How to Conjugate the French Verb Rendre

Includes Present, Past, and Subjunctive Tenses

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The literal meaning of rendre (pronounced "ren-dre") is "to return," but it also often means "to restore," "to give in," or "to yield." This French verb can function as a pronominal verb se rendre, too. In addition, rendre is frequently used in idiomatic expressions such as "to give thanks to," "to pay homage to," "to make someone feel something," and many others.

Don't worry about memorizing the multitude of its uses right away. The tables below won't only show you how to conjugate this regular -RE verb in present, past, and other tenses, but they will also give you examples of its usage. Just remember, when you see rendre, think beyond the literal.

Present Indicative

Je rends Je me rends alors à l'évidence. I surrender to the evidence.
Tu rends Tu ne te rends pas compte de son importance. You don't realize its importance.
Il/Elle/On rend Elle me rend heureux. She makes me happy.
Nous rendons Nous vous rendons attentif au fait que vous devez renouveler votre inscription ce mois-ci. We are bringing to your attention that you need to renew your subscription this month.
Vous rendez Quand est-ce que vous vous rendez en province? When are you coming to the countryside?
Ils/Elles rendent Ils rendent hommage au Suprême Leader. They pay homage to the Supreme Leader.

Compound Past Indicative

The passé composé is a past tense that can be translated as the simple past or the present perfect. For the verb rendre, it is formed with the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle rendu, but remember that as with all pronominal verbs, when rendre changes into se rendre, its auxiliary verb becomes être.

J' ai rendu Je me suis rendue coupable du plus grand de tous les crimes. I (female) committed the worst of all crimes.
Tu as rendu Tu as rendu de grands services à la France. You have rendered great services to France.
Il/Elle/On a rendu Paris s'est rendu. Paris capitulated.
Nous avons rendu Nous avons rendu visite au président. We paid a visit to the president.
Vous avez rendu Vous vous êtes rendus utiles aux peuples. You have made yourselves useful to the people.
Ils/Elles ont rendu Il se sont rendus. They surrendered.

Imperfect Indicative

The imperfect tense is another form of a past tense, but it is used to talk about ongoing or repeated actions in the past. L'imparfait can be translated to English as "was returning/making" or "used to return/make," although it can sometimes also be translated as the simple "returned" or "made," or any other appropriate meaning that rendre can take on, depending on the context.

Je rendais Je te rendais l'invitation. I was returning you the invitation.
Tu rendais Tu me rendais responsable de cette gestion. You were making me responsible for that administration. 
Il/Elle/On rendait Elle rendait visite à son grand-père. She would visit her grandfather.
Nous rendions Nous vous rendions cet article défectueux. We were returning you this defective item.
Vous rendiez Vous me rendiez trop de monnaie. You were giving me too much change back.
Ils/Elles rendaient Les gongs rendaient un son grave. The gongs were making a low sound.

Simple Future Indicative

To talk about the future in English, in most cases we simply add the modal verb "will." In French, however, the future tense is formed by adding different endings to the infinitive. In the case of rendre, the base we add endings to is rendr-.

Je rendrai Je rendrai ce pays ingouvernable. I will make this country ungovernable.
Tu rendras Tu rendras un bel hommage à ta soeur comme ça. You will pay a nice tribute to your sister like this.
Il/Elle/On rendra Il rendra témoignage en ma faveur. He will testify in my favor.
Nous rendrons Nous nous rendrons au travail à pied. We will walk to work.
Vous rendrez Vous rendrez service à tout le monde si vous commencez à vous aimer. You will do everyone a favor if you start liking yourself.
Ils/Elles rendront Elles se rendront disponibles. They will make themselves available.

Near Future Indicative

Another form of a future tense is the near future, the futur proche, which is the equivalent of the English "going to + verb." In French, the near future is formed with the present tense conjugation of the verb aller (to go) + the infinitive (rendre).

Je vais rendre Ne voulant pas faire mauvaise impression, je vais m'y rendre. Since I don't wish to give the wrong impression, I will go and do it.
Tu vas rendre Arrête de manger. Tu vas te rendre malade. Stop eating. You're going to make yourself sick.
Il/Elle/On va rendre Elle va le rendre légal. She is going to make it legal.
Nous allons rendre Nous allons rendre le foot plus spectaculaire. We are going to make soccer more spectacular.
Vous allez rendre Vous allez rendre des comptes sur l'utilisation de cet argent. You are going to be fully accountable for this money.
Ils/Elles vont rendre Elles vont rendre une décision ferme. They are going to come forward with a firm decision.

Conditional

The conditional mood in French is equivalent to the English "would + verb." Notice that the endings it adds to the infinitive are very similar to those in the imperfect indicative.

Je rendrais Je rendrais visite à ma mère, si elle ne vivait pas si loin. I would visit my mother if she didn't live so far.
Tu rendrais Tu rendrais confuse toute cette question, si tu faisais ça. You would blur the whole issue if you did that.
Il/Elle/On rendrait Elle rendrait davantage public ces plans si c'était possible. She would make these plans more available to the public if it was possible.
Nous rendrions Si on pouvait, nous rendrions un bel hommage à cet ancien député. If we could, we would pay a nice tribute to this former member.
Vous rendriez Vous rendriez tout cela plus cohérent si vous nous donniez plus de détails. You would make all of this clearer if you gave us more details.
Ils/Elles rendraient Ils rendraient leurs recherches plus accessibles, mais ils ne peuvent pas. They would make their research more accessible, but they are not allowed to.

Present Subjunctive

The subjunctive mood conjugation of rendre, which comes in after the expression que + person, looks very much like the present indicative and past imperfect.

Que je rende Il est important que je rende les nuances de ses pensées proprement. It is important that I render the nuances of his thoughts properly.
Que tu rendes Je veux que tu te rendes compte des effets de tes actions. I want you to realize the consequences of your actions.
Qu'il/elle/on rende Il faut qu'elle rende des comptes. She needs to be held accountable.
Que nous rendions Elle désire que nous rendions le développement 
durable. 
She wishes that we make the development sustainable.
Que vous rendiez Il est temps que vous rendiez cet économie encore plus forte. It is time for you to make the economy even stronger.
Qu'ils/elles rendent On propose qu'elles rendent leur opinion sur ce sujet maintenant. We suggest that they give their opinion on this issue now.

Imperative

The imperative mood is used to give commands, both positive and negative. They have the same verb form, but the negative commands include ne...pas, ne...plus, or ne...jamais around the verb.

Positive Commands

Tu rends! Rends-toi compte de ce que tu fait! Realize what you're doing!
Nous rendons! Rendons-le heureux! Let's make him happy!
Vous rendez! Rendez votre jugement maintenant! Deliver your verdict now!

Negative Commands

Tu ne rends pas! Ne leur rends pas ton avis! Don't give them your opinion!
Nous ne rendons pas! Ne nous-y rendons pas! Let's not go there!
Vous ne rendez pas! Ne leur rendez pas service! Don't help them!

Present Participle/Gerund

One of the uses of the present participle is to form the gerund (usually preceded by the preposition en), which can be used to talk about simultaneous actions.

Present Participle/Gerund of Rendre  rendant En me rendant au musée ce matin, j'ai rencontré Margot. On my way to the museum this morning, I met Margot.