One of the definitions of the construction « renouer avec » given by Larousse is

Reprendre, continuer ou rappeler quelque chose d'antérieur : Forme d'art qui renoue avec l'art naïf.

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I know, from Collins dictionary, that one of the meanings of « rappeler » is “to be reminiscent of”.

Therefore, for the sentence “There’s a part in the song “Cabin fever” which is reminiscent of one of the songs of The Weeknd.”,

could I say « Il y a une partie dans la chanson “Cabin fever” qui renoue avec une partie de l’un des chansons de The Weeknd. »

If there is a more natural way to say this sentence then that is fine as all I’m trying to simply do is use this particular definition correctly. Have I used it correctly? As this is a simple question, a yes or no is all I require. Also, if I have used the definition of the construction incorrectly, please can you tell me how. Thank you so much guys for your help. 😊✌🏽

By the way, my level is beginner.

  • You asked for a yes/no answer so the answer is no...
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:00
  • Thank you for that! 😊 @jlliagre !!! There doesn’t seem to be a problem in my logic therefore how have I used this definition of the construction incorrectly? Lol I now see that I should have included this follow up question above. Sorry!😬
    – SFR
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:20
  • Why is your reference the Larousse? When looking for definitions and quotes, I would recommend using the TLFi or the Robert. Neither of them list the bizarre meaning you found in the Larousse.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:22
  • TLFi is far far far too complicated for me and Robert can be very unclear when giving definitions sometimes. Besides, Larousse is an official dictionary so their shouldn’t be a problem. 🤞🏽✌🏽😊
    – SFR
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:27
  • 1
    The is no "official French dictionary" or if there is one, that would be the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française. In any case, there is definitely a problem with the Larousse renouer definition (rappeler qque chose d'antérieur) because it doesn't match any actual use. This meaning isn't in the Dict. de Académie either.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 22:45

2 Answers 2


The answer is very probably "no", but you should try to understand why.

I would not rely on Larousse's definition but instead on the TLfi's definition, which follows.

(TLFi) II. − Emploi absolu [Souvent avec compl. prép. avec]
A. − Reprendre des relations interrompues et, en partic., rétablir des liens d'amitié.
B. − Remettre en honneur.

In the translation suggested by the definition in the Larousse the particular usage considered is that in which "avec" figures. Of all definitions in the entry there is not one other than « II B. » that will make sense. What you are saying then is this.

  • Il y a une partie dans la chanson « Cabin fever » qui remet à l'honneur une partie de l’une des chansons de « The Weekend ».

Meaning of this sentence in English

  • There’s a part in the song “Cabin fever” which puts the spotlight on one of the songs of The Weekend.

This is clearly not the meaning of "to be reminiscent". So, cross translation shows that something is wrong. (Cross translation is a process that you might keep in mind, it is very useful.)

There is no problem if you stick to the verb "rappeler".

Other verbal forms: faire penser, évoque, (Harrap's dictionary)

  • 1
    @PapaPoule Right, I see that now, thanks for pointing it out.
    – LPH
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 16:47

Non, ça ne marche pas.

Renouer suppose qu'il y avait un lien dans le passé et que ce lien s'est distendu ou a disparu.

Dans le cas de la chanson, il s'agit plutôt d'une référence, d'un clin d’œil ou d'un hommage.

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