T’inquiète

T'inquiète
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Informal French Expression

Meaning Don’t worry; None of your business
Literally Worry
Register informal; familiar
Pronunciation [ta(n) kyeht]
IPA   [tã kjɛt]

Usage notes: The French interjection t’inquiète might at first glance seem to be a command to worry, but careful consideration of the grammar tells us otherwise.

S’inquiéter is a pronominal verb, and in the affirmative imperative, pronominal verbs reverse their word order to verb + pronoun. So a command to "worry" would be inquiète-toi.

In comparison, negative commands maintain the normal word order of ne + reflexive pronoun + verb + negative pronoun, which means the grammatically correct way to say "don’t worry" is ne t’inquiète pas. Informally, however, ne is often dropped, leaving t’inquiète pas. And for some reason, with this verb* pas is dropped too, resulting in t’inquiète.

Par exemple…

Tu as perdu ton portefeuille ? T’inquiète, je t’invite.   You lost your wallet? Don’t worry, it’s my treat.
Je sais que tu as des ennuis en ce moment, mais tu vas voir, ça va aller. T’inquiète.   I know you’re having trouble right now but you’ll see, it’ll work out. Don’t worry.

Somewhat synonymous

  • N’aie pas peur
  • Ne te fais pas de mousse
  • Ne te fais pas de souci
  • Ne te tracasse pas
  • Ne t’en fais pas
  • Rassure-toi
  • Sois tranquille

T’inquiète can also be used familiarly to tell someone to mind their own business.

T’inquiète, c’est leur problème.   Don’t worry about it, that’s their problem.
Eh, t’inquiète !   Hey, it’s none of your business!

The synonymous expression ne t’occupe pas > t’occupe pas > t’occupe enjoys this same "opposite" grammar.*

More synonyms

 * The only other expression I can think of like t’inquiète and t’occupe is fais gaffe. If you know of any others, please share them in the comments below.

 Related lessons

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T'inquiète - Don't worry
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