"Que vend ce commerçant ?"

Translation:What does this storekeeper sell?

March 29, 2018



For those wondering about the structure of this sentence, here is an explanation:

Normally using inversion as a way of asking questions takes the form: conjugated verb + hyphen + subject pronoun (example: Parlez-vous français? - Do you speak French? )

However, when the subject is a noun phrase (i.e. not a pronoun), it may be inverted directly with the verb if:

• the question word is short, such as , que, etc.
• the subject noun phrase does not clash with the object

the general construct is: conjugated verb + person


Où travaille ton père ? - Where does your father work ?
Que veut dire ce mot ? - What does this word mean ?
Que fait votre tante ? - What is your aunt making ?
Qu'ont bu les étudiants ? - What did the students drink?

May 17, 2018


Thanks for this excellent explanation about the actual point of this lesson!

Now we can proceed to the endless off-topic quibbling about the multitude of English synonyms....

November 27, 2018


It rejected "vendor." Reported 30 March 2018.

March 31, 2018


I also thought vendor was a possible translation, but I did not report it because I wasn't sure if it was correct, (June 2018).

June 23, 2018

  • 1644

A "vendor" is "vendeur/vendeuse" (as opposed to a buyer). "Un commerçant" is a shopkeeper.

November 19, 2018


But when I entered shopkeeper, it was marked incorrect. They only accept storekeeper which is not nearly as common in english. Need to add shopkeeper as acceptable!

March 4, 2019


i agree. both shopkeeper and storekeeper should be acceptable.

March 26, 2019


OK, I know I should know this already, but I've got to ask - in the heat of battle as it were, in the middle of a conversation, how can one avoid thinking at first that the "que" is the subject of the verb "vend"? My gut instinct on first hearing this was to translate it to "what sells this shopkeeper". An absurd sentence, I admit, but change a word or two and it's OK. So, I just need to make sure: "Que" does not mean "what" at the beginning of a sentence, and "what sells this shopkeeper" would be "qu'est-ce qui vend ce commercant?"

June 23, 2018


Why not 'retailer'?

December 16, 2018


Retailer is a good word in UK English.

September 13, 2018

  • 1644

It is a good word but it is not the translation of "commerçant". A "retailer" (EN) is "un rétaillant" (when talking about a company) or "un rétaillant, une rétaillante" when talking about a person. It is important to understand that "un commerçant" refers to a shopkeeper/storekeeper which one would generally understand as the proprietor of a small business (shop).

November 19, 2018


We're learning French, not English

January 18, 2019


Is 'trader' a good translation of 'commerçant'? DL just rejected it.

February 2, 2019


que vend ce commercant?

February 6, 2019


I am still not clear on when to use "vend" and "vendre".

March 2, 2019


Why doesn't shopkeeper work for this word here? It is suggested in many other sentences for commerçant.

March 14, 2019


Trader and shopkeper mean the same

March 25, 2019


Ollivander est une boutique créée en 382 av. J.-C., spécialisée dans la fabrication et la vente de baguettes magiques.

April 21, 2019
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.