Translation:Storekeepers know how to sell and buy.
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.
"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
we're talking about Siamese twins here:
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".
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.
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).
can someone verify me about translating commerçant as vendor? i knew what the word refers to, saw a shopkeeper in my mind, but could only think of "vendor" as the English word for a person who buys and sells... i think that phrase put me in mind of the marketplaces in the old cities with booths or other temporary shops, and in English i call them vendors.
i guess maybe I'm trying to pin down the context for commerçant and the limits/edges of meaning before other words are more correct