"Rendre une femme heureuse"

Translation:To make a woman happy

March 5, 2013



Would love some feedback on this... In a similar sentence on Duolingo, starting with "Avoir..." one acceptable version of the translation was "Having..." but in this version, it isn't correct to say "Making a woman happy." Can anyone point me to a resource so that I can understand the difference?

Duolingo tells me that the correct translation is "Make a woman happy," but this isn't in the imperative, so I don't think that's correct. If anything, I would think "TO make a woman happy" would be okay, but not a command, starting with "Make..."


March 5, 2013


You're right. It should be “making” or “to make” but not “make”.

March 5, 2013


Hi, is To return a happy woman correct? since rendre means return as well, thank you.

March 1, 2014


In this case, it would not. The French "rendre" here is close in meaning to the English word "render".

July 18, 2014


Could rendre be used to mean return in a sentence such as, "I hope to return a happy woman after my trip to France." In this case the trip is rendering me happy.

February 13, 2016


Well, "J'espère que mon voyage en France me rendra heureuse" would work for hoping that the trip will render you happy, but "to return a happy woman after my trip" sounds more like you mean "to return here / return home (from my trip)", which would be "J'espère revenir heureuse..."

May 3, 2016


In order for rendre to mean "to return" it would be used with an object or something you would actually return.

February 23, 2016


That's what I thought also - it's an infinitive. Or, can an infinitive be an imperative? Or, is there some suggestion with an infinitive for "how to make a woman happy?" In any case, why is the literal translation, "to make a woman happy" wrong?

May 1, 2015


I believe that in French, the infinitive can be used to give instructions to an impersonal unknown audience, such as in recipes, etc. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/givingorders.htm

November 18, 2015


In English there's to-infinitive ("to make") as well as zero-infinitive ("make"), the latter of which usually follows an auxiliary verb (can, don't, should, etc.) So here, I believe "rendre" is still used as an infinitive (not as an imperative!), but because, as it's been pointed out, there's no context to the sentence it doesn't really make sense. The lesson here on DuoLingo also mentions that the French infinitive is a lot more versatile than the English infinitive, so often enough it is translated into the English gerund ("making"). Which then would become "Making a woman happy" - making a lot more sense.

October 23, 2015


Thanks, no native English speaker here, so do you mean "Make a woman happy" and "Making a woman happy" is the same? with no more context, both could work?

December 26, 2015


If "rendre" is being taken to be a normal infinitive (i.e. indicative mood) then the correct translations would be "to make..........." or "making..............". However it is also possible to use the infinitive as a special case of the imperative mood when giving an instruction to nobody in particular like the general public. So if that were the case here, the infinitive could be translated as "make................."

December 1, 2016


No they're different. The first could be an imperative. The latter is an active comment - what are you doing over there? making a woman happy. But they could both be used in the context of a statement ' To make a woman happy is easy, making a woman happy is easy, etc

December 21, 2018


@johans2103, a short answer is no. •In English• make a woman happy would be like a father giving his son advice. Making a woman happy is something you'd see on the cover of a men's magazine (with detailed advice inside the magazine). I hope that helps.

January 15, 2019


I learned in school that beginning a sentence with an infinitve is at times an imperative.

So, I looked up why my answer "Love a woman", was marked wrong.

I cannot post a link, but I found the answer in "Thought Co."

An infinitve is used as an imperative when it begins an impersonal command.

For example as in a recipe, "Ajouter du sel" (add salt), etc. You get the picture, but other examples are given there.

The phrase in this excercise has to do with love, which of course is not impersonal.

So I got it wrong. But, I must say I never would have thought to put the answer Duo wanted, because, once again, this is a nonsensical Duo phrase that came out of nowhere.

So the right answer seemed wrong to me.

I am not upset. Just sayin' it takes a while to get used to what exercises Duo develops to teach our lessons.

September 11, 2018


"Beginning a sentence with an infinitive is at times an imperative"

"At times" is the key point here, because there are conditions:

  • to-do lists: aller à la poste | écrire à Marie...
  • instructions for use: cliquer sur le bouton vert, puis choisir l'option 2...
  • recipes: verser le lait et mélanger
  • public signs: ne pas nourrir les animaux

"Rendre une femme heureuse" is the way you learn phrases and idioms, that is with the verb in the infinitive. All entries in dictionaries show the verb in the infinitive.

Maybe keep in mind that if Duolingo wanted an imperative, the verb would be in the imperative.

September 11, 2018


From what I've gathered, the infinitive can be used as an imperative - so "make a woman happy" is correct, as well as "making a woman happy" and "to make a woman happy".

January 8, 2014


I think the problem here is that the infinitive in English is always "to + verb", while "verb" alone implies indicative or imperative. As in: "make" can mean "I/you/we/they make" or "Make [imperative]".

October 26, 2014


Only if it's supposed to be a standalone sentence. Duo isn't consistent in whether the words given are meant to be a sentence or merely a phrase/clause/fragment - and as a fragment, "make a woman happy" could absolutely be an infinitive verb phrase, eg: "You can make a woman happy".

