The French word "Détends-toi" revealed

We are going to teach you all the things you have to know about the inspirational word “Détends-toi”.

More precisely, this includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. Along with the cool things we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

If you are interested, you will also find our others words explained on this page plus all our French words explained on this page. Wish you a happy learning!

Table of Contents

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Artboard 1
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English translation

Pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does détends-toi mean?

Definition

It literally means: 

  • Détends → Loosen / Relax
  • Toi → You

In the context it means “Relax yourself” which is generally translated as “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: “Détends-toi, tout ira bien.” (Relax, it will be all right.)

Scenario 2: you are involved in an argument and want to order the other person to relax immediately, you might say: “Détends-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 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’s works only with the pronoun “toi“. You can’t say “Détends-elle” or “Détends-ils” etc. because you can’t give a direct order to someone you are not directly talking to.

Fun fact

There are also 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 then not “workplace friendly“!

Synonyms and similarities

  • Calme toi. (“Calm down / Chill“)
  • Décompresse. (“Decompress / Uncompress“)
  • Respire. (“Breathe“)
  • Relax. (Yes, we use this English word too)

Example with audio dialogue

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue text

” Je suis vénère ! “
” I am angry “
” Détends-toi, c’est pas grave “
” Relax, that doesn’t matter “
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