Skip to Content

Rendre Meaning & Translation – To give back in French

Rendre Meaning & Translation – To give back in French

Today we’ll have a look at the French verb rendre. The main definition of rendre is “to give back” or “to return”. However, this is a highly versatile verb in the French langauge with meanings even including “to vomit”! We will elaborate on this in our example sentences.


to give back, to return

Rendre Meaning & Translation

Word origin

According to, The French verb rendre comes from the classic Latin verb reddere, which has definitons including “to deliver”, “to hand over” and “to give back”.

Rendre conjugation

Rendre is a regular RE verb. This means that its endings are the same as other regular RE verbs when conjugated in the present tense.

Je rends I give back
Tu rends You give back
Il, elle rend He, she gives back (informal, singular)
Nous rendons We give back
Vous rendez You give back (formal, plural)
Ils, elles rendent They give back

Example sentences

To give back, to return

One of the most common usages of rendre is “to give back” and “to return”. The grammatical structure is rendre + object + à + recipient.

Je rends le livre à la bibliothèque

I return the book to the library.

Martin m’a rendu les clés après avoir emprunter la voiture.

Martin return the keys to me after having borrowed the car.

To drive + adjective

Another usage of rendre is “to drive” or “to make” + adjective. For example:

Arrête ! Tu me rends fou !

Stop! You’re driving me crazy!

To get to

In the reflexive form, se rendre à + place means “to get to”. This post on our site covers French reflexive verbs in depth.

En général, je me rends au travail en voiture.

Generally, I get to work by car.

To visit, to go see

The structure se rendre chez + person means “to visit” or “to go see”. Another translation is “to go to somebody’s place”. The French preposition chez means “at the house of”.

Le prof s’est rendu chez Thomas pour ses leçons.

The teacher went to Thomas’ house for the lessons.

Make yourself + adjective

Another usage or rendre is “make yourself”. For example:

Rends-toi utile et fais quelque chose !

Make yourself useful and do something!

To realize

The expression se rendre compte means “to realize”. We could easily write an entire post on this expression but here’s a quick example:

Je me rends compte de mes erreurs.

I realize my errors.

To vomit

Finally, one surprising usage of rendre is “to vomit”. The more formal verb for “to vomit” is vomir.

Sylvie a mangé trop vite et elle a rendu toutes ses frites.

Sylvie ate too fast and vomited all her fries.

To visit a person

The verb rendre is also used for “visiting people” in the construction rendre visite à + person. For example, je rends visite à mon ami (I visit my friend). This lesson covers this usage of rendre in depth.


Et voilà ! You now have a much better idea of how to use rendre in French! Now check our other Word of the Day verb lessons covering essayer (to try), bosser (to work) and quitter (to leave).

Example of using the verb "rendre" (to give back) in French
“Je rends le livre à la bibliothèque.” (I give the book back to the library).

Sharing is caring!

Affiliate disclosure: Below you will find affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To learn more please visit our full disclosure page. Merci!

Sign up to download your free trial of À Moi Paris a French course which I recommend to my personal students to help with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. After that, upgrade for access to 77 hours of audio lessons.

Read our full review of À Moi Paris and find out why we love it so much!

Are you struggling with French verb conjugations? Then we highly recommend French Today's French Verb Drills course. Get over 28 hours of audio exercises to build reflexes and dramatically improve your French level and confidence.

Read our full review of French Verb Drills and find out why we recommend this course!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by