The verb 'calm down'

Hello! How are you feeling?

Is this verb a reflexive one?

How should I use it?

If I say:

‘Calm down!’ Is that right?

Or should I say “Calm yourself down!”?

Or Calm you down!?

What a mess!

Thanks a million!

Hi Jesus

“Calm down!” is fine and is quite usual.

You could also say “calm yourself down”, this is much less often used.



Hmm… I don’t know why, but I always hear it in one of the above forms and never happened to hear, for example, “calm her down” (even though it’s should be fine),
whereas help her calm down -form I hear quite often. As well as “calm down = calm you/yourself down”.

(But, of course, it’s not a grammar question, and a question at all :slight_smile: Just a note.)


Hi Tamara

As a command (which is the type of example Jesus gave), it’s basically redundant to use you or yourself. The idea of “you” is always already understood in a command.

But, if you want to insert you or yourself into the command “Calm down!” (for whatever reason), there are two grammatically correct possibilities (both of which would probably be used for emphasis only and wouldn’t be often heard):

Calm yourself down!” (redundant)
– OR –
You calm down!” (redundant, rarely used)

Theoretically you could also say “You calm yourself down!”, but that would be excruciatingly redundant. :roll:

As you say, there are other types of sentences where you can use an object/pronoun with “calm down”. And there are a variety of different sentence constructions.

She was very upset after losing $50,000 at the casino. She was completely unable to calm herself down. Unfortunately, there was also nothing I could do or say to calm her down.