English learners of Spanish sometimes say1 "tranquílate" in place of the more usual "tranquilízate", presumably due to the influence of the adjective tranquila/o and/or the English cognate tranquil (as opposed to the false friend tranquilize).

I was under the impression that tranquilar(se) was a long outdated word among native speakers in this context2, but it pops up a few times in Google Ngrams in the past few decades. E.g.:

Tranquílese, siéntese ¿Un café? Justo Vasco, 1992

Siéntese usted y tranquílese, Guadalupe. Arturo Pérez-Reverte, 1993

Tranquílese directora, yo soy muy creyente y todo esto... Antonio Zurita, 2012

Assuming these aren't printing errors or idiolectal quirks:

Is tranquilar(se) still used with the meaning of tranquilizar(se) in any Spanish dialects?

  1. e.g. «Bayani puts a hand on his shoulder. “Tranquílate, hermano. The men are all ready to march."» John Sayles, 2011

  2. e.g. here it is used to imitate an archaic style of speech:
    «Tranquílate, mi amigo, tened buena creencia, cerca están grandes gozos de la vuestra querencia.» Héctor Azar, 1955

  • Not in Colombia. It is the first time I hear "tranquílese" and sounds absolutely awful to me.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 15:57
  • Reading the first paragraphs of the "porque yo?" book and given the kind of language used, I would not trust the quality of the Spanish used in that book. It would be like considering correct the language used on La vendedora de rosas
    – DGaleano
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


Tranquilar does exist in the Spanish dictionary.

I'm a native Spanish speaker, from Spain, and never heard of that word. I guess it must be a very old word that no one uses nowadays.

Here, in Spain, we do use the word tranquilizar(se), as well as calmar(se).


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