What can I say? Rendir is a really great verb. Smart as all get-out, very well-connected, wittily banters with the best of them. A real charmer. Haven’t yet made his acquaintance? Here, take my arm– I’ll introduce you. This is a verb you won’t believe you’ve gone so long without knowing. Rendir, ¿dónde has estado toda mi vida?, you’ll soon be asking. He’s that good.
I’m willing to bet you already know his cousin, rendirse. It means to give up. Maybe you give up on a project; maybe you surrender and give yourself up to the police. Either way, you call it quits and hold up a white flag.
Now, back to rendir. It means a few things, and, try as I may, I’m no substitute for a dictionary. Use it. (I like wordreference.com, but I’ve been finding myself more and more impressed with spanishdict.com lately) I want to focus on just one of its intransitive uses today, but feel free to knock yourself out with the other ones.
So, we can think of rendir as giving something over. Yielding something. Above, with rendirse, we saw that you are giving yourself over– either surrendering yourself to people in a legal or military context (yes, “surrender” and rendir come from the same Latin root) or to that devil that sits on our shoulders and tells us we’re bound to fail at whatever we try.
Cheer up–it’s not all bad news. The universe can rendir something good as well: productivity. With the universe, we’re talking about non-concrete things– things like time, which brings us back to our title. ¡Que te rinda! You might hear this if you’re on your way out the door and you’ve just told your girlfriend that you’re heading to a coffee shop to work on your thesis. ¡Que te rinda! she calls out. May the time yield much profit for you! May your two hours render you great benefit! May you write ten pages and not squander the time checking Facebook and Pinterest! Yeah, it really says all that. It doesn’t translate smoothly in English, but we’d say something like, “Hope you get a lot of work done!” You’re just wishing that the time be highly productive for the other person’s sake.
¿Que me rinda what? That the implied time (two hours) yield you implied progress–say, maybe five new pages written. In the same way, I might say something like, Nos rindió mucho la reunión. We got a lot done in the meeting. Again, the time produced a great yield. Are you getting the hang of it?
Trabajé duro en el proyecto y me rindió mucho.
I worked hard on the project and made a lot of headway.
Cuando trabajo y escucho música a la vez, no me rinde casi.
When I work and listen to music at the same time, I’m not very productive.
Mañana voy a madrugar para que me rinda el día.
I’m going to get up early tomorrow so I can get a lot done during the day.
What about you? Have you had a rendidor kind of day today? (I had one of those yesterday) Or has it been a typical lazy Saturday? Ah, sometimes rendimiento is a little overhyped, don’t you think? There’s nothing more delicious, sometimes, than getting home at 3 in the morning, sleeping till 9:45 to then dash to a 10 o’clock appointment, and coming home to a long, guiltless nap. Now that I’ve given you a peek behind the curtain here on the blog, I’d better go do something productive, like study for my interpreting exam. ¡Que me rinda!
_________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with this phrase and verb? Had you heard them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?