Rendre & Se Rendre: Meaning, Conjugation, Example Sentences

rendreThe French verb rendre (to return, render) can be very confusing. The reason is that the verb has a wide range of meanings. In addition, it often appears in a pronominal form as se rendre.

On this page we’ll look at the various meanings of rendre with lots of example sentences.

rendre qch à quelqu’un/queleque chose

One of the most common uses of rendre is in “rendre quelque chose à quelqu’un or quelque chose”, which means to give something back or return something to somebody or something.

par example:

  • Je rends le livre à Jean. I give the book back to Jean.
  • Je rends le livre à la bibliotheque. I give the book back to the library.
  • Il me rend la voiture. He gives the car back to me.
  • Nous vous rendons votre vélo. We return your bike to you.

In the imperative this is how this usage of rendre would look:

  • Rends-moi mon argent! Give me my money back!
  • Rendez-nous les clés! Give us the keys back!

Because it’s rendre qqch à qqn we use the indirect object pronouns lui and leur in the third-person singular and plural.

  • Je lui rends l’argent. I give him back the money.
  • Elle leur rend le cheval. She gives them back the horse.

rendre visite à quelqu’un

The second most common (if not most common) use of rendre is in rendre visite à quelqu’un, which means to visit a person.

  • Je rends visite à ma famille. I visit my family.
  • Elle rend visit à son ami. She visits her friend.
  • Ils nous rendent visite. The visit us.

Special notes on rendre visite à qqn:

  1. You cannot use visiter + person. Visiter as a verb is used with places, for example, “Je visite Paris”.
  2. You cannot say “rendre un visite à qqn”. It must be “rendre visite”. This is set in stone. Also, the verb that’s being conjugated is rendre and not visit.

se rendre compte de quelque chose

In the pronominal form, se rendre compte de quelque chose means to realize something.

  • Je me rends compte de mon erreur. I realize my mistake.
  • Elle se rend compte qu’elle a oublié le rendez-vous. She realizes that she forgot the appointment.

rendre quelqu’un/quelque chose + adjectif

Rendre qqn/qch + adjectif means to drive someone or something crazy.

par example:

  • Géralde, tu me rends fou! Géralde, you’re driving me crazy!
  • Cet homme me rend complètement folle! This man drives me completely crazy!

se rendre + place

Se rendre as a pronominal verb means to go or to get to.

par example:

  • Il se rend à Paris tous les weekends. He goes to Paris every weekend.
  • Comment est-ce que tu te rends au travail? How do you get to work?

se rendre à quelqu’un

Se rendre à quelqu’un means to surrender.

  • Les Allemands se rendent aux soldats américains. The Germans surrender to the American soldiers.

rendre quelque chose

In familiar langauge rendre quelque chose means to vomit or “puke”.

  • J’ai mangé trop vite et j’ai rendu toute la pizza! I ate too fast and I threw up all the pizza!
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