Translation:He sells neither fruit nor vegetables.
he neither sells fruit nor vegetables was marked wrong technical error I hope.
Even though you'll hear it said from time to time, it is grammatically incorrect. As the 'neither' references the verb (sells) and not the noun (fruit), then the 'nor' must introduce a verb. In this instance it should reintroduce the original verb.
Eg. He neither sells fruit nor sells vegetables.
He sells neither fruit nor vegetables.
It would be interesting to know if the first of these translations is accepted because it is valid. The second translation is preferable because it's closer to the original French phrase and doesn't have the redundancy of a repeated verb.
No, it is not because it is not only awkward but it does not match a French turn of phrase.
"Il ne vend pas de fruits ni ne vend de légumes" is the closer, proper construction I would offer, but it is unnecessarily wordy and there is "pas... ni" instead of "ni... ni".
It came up again after I commented so I checked. Definitely not accepted. After reading your thoughts I understand why that's the way it should be. Thanks Sitesurf.
In negations, direct objects preceded by indefinite and partitive articles change to de.
Elle n'a pas de lait. — She doesn't have milk. (Not du lait.)
Je n'entends plus de bruit. — I don't hear a sound anymore. (Not un bruit.)
Je n’entends plus d’oiseaux. — I don’t hear birds anymore. (Not des oiseaux.)
Note: since être does not have direct objects, all articles may be used
Ce liquide n'est pas du lait. — This liquid isn't milk.
Ce n'est pas un couteau. — That's not a knife.
Hope that helps.
Thank you so much for your quick response. This will help me when contributing/asking questions. It is taking me a long time to get around the mechanics of using duo to say nothing about learning French. Progress comes one day at a time!
I have exactly this sentence translate by you with " "'neither fruits nor vegetanles"' and NOW you are counting it as a mistake!!! ingrid eadon, australia
Sorry - of course. I meant I do not sell either fruit or vegetables is equivalent to I sell neither fruit nor vegetables. I missed the poster's inclusion of the word can - merci for picking that up :-)
''he doesn't sell any fruits or vegetables'' ought to work, I think; it doesn't
What's wrong with "He doesn't sell fruit nor vegetables"?
So triple negatives are just a natural thing in French, eh? Ugggggghhh...
honestly, this section would need revision. it is so frustrating to get marked wrong for a correct sentence, which is repeatedly happening in the lessons "negatives"
Does Dl do Kikongo or that African click language? Surely they are less infuriating than trying to learn French here. I think I may just stick with pointing, shouting and miming Ffs!