“Tranquilo” and “tranquila” are the masculine and feminine forms of the same adjective meaning calm
They may be also used in isolation as an interjection where they take on the meaning “calm down”, “don’t worry” or “relax”.
On first inspection, these words may seem as if they are conjugations of a verb. This is a common mistake though, as it seems like they come from the verb "tranquilizarse" (to calm down).
However, if we were to use the command form of this verb, we would say “tranquilízate” or “tranquilícese” in its more polite form.
Whilst this is a perfectly correct way to use this verb. It is not the most common way to tell someone to relax or not to worry.
Certainly, when offering reassurance, we tend to use either “tranquilo” and “tranquila” in isolation as an interjection. Which form you should use will depend on whom you are addressing at the time. If you are addressing a man then you should use the “tranquilo” form, and “tranquila” when addressing a woman.
Let’s see a few examples in action:
Conclusion | En conclusión
|Spanish ||English |
|“Tranquila madre, todo será bien” ||Relax mother, everything will be fine |
|“Tranquilo mi niño” ||Don't worry my lad |
|“Tranki... Tranki...” ||Chill... Chill... |
|“Caballero, tranquilícese por favor” ||Sir, please calm down |
As we tend to use these types of interjection rather like commands, it’s easy to mistake “tranquila” for the standard command form which would normally apply to both men and women.
However, as we’ve explained, in this case we must match the gender form with whom we are addressing. However, if you still struggle to remember this, you could always fall back on the slang version of “tranki” which indeed can be used to reassure either gender.