"Storekeepers know how to sell and buy."

Translation:Les commerçants savent vendre et acheter.

April 5, 2018

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Do the French prefer to say "sell and buy"? I would usually say "buy and sell".


I answered "Les commerçants savent comment vendre et acheter."

Why do you not use "comment" for how in this sentence?


generally savoir + infinitive means to know how to do something

However there is an exception to this rule, namely:

Anything that involves a process (like building a radio, baking a cake, etc.) requires savoir + comment.


Il sait comment faire une radio. - He knows how to make a radio.
Je sais comment m'y rendre - I know how to get there
il sait comment faire un gateau - he knows how to make a cake


you are fantastic


Because savoir equates "to know (how to do something)".
Je sais nager → "I know how to swim"
Elles savent parler l'anglais → "They know how to speak English".


I thought "some" was des.


I thought the same, but found this link explaining the differences between using les or des. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/3683850/Les-or-Des


Why is this "Les" and not "Ces"?


Because French requires a noun to be accompanied my an article although it is not translated in English while ces is a plural demonstrative adjective meaning "those/these"; words that would appear in the English sentence.


In English, we say "buy and sell, not sell and buy. If we need to say the French version of come and go, we should say the English version of buy and sell.


Why is it "les" instead of "des"?

The sentence does not say "The" storekeepers; it says only "Storekeepers."

I thought that when "the" is missing, the required replacement is "des," meaning "some." For example, in this same series of exercises, when asked to write "Students drink wine," I've repeatedly said "Des etudiants boivent du vin," and it was deemed correct.


The English sentence is expressing a generality. In French generalities use definite articles.

Generalities associated with uncountable nouns will use either le or la and generalities for countable nouns will use les.

Note that all appreciative verbs (aimer, adorer, détester, préférer) introduce generalities.


Les poules sont des oiseaux - Hens are birds.
Même les enfants auraient été meilleurs que moi - Even children would have been better than me!
il préfère la bière. - he prefers beer.


Thanks for that clear, helpful response. So I guess the fact that duolingo accepts "Des etudiants boivent du vin" is because, of course, all students do not necessarily drink wine; some do, some don't. Whereas, all hens are chickens; therefore, "Les poules sont des oiseaux." Aha! Merci!


I said 'vendeuses' but was marked wrong. May I ask what 'vendeuses' means and when I should use it?


A "vendeuse" is the feminine counterpart to "vendeur". It refers to a shop assistant though it can also refer to a person who sells a property (ie the vendor) or someone who sells goods from a kiosk, stand or stall.


Whereas "commercant" refers strictly to a shopkeeper? They are not interchangeable in French?


This is EXACTLY what I have written twice and both times Duolingo indicates it is wrong!!!


If you got it wrong, don't write it exactly the same a second time! :-)


Would some knowledgeable person please address the issue of "les" vs "des" as it applies to this sentence?


When you are talking about something in general, you use the definite article. "Des commerçants" would mean "some storekeepers".


Is the word commerçants limited to storekeeper? Not sometimes related to commerce more generally? NB: Speaking of the French term.


I've been using "merchants" successfully.


The English is (deliberately) non-idiomatic but an idiomatic French translation with identical meaning is expected.

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