"Que vend ce commerçant ?"

Translation:What does this storekeeper sell?

March 29, 2018

This discussion is locked.


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?


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....


It rejected "vendor." Reported 30 March 2018.


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


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!


i agree. both shopkeeper and storekeeper should be acceptable.


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).


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?"


You're right, "What sells..." with "What" as the subject would be "Qu'est-ce qui vend...?" in French (the relative pronoun "qui" clarifying that you're asking about the subject vs. the object). "Que vend..." will always be interpreted as asking about the object.


Retailer is a good word in UK English.


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).


We're learning French, not English

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


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


Trader and shopkeper mean the same


Why is 'that ' wrong here? I thought they were interchangeable


In UK english it would be more common to ask what a shop sells. Shopkeeper is a quite old fashioned expression and storekeeper is a US expression - if referring to the actual owner we would probably use shop owner above shopkeeper, or if a large organisation would use the term retailer. I believe that in France it would also be more common to ask what ‘le magasin’ sells.


que vend ce commercant?


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


I would like to know this too


"vend" here is a conjugated form, 3rd person singular present tense, whereas "vendre" is the infinitive (cp "TO sell"). An infinitive can be the subject or an object of another conjugated verb. All French infinitives have an R as either the last or the second to last letter (here: vendRe).


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


DUO offers shopkeeper as acceptable but it did not reflect as a correct answer--get with it DUO


The dictionary gives trader as one of the definitions of this word, so it should be accepted. Also, a storekeeper is not a shopkeeper! A storekeeper would be in charge of a warehouse, perhaps. I hope it will be replaced by shopkeeper in the sentence and trader should be accepted as an alternative.

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