1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Combien les vendez-vous ?"

"Combien les vendez-vous ?"

Translation:How much are you selling them for?

December 30, 2012

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kozipiotr

What would be the correct way to ask "How many are you selling?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sevillaarvin

According to lemmingofdestiny:

"Combien en vendez-vous" - "How many of them do you sell?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/letsgocommies

The use of « les » as a direct object makes it so that the sentence would be "You are selling them." with the question "How much?" Therefore "How much do you sell them (for)?"

Also, since « les » is a direct object, suggesting "of them" puts the object in a prepositional phrase, making it an indirect object. The indirect object of them is « leur, » so that translation would not make sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bugbrain_04

Could this not also mean "How many are you selling?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruinchristmas

bump, how would we say that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bugbrain_04

Actually, I may be able to answer this myself. I think you'd drop the "les" and go "Combien vendez-vous?" since "les" in this case is a direct object ("them") for "vendez", and "How many are you selling?" does not contain a direct object.

...Je pense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lemmingofdestiny

"Combien en vendez-vous" - "How many of them do you sell?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lastnightilie

Are you fairly sure or are you just guessing? I tried Google Translate but it keeps giving me a word-by-word translation which isn't helpful at all. To me it sounds like it could mean either one, which is why I originally put that as my answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lemmingofdestiny

100% sure. If you say Combien de pommes vendez-vous?, that means "How many apples do you sell/are you selling?" En is the génitif pronoun, so it can replace nouns when they are used in this quantitive sense (i.e. with de), e.g.

  • how many of the apples do you sell?
  • how many of them do you sell?
  • combien de pommes vendez-vous?
  • combien en vendez-vous?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachopertrat

Yes, I put in "How many of them are you selling?" and got marked as wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/codeandcoffeh

As said in another answer, that would be "Combien en vendez-vous?". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pron_adverbial_2.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnB03

i put the same as you and was marked correct??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel-Iowan

I heard combien les vins de vous. As in the exclamatory How many of your wines!

Does 'vins de' not sound like 'vendez'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobtackett

One thing I've noticed (and usually forget when answering) when the speaker pronounces a connected phrase like vendez-vous, she says it all together (in the slow version). If it were "vins de vous", she would say each word separately and slowly (in the slow version). As it is, she says it quickly, so she gives us a hint in that way that the phrase is all together, as in vendez-vous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachopertrat

No, 'vins de' is like 'van de' and 'vendez' is like 'von-day'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inc0ncevable

Or vang shout out to Southern france


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hunterwolf

Wouldn't correct grammar be 'for how much are you selling them?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bugbrain_04

This is exactly the sort of nonsense up with which we need not put.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lyric517

Tu, mon ami, es génial.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Persikov

It would also be correct, but it would sound a bit strange and old-fashioned or bookish. Separating the preposition from the noun is much more normal in English, ie "Where are you from" NOT "From where are you"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shlyovich

Churchill would be proud!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LEGEND

Haha I was about to type rendezvous!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

I actually did, and pressed enter, and I felt tres stupide...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camerican

In the audio version of this exercise, is there a way to distinguish between "le" and "les"? It sounded like, "Combien le vendez-vous?" to my ear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

Sort of. le is pronounced like "luh" (in general, the unaccented e is spoken as an "uh"). Whereas, if it sounds like "le", then it's really les. This has been consistent: sounds like "le" means it's les, sounds like "luh" means it's le.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drockalgzemoser

You may want to press the "slower" button. I usually press it each time I do that just to check.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/punikaO

i agree that the distinction is really bad in duolingo. in reality the distinction can be much clearer as mentioned by shriramk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npmauad

Why can't it be "How many do you sell to them?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

the pronoun "les" is a direct object. In your construction, "to them", you would need an indirect object pronoun. I think that is the pronoun "lui". Therefore, anyone looking at this sentence should be able to tell that the translation of "les" would be "them", not " to them" or "for them". However, I should mention that I didn't get that until I translated it incorrectly!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npmauad

Now I got it, thanks. I don't get the direct and indirect thing yet. The indirect counterpart of "les" is "eux", I think ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Third person plural form of direct object is les (them)

Third person plural form of indirect object is leur (to them)

Third person singular form of indirect object is lui (to him)

Third person plural form of stressed pronouns is eux


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npmauad

Right. This is so hard. I better study Scottish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

NickM98

I made a mistake while typing my comment. After posting I reread it and then immediately edited it. You responded before I could get my edit done. Please check comment again before leaving the topic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npmauad

Right. Now I kind of get it. Anyway it's still hard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Make up a flash card for all the regular, direct object, indirect object, reflexive and stressed pronoun forms. Keep it with you when working on French. After referring to it a few times you will soon start to remember the common ones right away.

