Vendre: Translation & Conjugation

Instructor: Susan Binkley

Susan has taught college-level French and has a PhD in French studies.

The verb 'vendre' means 'to sell' in English. This lesson will show you how to use that verb. We'll look at a common situation where you might hear it, view the conjugation, and look at example sentences using the verb.

Using the Verb Vendre

What a great time you're having on your trip to Paris! After a few days of sightseeing, it's time to buy souvenirs for your friends and family back home. You stop by a kiosk and ask if they sell postcards.

The verb vendre means to sell.

'Vous vendez (pronounced: voo vahn-day) des cartes postales', you ask ('Do you sell postcards?').

'Oui, je vends (pronounced: zhuh vahn) des cartes postales', the cashier tells you ('Yes, I sell post cards').

Great! You decide to buy a few and then ask if he also sell t-shirts. You'd really like a souvenir t-shirt for your little brother.

'Vous vendez (pronounced: voo vahn-day) des t-shirts aussi?'

The cashier tells you no, but he points to the souvenir shop across the street and says that they sell t-shirts:

'Non, mais ils vendent (pronounced: eel vahnd) des t-shirts.'

'Merci', you thank him.

Did you notice the forms of vendre (pronounced: vahn druh) that are used? Vendre is the infinitive form of the verb, or the basic, generic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say 'I sell,' we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: je vends.

Now, let's take a look at the verb conjugation in the present tense for all the forms.

Forms of Vendre

Here's the conjugation chart for vendre:

Subject Pronoun Vendre Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je vends (zhuh vahn) I sell, I am selling
tu tu vends (too vahn) you sell, you are selling
il/elle/on il/elle/on vend (eel/el/ohn vahn) he/she sells, he/she is selling
nous nous vendons (noo vahn-dohn) we sell, we are selling
vous vous vendez (voo vahn-day) you sell, you are selling
ils/elles ils/elles vendent (eel/el vahnd) they sell, they are selling

The conjugation of this verb is the same as the others that follow the pattern for verbs ending in -re. Since this verb fits the normal pattern of verbs ending in -re, we call this a regular -re verb.

Other Examples of Vendre

Let's get back to the souvenir shops and continue shopping. You cross the street and ask the shop owners about souvenir t-shirts. They reply that they sell a lot of t-shirts:

'Nous vendons beaucoup de t-shirts.'

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