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    #1

    Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Q: Can fruit sell itself? Doesn't only human sell things?

    Thank you.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    The fruit can sell itself, as can any highly attractive object .

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    #3

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dido4 View Post
    Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Q: Can fruit sell itself? Doesn't Don't only humans sell things?

    Thank you.
    The verb "sell" is intransitive here.
    "Sells very well" means the fruit is popular with customers, and it gets sold easily.

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    #4

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Some of the fruits here sell very well.
    Of course there are people there to sell the fruits. It is not as if there is nobody to man the shop/stall when you say that.
    Still you say the "fruits sell well" or the "products sell well" or "an idea sells".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    I think the OP should refer to definition#4 below, but I am not a teacher.
    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/sell

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    #6

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Of course, fruit is both a count noun and a noncount noun. Either usage (fruit, fruits) is acceptable.

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    #7

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    The verb "sell" is intransitive here.
    "Sells very well" means the fruit is popular with customers, and it gets sold easily.
    That's right. In "The fruit sells very well", the verb is intransitive. In "The fruit sells itself", as some have expressed the meaning, it's reflexive.

    In many languages, reflexive constructions are rendered by
    transitive verbs followed by a reflexive pronoun, as in English -self (e.g., "She threw herself to the floor.")
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexive_verb

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    #8

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    In "The fruit sells very well", the verb is intransitive.
    I think the verb below is also intransitive, but I am not a teacher.
    'The fruit is going very cheap.'

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    #9

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dido4 View Post
    Doesn't only human sell things?
    In terms of exchanging money for goods, yes, but the fruit's qualities will also attract the buyers, so you could see it as part of the process.

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    #10

    Re: Some of the fruit here sells very well.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Dido:

    I have found some information that I wish to share with you.

    A world-famous grammarian makes these points:

    1. You cannot say, "This house sold yesterday" if you are referring to "a single act of selling."'

    2. You may, however, say, "His books sell very well."

    a. "We think to some extent of the books as active themselves, rather than the activity of the bookseller."
    b. "We indicate in such a sentence something that is felt as characteristic of the subject." [my emphasis]

    i. "Therefore the verb generally requires some further descriptive term."

    [Only my note: He seems be saying that "Some of the fruit here sells" needs "well" to make the sentence acceptable.]


    3. Here are two more of his examples: "The meat cuts tender" and "His scientific papers read like novels." [my emphases]

    Credit: Otto Jespersen, Essentials of English Grammar (1933), page 118.

    *****

    A book that is very popular with students and teachers says this:

    4. In some sentences, "the intransitive use has a meaning rather like a passive." [my emphasis]

    a. Transitive: "We are selling a lot of copies of your book."
    b. Intransitive: "Your book is selling well."

    Credit: Michael Swan, Practical English Usage (1995 edition), entry (NOT page) 579.3.


    *****

    If you are interested in a complete grammatical explanation regarding such sentences, you may wish to google: Middle voice in English.

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