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  5. "Vendent-ils des livres ?"

"Vendent-ils des livres ?"

Translation:Do they sell books?

February 10, 2013



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


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.


you mean "il vend"


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


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


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


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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!).


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.


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


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.


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 :)


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).


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.


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


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?'


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?


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?


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.


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!


Excellent, thank you for your help!


Why is there a hyphen?


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?


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 __?"


Couldnt they are selling books be right too?


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.


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

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