Everything about the French sentence "Calme toi"

Get prepared to discover all the things you want to know about the basic sentence “Calme toi”.

This include a detailed explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And because we want you to learn efficiently, we also sprinkled super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonym and more!

By the way, you will find our others sentences pages on this page plus the list of all our French words content on this page. Wishing you a good learning!

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French to English translation

How to pronounce it

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does calme toi mean?


It literally means:

  • Calme → Calm/Relax
  • Toi → You

In the context it means “Calm down” and can also be translated as “Chill” or “Relax“.

People use it to recommend someone to chill and depending on the tone used, it could be more or less bossy.

How to use it

Scenario 1: someone is very stressed about something and you want to help this person to relax, you might say: “Calme toi tout ira bien.” (Calm down, it will be alright.)

Scenario 2: you are involved in an argument and want to order the other person to relax immediately, you might say: “Calme toi tout de suite !” (Calm down right now!)

Plot twist: the person is more likely to be even more angry in the second scenario… that’s why it’s important to dose the tone carefully and pay attention to context. Or a gentle piece of advice can end up putting you in trouble, unless that’s precisely what you want…

It’s also interesting to note that, because this is an imperative sentence, it works only with the pronoun “toi“. You can’t say “Calme-elle” or “Calme-ils” etc. Because you can’t give a direct order to someone you are not directly talking to.

Fun facts

There are also a few very vulgar ways to say it like: “Pètes un coup” (Farts once) or “Détends-toi le string” (Loosen your thong/G-string).

But it’s very familiar and not “workplace friendly“!

Synonyms and similarities

  • Détends-toi. (“Relax“)
  • Décompresse. (“Decompress / Uncompress“)
  • Respire. (“Breathe“)
  • Relax. (Yes, we use this English word too)

Example in a story with French audio

Now, let’s see a complete example of this phrase in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
L'accident de voiture
The car accident
Emily appela Philippe, en larmes.
Emily called Philippe, in tears.
Sa voix était hystérique.
Her voice was hysterical.
Philippe ne comprenait rien de ce qu’elle disait…
Philippe did not understand what she was saying…
Philippe:   Emily, tu peux m’expliquer clairement ce qu’il se passe, s’il te plaît ?
Emily, can you explain clearly what’s going on, please?
Et elle recommença à parler de façon incohérente…
And she started to speak incoherently again…
Philippe:   Emily, calme toi et parle lentement…
Emily, calm down and speak slowly…
Emily respira et dit :
Emily breathed and said:
Emily:   J’ai eu un accident de voiture…
I had a car accident…
Philippe était terrifié !
Philippe was terrified!
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