Elisabeth/ Yana Konstantinova (pen name) (stardust86) wrote in linguaphiles,

Commands in Spanish

Ok, I took Spanish for six years in school, which is not even close to being a native speaker, but I would say it gave me a decent command of the language.
That said, I haven't practiced regularly for a long time, but something came up recently that's really getting on my nerves, and so I figured I'd post it as a question here.
"Tranquila"... "calm down"... as a command. Like "venga"- "come" or "tenga" un buen dia (have a good day). With an "a" at the end, not because it's feminine but because that's how the verb is conjugated.
So consider me very surprised (and somewhat frustrated) to be told by multiple Mexicans (not sure if it is Mexico specific but I say it in case it is) that if you are telling a man or a boy to calm down, it's "tranquilo"...
Now, I understand as an adjective, "ello esta tranquilo". Sure. But can someone explain to me why a verb/command would be conjugated this way?

Trata entender sin subtitulos primero, es más divertido este vía.
Pero lo usé. Que rapido este cancion.
Y a veces yo uso gramatica mala- cuando ellos dicen "para mi pais me voy" yo digo "me voy a mi pais"...
Y este es el razon por mi pregunta- no hablo espanol perfecto, ni casi perfecto.
Gracias por su ayuda.
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December 16 2013, 04:19:47 UTC 4 months ago

Tranquilo/a isn't a verb at all in this instance; it's an adjective. The verb is understood--just like how in English we say "Quiet!" for "Be quiet!" The fuller expression in this case would be"¡Estate tranquilo/a!" (Or "¡Esté tranquilo/a!" if this is someone you would address with Usted.)

(For "Calm down!" I would actually say "¡Cálmate!", but then I'm also not a particularly fluent speaker either.)


December 16 2013, 09:21:19 UTC 4 months ago

This. The verb would be "tranquilizar", and the imperative would be "tranquilíza(te)" - calm (yourself) down, or as muckefuck says "cálmate".


December 16 2013, 18:38:20 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 17 2013, 02:26:04 UTC

Comments above are correct.

And "para mi pais me voy" and "me voy a mi país" are both correct and mean the same thing! :P


December 17 2013, 10:55:16 UTC 4 months ago

They are both correct but I am likely to look like a deer in headlights when I hear "para mi pais me voy"... because it isn't in the order i expect >.<


December 17 2013, 08:17:12 UTC 4 months ago

The other people have nailed it, though I just thought I'd add that I personally think of the missing verb as "quedarse" like "[quédate] tranquilo/a."


December 17 2013, 10:54:01 UTC 4 months ago

Thank you all very much for this insight!!! I learned something new!