Je ne t'en veux pas d'avoir oublié mon anniversaire.

Je ne te tiens pas rigueur d'avoir oublié mon anniversaire.

These two similar expressions seem to be essentially interchangeable on the surface, but I can’t help feeling that their usage is somewhat different.

In my limited experience of hearing native speakers use them, "en vouloir" seems to be often coupled with "de + infinitive", whereas "tenir rigueur" is followed more by "de + noun". So in the example sentence above, is the use of "tenir rigueur" off the mark?

1 Answer 1


En vouloir is personal and fits well with having forgotten a birthday.

Tenir rigueur is very formal and relates to strictness. You wouldn't use it in such a sentence. Or, eh well, possibly as a form of sarcasm, if you want to be perceived as very distant and cold for some awkward reason.

Grammatically both are fine.

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