Cosa vende?

Hi all, In lesson 3.5 (At the Market), Alex comes up with the line: "Che tipo di mercato è? Cosa vende?" _"Cosa vende?"_ was translated as "What do they sell?". However, I'm having some trouble understanding the grammatical construction of this very simple phrase, and couldn't find any corresponding examples in my book of italian grammar (which makes me wonder). Could it be that "cosa vende?" is a shortened form of "cosa __si__ vende?" (the "si" form alternative to the passive construction), but with (like the other subject pronouns in Italian) the "si" omitted? Thanks in advance for any clarification.

Caro Butch, the answer is simpler than that! In Italian it is not compulsory to have the subject in the phrase. Clearly in our dialogue we are talking about the market / il mercato and we want to know what does the market sell. In English might not make sense to say":What does it sell?", but in Italian it is perfectly correct. vendere --present tense - vendo - I sell vendi - you sell vende - he,she,it sells It(in our case, the market!) So in English,a more literal translation would be: what does it sell? "si vende"is also a possibility: si- is an impersonal expression translated in English with -one one sells= si vende Va bene? Ciao, a presto

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