¡Que te rinda!

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?

Te rinde más la vida.

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? 


13 responses to “¡Que te rinda!

  1. I love that word, not because I’m for productivity, but because of what you said, that it implies all of that. It’s definitely really good conversation ender. Also, I like how it almost makes it seem like it’s not your fault for not being productive “no me rindió el tiempo”.


    • Haha, good point! Yes, Spanish lets you get off the hook quite nicely in these scenarios. No me alcanzó el tiempo, se me extraviaron las llaves, se me fue la paloma, etc.

      Question for you– are you fluent in Spanish? From what I’ve gathered, your parents are Colombian and you grew up in the U.S., right? I’m just curious about what you’ve been learning language-wise in Colombia. More colloquial expressions? Or maybe you’re solid on all the family/friends talk but are now boning up on more technical vocab–? Just being nosy. I always love your language insights, both here and on your blog. Make sure you correct me if something sounds off!

      P.S. I’m not for productivity either– we’d make good friends :p


  2. Eso, ¡que te rinda! Mucha suerte para el lunes, aunque no dudo ni un segundo de tus habilidades :)


  3. We use rendir to talk about food and cooking as well. Por ejemplo este semana hicimos tamales para el Día de la Candelaria, y cuando terminé un bol de masa, mi hermana me pregunto “cuantos tamales rindió esa masa? tenemos que hacer mas?”


    • Sí, también se usa así. Pensé en explicar eso también, pero opté por enfocarme en solo un uso del verbo.

      Qué y cuándo es el Día de la Candeleria? Suena interesante!

      Gracias por leer y dejar un comentario :)


  4. Es el 2do , el 40a día de navidad. oficialmente es el día de la presentación del Niño Jesus en el templo, y de la purificación de María según la costumbre judía. Peros para nosotros es el fin de navidad, quitamos el árbol esto día. También cuando festejamos Reyes, comemos la Rosca que contiene unos niños Dios escondidos adentro. Si encuentras un muñeco en su pieza de la rosca tienes que hacer tamales y atole para el día de la Candelaria!


    • Gracias por explicarme todo eso! Me encantó. No tenía ni idea. Conocía la palabra candelaria porque en Bogotá hay un barrio famoso que se llama La Candelaria, pero nunca se me ocurrió averiguar qué significaba.


  5. Thanks for the explanation! I was just writing a text to a friend “que te rinda” when I started second guessing myself because while I learned rendirse in class, rendir is something I´ve only learned through listening and for a moment I thought I told him to give up in my message instead of telling him I hoped he got a lot of studying done. I’m glad I’m actually learning by listening. :)


  6. Pingback: Rosca | Vocabat

  7. Nice post. I’m trying to figure out why I haven’t seen this until just now.


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