent vous des livres?

I'm trying to figure out how to say "Do you sell __?"


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

Couldnt they are selling books be right too?


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

Not without the question mark and anyroad Duo may not be programmed for it in this task. Worth a try to find out if you're not too hung up and addicted to those blood diamond lingot things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joanna263644

Why can't this be...Is HE selling books. There is no indication that it is 'they'

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