January 22, 2015


I've noticed several real-life examples where the infinitive was used as a sort of general command. Like in cooking directions for example. 'Préparer le poulet' 'Prepare the chicken'.

May 21, 2013


In another discussion, it was explained that this practice is considered polite. Using the infinitive is less "demanding".

November 9, 2015


You are right. Everything here has French on it and I've noticed for a long time that the infinitive is used as imperative.

One example is this bottle of vitamin C that I have. The directions on it are in French and English.
Some of the writing on the label is as follows. You'll notice the imperative is in the infinitive form.


Take 1 to 3 tablets daily. Keep out of reach of children. Prendre 1 à 3 comprimés par jour. Garder hors de la portée des enfants.

Store between 15 C and 25 C. Conserver entre 15 C et 25 C.

August 1, 2016


Rendre is always used when making someone feel an emotion, such as Ça me rend triste. You never say Ça me fait triste

July 21, 2015


I treated heureuse as an adjective and translated it as "make a happy woman." Duolingo said it was wrong. Why? It even has the same sense as "make a woman happy."

February 17, 2015


I think it's a question of nuance here...for example in English, at least the west coast US variety that I am accustomed to, one would not say "make a happy woman", the subtext there would be that you actually fabricated a happy woman and that would be more along the lines of "faire", not "rendre".

The closest English equivalent I can think of would be "make her a happy woman", but then the French would be "le rendre une femme heureuse", if I'm not mistaken.

February 17, 2015


Midwest USA (Iowa).

To me, there is no sense that "Makes a happy woman" has any connotation that the speaker is fabricating a woman. Rather, the woman is being made happy, so that she is now a happy woman. YMMV.

March 3, 2016


Could it be "Make ONE woman happy"? Une does mean one also.

August 27, 2015



July 7, 2016


And your's is the only translation which makes some sense to me. As imperatives, sentences like "Rendre la femme heureuse" or "Rendre sa femme heureuse" make much more sense. But I don't know French much yet, so...

March 12, 2017


The imperative forms would be: "rendez votre femme heureuse !" or "rends ta femme heureuse !"

March 12, 2017


oh.. I see, now I think I get it - '' Rendre une femme heureuse" is not a sentence at all, it is just group of words saying "to make a woman happy" like "manger une pomme" would be "to eat an apple" - is that correct?

March 12, 2017


Exactly right!

March 13, 2017


But Sitesurf, as others have pointed out and as you also know, the infinitive can also be used in a command. So without any other context, wouldn't a translator's best choice be to understand the meaning here as a full sentence command, instead of some sentence fragment?

October 4, 2017


A translator would have more context to determine that the infinitive is an impersonal command, as when you list tasks with bullet points:

  • Acheter du pain
  • Appeler ma mère
  • Aller chercher ma voiture au garage
  • Rendre ma femme heureuse

See? :-)

October 5, 2017


I thought of this in the context of someone going on a journey etc so I wrote "Return a happy woman".

February 27, 2016


Hélas, that would be "revenir heureuse".

May 3, 2016


I think this is ambiguous because it lacks context.make a happy woman shoul also work

July 1, 2013


Mmm "rendre" kinda needs to have an object (une femme) and an objective predicative (hereuse) to fulfill its role, since it does not mean "to make sth" (that's what "faire" is for) but "to make sth sth else". "Turn" or "transform" are words that better translate the meaning of "rendre" (to turn coal into gold), but they are a bit unconfortable to use when talking about people so it's ok that DL translates "rendre" as "to make".

November 8, 2013


I think that's just one of the quirks of crossed meanings from one language to another..."render a woman happy" using the same root word is also correct in English. The word "render" is not used often in that context, though...it is a bit too formal for everyday speech.

July 18, 2014


Here's a comprehensive explanation re the verb 'rendre' (incl. conjugation/meanings/correct usage) that I've found useful: http://french.about.com/od/expressions/a/rendre.htm

October 24, 2014


Could you also say "Faire une femme heureuse"?

December 26, 2014


No - that would imply that you're creating her, I think. It would back-translate to "make a happy woman".

January 2, 2016


"In French, the infinitive is also used for generalized instructions like those in product manuals, public notices, recipes, and proverbs."(duolingo) Possibly this is seen as a proverb along the lines of the English, "happy wife, happy life"?

September 11, 2016


why is Make a wife happy incorrect???

September 27, 2016


Since there is no obvious family link, "une femme" remains "a woman".

To translate "femme" to "wife", the sentence would need a possessive: "rendre ta femme heureuse" = to make your wife happy.

November 15, 2016


"Nager entre les drapeaux" on a T-shirt means "Swim between the flags" but "Rendre une femme heureuse" on a T-shirt doesn't mean "Make a woman happy." I wonder what it does mean?

January 3, 2019


How about 'making a happy woman'?

January 23, 2019


c'est impossible

February 3, 2019


This sentence needs as ending - Rendre une femme heureuse, envoie-lui des roses.

March 2, 2019


"To make a woman happy, send her roses!" = Pour rendre une femme heureuse, envoie-lui des roses !

March 3, 2019


C'est impossible

April 4, 2019
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