Is Don't Worry a complete sentence?

I've tried many sources but none of them have given an answer.

  • 2
    Yes. "Don't worry" is a complete sentence. Just like "Don't cry", "Don't die", and "Don't move" are sentences.
    – Hank
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:05
  • Define "complete sentence". Subject and verb, or just an utterance?
    – tchrist
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:42
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Are commands complete sentences?
    – herisson
    Jan 26, 2017 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is. It's a negative imperative. The imperative mood is used for commands, exhortation, requests, and other sentences where the addressee is being asked, ordered, or advised to do something.

In English, the imperative uses the bare infinitive form of the verb, i.e., the infinitive without a preceding to. Intransitive verbs in the imperative affirmative can be single-word sentences:


When the imperative needs to be negated, it uses do:

Run, don't walk, to your local retailer before this deal expires!

It's also possible to use infinitive + not for a negative imperative, as in this triply-imperative quote popularized by Swami Vivekananda:

Arise! Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.

Or as the angel Gabriel said to Mary,

Fear not!

(Gabe and Mary conversed in English, obviously 🙄)

But that form is archaic and/or poetic. Don't [verb] is what one would encounter in everyday usage:

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Don't stand so close to me.

Used intransitively, worry doesn't take a direct object. So yes, Don't worry is a full and complete sentence.

  • 1
    The subject of the sentence is implied. It is the person (or object) to whom the one giving the command is speaking. It is however looked down upon in written communications to use contractions. They should be use as colloquial conversation in quotes of the characters in the story conversation, and not as usage in standard written language. Jan 25, 2017 at 22:21
  • What does any of that have to do with my answer?
    – verbose
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:36
  • 1
    I was agreeing and adding information. I did not feel my response warranted a full answer, especially since yours was so good. Jan 25, 2017 at 22:39
  • @verbose Good answer, consistent with your user name. :-) +1. Jan 26, 2017 at 4:27
  • @SensiiMiller oh, I see. Thanks. I was confused there for a bit.
    – verbose
    Jan 26, 2017 at 5:05

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