"Entrer" is to go in, "rentrer" is to go back in.
However, as WordReference points out, "Même si cela n'est pas correct, dans le langage courant, on utilise souvent "rentrer" pour dire "entrer". ("Even if it isn't correct, in current speech, 'rentrer' is often used to mean 'entrer' ")
I love Duo, but the male Duo voice is much clearer and at times easier to understand than the female. In this case their pronunciations of "rentre" are quite different from each other - the man says "rent-re" (clearly 2 syllables) but the woman says what sounds like "rent", without the ending. As a beginner I find this confusing!
"Rentrer" is the infinitive and "rentre" is the conjugation in present for "je, il, elle, on".
In most sentences, there is one conjugated verb per subject, in French and in English as well.
Je rentre = I come back
Il rentre = He comes back
If there is another verb after the conjugated verb and no other subject, the second verb appears in the infinitive (non-conjugated) form:
Je veux rentrer = I want to come back
Il veut rentrer = He wants to come back.
je rentre (chez moi) = I go/come back home
je rentre (à l'intérieur) = I went out to breathe some fresh air but it is raining now, so, I go back inside
je rentre (mes pots de fleurs) = it is going to freeze tonight, so my flower pots can't stay outside, so I take them back inside.
Asked "Je rentre."
I wrote, "I return home." DL replied, "I get home." with the 'get' underlined.
In the word 'get' there is no implicit repetition that exists in 'return'.
In the word 'get' there is no indication of 'going', only of 'being there'.
Quel est-ce que je ne prends pas?
"I go home" is accepted, as of September 2016. However, my first choice, "I re-enter" is not. I suppose that translates to "réentrer"? I find that these verbs (réentrer, retourner, entrer, rentrer, revenir...." about coming and returning are giving me quite a bit of problem, especially when it comes to not literal but more functional translation (e.g. Je rentre meaning "I go home").
Sure. Words like "rentrer" and "sortir" are verbs - they describe what people/things do, in one way or another. The basic form of verbs, in many languages, including English and French, is known as the infinitive form: in English, "to return", "to go out", "to eat", etc. In French, this form looks like "rentrer", "sortir", "manger", etc.
In many languages, including French, when we use these words in a sentence, they change according to who or what is doing the action described. English does this, too, but much less obviously.
For example, we say, for the verb "to eat":
"I eat", "you eat", "we eat", and "they eat", but for a single third person, we say, "he (or she, or it) eats".
In French, each of those different persons can take a different form of the verb "manger":
"je mange", "tu manges", "il (elle, on) mange", "nous mangeons", "vous mangez", "ils (elles) mangent".
We call this "verb conjugation", and you will learn it as you go.
So, for the infinitive "rentrer", the conjugation looks like this:
|je rentre=I return||nous rentrons=we return|
|tu rentres=you(informal) return||vous rentrez=you(formal or plural) return|
|il(elle, on) rentre=he(she, it) returns||ils(elles) rentrent = they return|
And for the verb, "sortir":
|je sors=I go out||nous sortons=we go out|
|tu sors=you (singular) go out||vous sortez=you(formal or plural) go out|
|il (elle, on) sort=he (she, it) goes out||ils (elles) sortent=they go out|
Alert! These all change when we change from the present tense (I go) to the past (I went) and future (I will go) - and more! Haha. It can seem like a lot at first, but they do become quite familiar with time and study, don't despair.
Here are a couple of websites that can give you more about all this:
Edit: tried to format the tables to be more readable, but the formatting doesn't seem to work the way I remember. Sorry!
Later edit: Ok, that's not perfect but it's better.