In our first lesson on rendre, we learned that the verb can mean "to give back," "to return," and "to render." In this lesson, we'll explore some expressions with rendre whose meanings go beyond giving/going back or rendering.
As we briefly mentioned in our previous lesson, the phrase rendre service means “to do a favor” or “to help” (literally, "to render a service"). In the video below, Sacha needs a favor from Dr. Dubois, aka Nico:
Est-ce que tu peux me rendre service ?
Can you do me a favor?
Caption 34, Extr@ Ep. 7 - La jumelle - Part 5Play Caption
Ideally, Sacha needs Nico to be willing to help and “be of service,” like the person in this video:
Moi, tu sais, si je peux rendre service
Me, you know, if I can be of servicePlay Caption
In the broader sense of the phrase, rendre service simply means “to help”—or not, as in the case of Pauline, the ungrateful guest in the video below:
Petit à petit, elle refuse de rendre service.
Little by little, she refuses to help.Play Caption
We also have the expression rendre hommage (to pay tribute/homage). On the anniversary of the death of famous singer Serge Gainsbourg, many artists wanted to rendre hommage to him:
Aujourd'hui le gratin du rock anglais rend hommage à Serge Gainsbourg, à commencer par Placebo.
Today the elite of English rock pays tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, starting with Placebo.
Caption 17, Le Journal GainsbourgPlay Caption
On a lighter note, we have the phrase rendre visite (to pay someone a visit). Our Yabla guide David encourages viewers to lui rendre visite (visit him) and explore his home country of Martinique:
Si un jour vous avez le bonheur de nous rendre visite
If one day you have the pleasure of visiting us
Caption 4, David Les animauxPlay Caption
Note that if David had been talking about visiting Martinique, he would have said this instead:
Si un jour vous avez le bonheur de visiter la Martinique
If one day you have the pleasure of visiting Martinique
So, use rendre visite for visiting people and visiter for visiting places.
Speaking of places, the verbal phrase se rendre à/dans means “to go to (a place)." Se rendre is equivalent to aller (to go). In the video below, Fanny and Corrine suggest se rendre dans des magasins (going to shops) to bargain-hunt:
Pour bien commencer le printemps, on vous propose de vous rendre dans des magasins
To get spring off to a good start, we suggest you go to shopsPlay Caption
You can also use the reflexive verb se rendre in a variety of expressions, such as se rendre compte, which means “to realize” or “to become aware of.” The teenager in the video below se rend compte (realizes) that something is not right:
L'adolescente se rend bien compte que quelque chose ne va pas.
The teenage girl quickly realizes that something isn't right.Play Caption
(For more information on ways to use compte [count], see this Yabla lesson.) In the non-reflexive form (without the se), the verbal phrase rendre compte means “to report” or “give an account”:
Oui, mais d'abord, on rend compte à Oméga.
Yes, but first we report to Omega.Play Caption
Going back to se rendre compte: once you've realized something, you might be forced to se rendre à l'évidence (come to terms with the evidence). Something that is extremely difficult to do for this couple, who discovered that their baby was switched at birth:
Pourtant, ils doivent se rendre à l'évidence.
However, they must come to terms with the evidence.Play Caption
Another way to translate se rendre à l’évidence is “to face the facts”:
Henri doit se rendre à l'évidence.
Henri must face the facts.Play Caption
Once you have come to terms with the evidence, you may come to the awful realization that it would be wise “to surrender”—se rendre. This is actually the infinitive form of rendez-vous, which, as a command, doesn't refer to "a date" or "meeting" (un rendez-vous), but rather an order to give yourself up:
Rendez-vous ! Vous êtes cernée !
Surrender! You're surrounded!
Caption 85, Mère & Fille Camping CourPlay Caption
Or, less harshly, a suggestion to go somewhere:
Pour vous abonner à Yabla, rendez-vous sur la page S'abonner.
To subscribe to Yabla, go to the Subscribe page.
As you can see, there are many ways to render rendre, from giving back, to going places, to surrendering. Now that vous vous êtes rendu(e) compte (you've become aware) of rendre’s many uses, rendez hommage (pay homage) to the word rendre by using it. Stay tuned and rendez-vous to Yabla for a future lesson!