"Vendent-ils des livres ?"

Translation:Do they sell books?

February 10, 2013

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/xowee

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

April 17, 2013

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

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gsingley

you mean "il vend"

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fleurdeletre

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

June 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

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

February 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/adartulloch

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

August 19, 2014

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

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Two things to listen out for: The slight sounding of "t" between vendent and ils. Then the plural DES before livres.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne_Carol

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

July 18, 2014

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

February 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

October 31, 2016

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

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hiba632376

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

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
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For the plural form (vendent-ils), you will hear the liaison "T" which is not present on "vend-il".

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Androjki
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Does anyone know if "vendre" has been lent to the english "vending machine"? A selling machine?

November 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

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

November 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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!).

March 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
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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.

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yamen469

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

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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 :)

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mjpettitt
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Why could'nt I translate as 'they are selling books?'

March 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ariaflame
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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?'

September 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jwild94
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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?

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jwild94
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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.

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jwild94
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Excellent, thank you for your help!

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/maviszook

Why is there a hyphen?

July 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
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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?
October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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 __?"

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackjon

Yes, Bianca.

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tabletgamer

Couldnt they are selling books be right too?

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanna263644

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

December 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kamalmoham888198

shouldnt it be "les" not "des" cause it seems meaningless when you say "do they sell OF the books"

July 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/J.C.Fink
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Here "des" is the plural of "un", and can be translated "some" or "any", but not "of".

September 4, 2018
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