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Vender: Translation & Present Conjugation

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

''Vender'' means 'to sell'. In this lesson you'll learn to conjugate this verb in the present tense while visiting a few markets in the Spanish speaking world.

People Sell Handcrafts and Typical Food

Imagine if you could quickly visit some emblematic markets in Latin America or Spain. You would see all kinds of cool handcrafts and typical food items. Well, since we're learning the verb vender (to sell) today, you can do that from the comfort of your own chair.

We will begin with the present tense conjugation and then explore the impersonal use of this verb. This will let you know exactly what vender means once you travel for real to a Spanish speaking country.

The Present Tense of Vender

We use the present tense of vender to express habitual situations, such as 'I always sell lemonade during the summer' or 'He sells tacos'. Let's look at the conjugation first.


Vender (behn-DEHR) - 'to sell'

Subject Pronoun Vender Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
yo vendo BEHN-doh I sell
vendes BEHN-dehs you (singular/informal) sell
él/ella
usted
vende BEHN-deh he/she sells - you (singular/formal) sell
nosotros
nosotras
vendemos behn-DEH-mohs we sell
vosotros
vosotras
vendéis behn-DEH--ees you (plural/informal) suppose
ellos/ellas
ustedes
venden BEHN-dehn they/you (plural/ formal) suppose

Just in case you are wondering, the pronunciation column shows the sound of v as b because this is how most Spanish speakers sound. In the days of old Spanish, the v sound was more similar to the English v, which you still may hear in some parts of Spain. Now, let's stroll to a couple of markets. We see a colorful stand and we ask the sales lady:

  • ¿Qué vende usted? (What do you sell?)

She replies:

  • Vendo rebozos de lana (I sell wool shawls).

They are certainly beautiful. We can see many other stands where people sell wool shawls.

In Mexico, handcraft artists sell very colorful wool shawls.
mexi

Now we have headed south, all the way to a market in Argentina. We see a guy selling some interesting stuff. We wonder:

  • ¿Qué vende el hombre? (What does the man sell?)

The man sells decorated gourds.
recip

Now, a question for you:

  • ¿Qué vendes? (What do you sell?)

If you don't sell anything, just say Yo no vendo nada (I don't sell anything). This answer shows us that negative statements add the word no in front of the verb vender.

We, the Spanish, sell paella.
seafood

Vender: Impersonal Use

In stores, Spanish speakers often display a sign that reads se vende (seh BEHN-deh) followed by the item the store sells. This is an impersonal use of the verb vender and means 'One sells' or '_____ is sold'. Let's take a look at some examples.

In Ecuador, we see signs that read:

  • Se vende Panama hats. (Panama hats are sold)

Panama hats are from Ecuador! Let's see what other interesting signs there are:

In Peru, we see this sign:

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