I mobili fatti con buoni materiali vendono bene.

English Translation

Furniture made of good materials sells well.

si vendono bene [?]

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Ciao @morbrorper I’m wondering if the “si” is optional here tho I’d pop it in. Aspettiamo…

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I do think “si” is needed here if we want to say : furniture… sells well. Without the “si” the English translation would include “they” : they sell well furniture made of good materials. So, not optional, I think.

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Well, Wiktionary says this about vendersi:

  1. reflexive of vendere
    2. (reflexive) to sell (of a product)

In English, “sell” can be used both transitively and intransitively, but I’m wondering about Italian.

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I think the intent in this sentence is to use vendere in a passive rather than reflexive form. However, “vendono” on its own does not seem to be technically correct (but a native speaker might say that it is an acceptable usage). According to the Soluzione grammar book, “Verbs are said to be in the passive (la forma passiva) when they express an action done to the subject, rather than an action being performed by the subject, e.g. The Mafia shot the judge (active); The judge was shot by the Mafia (passive)…Only transitive verbs, i.e. verbs which take a direct object, can be made passive…[T]he main way of forming the passive is by using essere in the appropriate tense followed by the past participle of the verb required.” A subsequent example refers to an object rather than a person, “La casa sarà venduta. The house will be sold.

If “si” is used, it’s an alternative to the passive: “One of the main alternatives to the passive is il si passivante. This gives a passive meaning to an active form of the verb. It is a very common construction used with active transitive verbs only, and is frequently preferred to the passive.” One of the examples is “Si parlano molte lingue. Many languages are spoken.

I put “Furniture made of good materials sells well.” into DeepL and the Italian translation was “I mobili realizzati con buoni materiali si vendono bene.” so it appears the preferred translation uses il si passivante.

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Hi @morbrorper and @Floria7

This is a good question.

I have to say I have read/heard that something “vende bene” multiple times, and it is kind of parallel to “sells well” in English, isn’t it? Maybe it is commercial jargon, or it is borrowed from the English idiom.
In any case I wouldn’t flag it as an error.

However, “Si vendono bene” feels more natural in everyday conversation, and I think I would use it as a translation of the original sentence.

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Yes, “sells well” is much used here in UK. Now happy to use the “si” however.

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