Of course, you have to be crystal clear what the different forms mean in English. (Well, maybe that won't help so much with stressed pronouns as they seem to have some additional meaning in French)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

I think you're right about "eux," but I'm not sure. It's definitely not "lui" as I stated because lui is singular . As far as direct and indirect: "I read the letter." In this sentence , "letter" is the direct object of the verb. "I read it." In this sentence "it" is the direct object of the verb. "I read the letter to him." In this sentence, "him" is the indirect object of the verb. "I read him the letter." Here, "him" is the indirect object of the verb. I hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelo000

A few lessons ago (I think it was in questions), "how much" was translated as "combien coûte." How come in this sentence "coûte" was dropped? Does it have something to do with the context or the situation?

Wow, these lessons are really getting harder, aren't they? .__.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shriramk

coûte means "cost". So that was probably in the context of "how much" as in "how much does it cost". Just as in English, the "cost" part can clearly be dropped when speaking and writing informally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Yes, they are getting harder.

EG: if you don't have a thorough grasp of the rules of direct and indirect object pronouns in English, it will make it hard for you to remember the patterns for the same in French. And it will be even harder to remember the exceptions.

If you live in a French speaking area where you can speak and hear it every day, you can just count on getting familiar with how things should sound. But if you are learning from the Duo system which relies mostly on reading and writing, then you have to get right down into the workings of the language.

Pronoun management in French is different from English so Duo students eventually have to start learning the rules to make much progress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wuch

Could someone explain how inversion works for this question? If the original phrase is "vous les vendez" (you sell them), how does it get rearranged into "les vendez-vous"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Much the same way as it does in English. You do sell them becomes do you sell them? when put as a question. The words are rearranged to make it into a question. One way French does that is by reversing subject/verb order you sell to verb/subject order sell you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wuch

I understand that's how it works for French. For example: "vous dansez" (you dance) becomes "dansez-vous" (do you dance). However, what threw me off here was the presence of "les" in "vous les vendez". Why did it follow "vendez" and end up in front of "vous"? Is it just a rule in French that the pronoun follows the verb when it inverts (e.g. [les vendez]-vous)?

Sorry if this is messy/hard to understand. I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

What about les? Good question. The correct order is les vendez-vous as in the example given. Vendez-vous because one of the available interrogative forms reverses the subject/verb order as discussed.

Les is placed in front the verb/subject because it is the direct object of the verb and is therefore required to be placed in front of the verb (in French). That is how you can tell it's the direct object. Les + verb = direct object = them. Les + noun = article modifying noun = the. This is true of declarative as well as interrogative statements.

Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/learner96

le is pronounced "luh", and les is pronounced "leh" as in letter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xuyang1233321

"les"here is a direct object , so the sentence can be thought as "Combien voudez-vous a elles/ils ?" so I translated it into "how much do you sell to them? " But I got it wrong. Why???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bugbrain_04

Because "to them" is an indirect object, which would require "leur" instead of "les."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonnie03

The correct answer was shown as " How much are you selling them at? "
Where is the 'at' in the French sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lemmingofdestiny

You could equally ask, "Where is the are or how?" In French you need only these four words to ask this question, but there is no equally economical way to express the same query in English, hence the translation comes across as non-verbatim.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mattaes

'How much are you selling them FOR/AT?' is wrong. In English it is grammatically incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition.

'For how much are you selling them?' is better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosok4

I agree "how many are you selling" should be an alternative answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

no, because your translation implies "how many OF THEM are you selling." "Of them" would not be expressed using "les". "les" means THEM, not OF THEM.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafaelmdias

Why it can't be "le" instead "les" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willijanb

because that would translate to "How much are you selling IT for?" The programmers chose to write "How much are you selling THEM for?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafaelmdias

merci! 1 lingot pour toi haha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alathat

Doesn't "How much do they cost" convey the same meaning? And it is more natural than "how much are you selling them for?" Yet, it is not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UmaObasi

Why is "How much do you sell them" not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelim1972

I heard, combien les vin de vous


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sfakiola

why not "how much do you sell them"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marciaesch

Why can't it be used in the singular: "Combien le vendez-vous?" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sangokhan99

Combien en vendez-vous? -how many of them do you sell?

Combien les vendez-vous? -how many do you sel them? I wonder why we put "for" in the end of question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/breaaak

No plural hints on this pronunciation at all :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrewDdmek

Wouldnt the vous be leur? Also, where did the for come in?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natalia.l.f

Combien le vin de vous? = how much, your wine? well, it made sense to me.. : /


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mehki227

The "correct" response i got was, "How much are you selling them at?".... Wth????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manya319

But wouldn't it be "how much are they for"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pedrofdrummond

Do I need "coute" to ask the price or not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackeddie04

why couldn't you say 'how many do they sell?' every day they sell a certain amount. How many do they sell?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MIDORIMERCI

Do you really need the at, at the end?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milankovacs

From this point I would say with my hand on my heart, I am lost like crazy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greendoc1

"How much are you selling them" should be enough without the need for "for" or "at"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dadoumagnol

je ne comprends rien ,pourquoi FOR ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dadoumagnol

j'ai répondu how much do you sell them ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Goncharushik

And how do you say "I am selling them for 3 pounds"?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.