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Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. My name is Alisha and in this lesson, we're going to talk about the verb "sell." Let's get started!
Okay, let's begin with the basic definition of the verb "sell."
"Sell" means to give money in exchange for an item or a service, to sell something.
Examples…
"I sold my car."
"We're selling our house."
Let's look at the conjugations for this verb.
Present; sell, sells
Past; sold
Past participle; sold
Progressive; selling
Okay, so now let's talk about an additional meaning for this verb. So, a different meaning for the verb "sell" is to convince someone of something or to convince someone about something, to persuade someone of something.
Examples…
"You've sold me on this idea."
"He's terrible at selling himself. He always fails interviews."
So, to sell is like to convince someone of something. We see that in the first example, "You sold me on this idea." You convinced me that this was a good idea, in other words. You've persuaded me about this thing, so you were successful in convincing me something…of something that you want me to believe, you sold me.
In the second example sentence, "He's terrible at selling himself." So to sell yourself in that case means to convince someone else that you're a good choice or you're a good option. To sell yourself in this way, in this context, means you're trying to convince someone, persuade someone that maybe you're a good candidate for a job, for example. So, this meaning is, like to convince someone of something, usually, that something is good, really. To convince… to sell someone on an idea or to sell yourself, to sell oneself as well, okay.
So, there are a lot of variations that I want to talk about for this verb now. So let's look at some variations for the verb "sell."
The first variation is "to sell out," to sell out. Actually, there are two different meanings for this, so let's take a look at the first one. The first meaning of to sell out means to compromise for the sake of an advantage. So, this is often used in, like, arts and entertainment. So an artist will compromise his or her work in order to get some advantage, usually money.
Examples…
"My favorite band sold out."
"Many politicians have sold out over the last few years."
So, both of these examples refer to someone changing their artistic viewpoint or changing their opinions, changing their behavior in order to receive some advantage. In the first example sentence, "My favorite band sold out," it sounds like the band stopped doing something that made them unique and instead, for example, joined a label or joined a company and they are now following the company's orders in exchange for money.
In the second example sentence, "Politicians have sold out," it's like the politicians have changed their opinions or their behaviors in exchange for some money or some kind of compensation. So this is changing your ideas for advantage.
Let's move on to the second variation for how to use "sell out."
To sell out means to run out of inventory, so you sell everything, you sell completely all the stock, all the inventory of something. There's nothing left.
Examples…
"We sold out of shirts this morning."
"They're worried they're going to sell out of products."
So, to sell out means to have nothing left of anything. So one point of caution, to sell out, while there are these two different meanings of compromising your artistic ideas and not having any inventory of a product because you've sold everything, in cases like the first example sentence in the first meaning we talked about, "My favorite band sold out," depending on the context, that can mean the band sold out of concert tickets, for example. If a band or an artist is coming to a city or some other performer is coming to do an event, that can refer to like the event selling out or maybe a product offered by the band selling out. So listen carefully to the context. If it's a criticism of the artist or the performer, it's probably referring to the artist compromising their ideas. If it's talking about, like an event, a performance, and like no tickets being left or no products being left, then it's probably about no inventory. So, pay attention to the context here to understand the correct meaning of sell out in these cases.
Okay, let's continue on to the next variation which is "to sell someone or something short," to sell someone short, to sell something short.
This expression means to not consider something as valuable as it actually is.
Examples…
"Don't sell yourself short."
"Don't sell your friend short; I think he has hidden talents."
So you can see that I'm using "don't" at the beginning of both of these examples. We commonly use don't with this expression. Don't sell yourself short, don't sell someone else short, means don't devalue yourself or don't devalue another person or another thing. In other words, explain the true value of yourself or explain the true value of that thing. Don't sell yourself short, don't sell your friend short. So recognize the actual value in the thing you're discussing.
The next variation is "to sell one's soul to the devil." So sometimes we'll drop this "to the devil." We use the expression, "to sell your soul" or "to sell one's soul." This expression means to agree to do something which is usually negative in exchange for some kind of advantage, usually money or some other kind of, I don't know, compensation.
So examples of this…
"She sold her soul when she signed the contract."
"He's going to sell his soul in exchange for fame."
So in these example sentences, we see that someone has made a decision that is very serious. We know that because we see the expression, "sell your soul" or "sell one's soul." So, when we imagine, like a soul is kind of like the core perhaps of a human being and we're selling it, it's like the most important thing we could sell, it's like the most valuable thing we have, so to sell it implies a very important or a big decision.
In the first example sentence when it says, "She sold her soul when she signed the contract," it's like she lost a key part of herself, she gave a key part of herself to this company, perhaps when she signed a contract in exchange for some kind of advantage.
In the second example sentence, the "he" in the example, he wants fame and he's going to sell his soul, he will give something in order to get famous, in other words. So these are the sort of situations that also imply a negative thing that the other person has agreed to do. So maybe in the second example sentence, he's agreed to do something negative or something that's suspicious in exchange for fame. So, there's a negative nuance here, for sure.
So those are a few different ways that you can use the verb "sell." I hope that you found something new. Of course, if you want to check out some other ways to use "sell," I highly recommend checking out the dictionary. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or if you want to practice making example sentences, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again next time. Bye-bye!

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Can you make a sentence using the verb "Sell"?