"Les commerçants savent vendre et acheter."

Translation:Storekeepers know how to sell and buy.

March 30, 2018

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Selbosh

In English you might say "Shopkeepers know buying and selling". Where 'know' + gerund implies it is an art or a trade.

Also I don't know why, but "buy and sell" always sounds more natural to me than "sell and buy". I can't imagine a native speaker saying the latter. It is a bit like "knives and forks" — say "forks and knives" and it sounds odd.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tristan_Fairhair

"how to buy and sell" sounds more natural than using gerunds to me, but I definitely agree that the verbs ought to be ordered that way in English. I get that the French sentence has them that way round but, despite correctly reading both verbs, I just swapped them on autopilot in English it's so unnatural to me to write them in that order

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Selbosh

I agree that "how + infinitive" seems more natural in this case. It made me think of other industries and how the two forms might sound different.

"Teach a man how to fish" could take half an hour, whereas "teach a man fishing" sounds like years of vocational training

April 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jgedrim

Come and go is "go and come" in french and they mark it wrong if you say go and come when translating into English. Where is the consistancy?

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DoubleLingot

we're talking about Siamese twins here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_twins_(linguistics)

February 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

There is no "consistency" when it comes to the realization that French expressions are often reversed from what English speakers are used to. We are learning how the French say it here. "Buy and sell" is now accepted as a variant in this exercise.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMeaneyPL

No. In English we buy and sell. Just as we come and go (aller et venir). This needs fixing.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tim384839

I agree, buy and sell is the common way we say this in English. Duolingo does a disservice to non-native speakers who will learn the phrase as "sell and buy" and immediately sound like a non-native speaker even if the phrase is grammatically correct. As a former native French teacher that I had a very long time ago would respond when something was grammatically correct but not the way the thought is commonly expressed, she would respond, "cela ne sonne pas bien pour les oreilles".

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

If you ask the owl, "Why do you do this?", the owl will reply that it is to help you understand that the word order in French is the French way. If the English word order mimics the French, it sounds awkward. So what are we to do? To avoid absolute trickery, the "sell and buy" (literal translation) is shown as the primary answer to make sure you will be it right when translating from English to French. But the "buy and sell" variant will also be accepted in English.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/marc622892

DL doesn't seem to accept "traders" for "commerçants". Traders sounds better than storekeepers in UK English. Does a commerçant have to have a shop or could the word cover market traders?

May 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

A "commerçant" is a shopkeeper, not a trader.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stripedkitty

The details of French are tough to nail down-- inexplicable articles where you might not expect, and entire words missing where you would expect- like the word HOW in this sentence. Why is it not there, in some form?

My translation 'The storekeepers know to sell and buy' was dinged as incorrect (though it is a legitimate sentence, so not sure how it would translate into French).

April 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Morayson

A newbie storekeeper may know to buy and sell but might not know how to?

April 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

"Savoir" followed by an an infinitive means "know how to" + verb.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/louisemathias0

"Salesmen" really ought to be acceptable. It's in more common usage hthan "storekeepers"

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ian327719

A salesman is a quite specific job/role and wouldn't typically involve purchasing or any other business or commercial activities. Shopkeepers would typically be self employed and responsible for all business tasks.

September 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

A "salesman" is "un répresentant" (of a company) or "un vendeur" (in a store).

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Simone319934

If you are going with a true English translation, it would be: The shopkeepers know how to buy and sell. It would just never be said that way. In past exercises, the translations have been to the manner in which it would be said.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
  • 1659

Working on it....one awkward sentence at a time. "Buy and sell" is accepted here but the primary English translation will still show "sell and buy" so as not to trip you up on the reverse translation.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EdSouthwick

"Vendre et acheter" should follow the same idiomatic translation sense as "aller et venir." In English, it's "buy and sell" and "come and go." The reverse order isn't grammatically wrong; it just looks and sounds clumsy.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/smatprabby

Would I be incorrect to translate "commercants" as "merchants"? I also said"...selling and buying."

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/smatprabby

I repeatedly get this wrong because "buy and sell" is so imbedded in my mind. I look at it, see that it's "sell and buy," and then type "buy and sell."

January 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sisalbichon1

Not sure why one must uuse infinitive form in translating when gerund is as precise

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sisalbichon1

the gerunds for selling and buying are at least as accurate as implying "how to" from 'savent.' Why are they not accepted here?

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

The French savoir (in this context) doesn't mean know. It means know how. So you cannot say "know how selling and buying". You must say "know how to sell and buy".

November 28, 2018
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