Your loved one is in the hospital, so the doctor says you can “rest assured” they will take care of them. Is that even right to say, and what does it mean?
“Rest assured” uses the imperative verb “rest” to suggest that someone should have assurance about a matter. This is a common expression of comfort to let someone know everything will be alright or that a matter is certain. We can use this expression as part of a larger sentence or as a minor sentence.
Keep reading to see how to use “rest assured” and what it means. We’ll also cover alternative expressions of comfort and assurance.
What Does “Rest Assured” Mean?
When you tell someone to “rest assured” of something, you’re telling them that something is certain or true or that something will happen. In doing so, we often bring a sense of confidence or comfort to others. At other times, we might confirm that something negative will happen (source).
“Rest” is a verb, in this case meaning a “state of quiet or repose,” a definition that comes from the mid to late 15th century (source).
“Assured” is a participial adjective, meaning it comes from the past participle of a verb (assure) and normally has an -ed ending in English. As an adjective, “assured” describes a noun as characterized by certainty or verity (source).
Is It “Rest Assured” or “Be Rest Assured”?
“Rest assured” is the correct phrase to use, while “be rest assured is largely redundant. We do not need the stative verb “be” because the verb “rest” already indicates a condition.
Both “rest” and “be” would be stative verbs here, so it is unnecessary to double them up. In this phrase, “assured” is a predicate adjective, which means that “rest” must function as a stative linking verb in this instance. It is not uncommon for some action verbs to function as linking verbs under certain circumstances (source).
- Rest assured that those men will be brought to justice.
- Be rest assured that those men will be brought to justice.
- Be assured that those men will be brought to justice.
The first or last examples would be correct, but the second example is redundant. In each, we understand that the subject is “you” or the addressee, though none of the examples expressly state this.
The word “rest” functions as a verb of stance. Also, as an imperative verb, “rest” tells someone to remain in a certain condition — one of assurance or confidence that something will happen. Other verbs of stance that can operate as linking verbs would be “lie,” “sit,” or “stand.”
For instance, we could say that we “lay awake all night,” using the adjective “awake” to describe our condition.
Now, “assured” does go with “be” in the phrase “be assured,” and it also works with other forms of “be”:
- Am assured
- Was assured
- Been assured
Some examples include:
- Be assured that we will resolve the situation.
- I was assured they would grant us a refund.
In the second sentence, “was” is the simple past tense of the verb “be.” The subject received assurance at some time in the past that they would receive a refund.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Rest Assured”?
Yes! “Rest assured” is grammatically correct, either on its own as a mild imperative or as a phrase within a larger sentence. The phrase contains the imperative verb “rest” and the adjective “assured.”
How Do You Use “Rest Assured”?
We often use “rest assured” with a that-clause. The word “that” links a noun clause with “rest assured” to form a sentence. A noun clause is a dependent clause that functions as a noun (source). We often use a that-clause after an adjective like “assured” to express opinions or feelings (source).
Using “Rest Assured” in a Full Sentence
The following examples using “Rest assured” in a full sentence use “that” as a conjunction to connect the noun clause to the adjective “ assured” as an adjective complement. However, we can often remove “that” without changing the sentence’s meaning.
- You can rest assured that the train will arrive on time.
- Rest assured that the train will arrive on time.
In this sentence, “that” works with the noun clause “the train arrives on time” as an adjective complement telling someone what they can have an assurance of. “Train” is the subject of the dependent clause, and “arrive” is the main verb of the noun clause.
Consider the next example:
We are meeting with your teacher today. Rest assured that we will ask about your grades.
In this example, the student’s parents indicate their determination to check on their child’s grades. Here, they’re not expressing confidence in their child so much as their confidence that they will learn about their grades.
Also, we might hear this phrase in casual conversation or formal or business conversation. Consider the following example within a business environment over settling an issue.
Boss: This program is not running properly.
Employee: Rest assured that we are doing what we can to fix it.
In this sentence, the employee attempts to ease their boss’s concerns by assuring them they will fix the program.
Another context where you might hear someone say “rest assured” is in a medical setting.
- You can rest assured that we are doing everything we can for your mother.
Here, the medical personnel “assures” the family that they will take good care of their mother.
“Rest” as an Imperative Verb
When using “Rest assured” as an imperative statement, the imperative verb “rest” tells the recipient to do something. Imperatives are often commands, but they can also be suggestions, requests, or forms of encouragement (source).
- Rest awhile before we continue.
In this sentence, “rest” is in the imperative mood, telling the person to stay still.
- After her surgery, Sarah tried to clean the house, but her husband said, “Rest!”
In this sentence, “rest” is still a command or suggestion, and we use it by itself as such. Again, only two people are involved, so the subject and object are clear without anyone stating them.
When Can You Use “Rest Assured?”
The best place for “rest assured” is in a business environment or formal conversation. Remember, “rest” is an imperative verb, so it is a polite command or request. So, whenever we need to “reassure” or build “confidence,” we can use “rest assured.”
However, it is not always the best for informal, casual settings since it can sound a little stuffy.
Friend: Do you think you can meet us at 1 p.m. on Saturday?
Me: Rest assured, I will be there.
In this conversation, “rest assured” sounds good enough, but it would be easier just to say “yes” or “sure.”
In What Context Can You Use “Rest Assured?”
When we use “rest assured” as a way to advise someone to take courage or know for certain that something will happen. You would use this in a context where someone might be anxious or in doubt about a matter.
- You can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to find your son.
In this sentence, those conducting the search provide comfort and express confidence to concerned parents as they search for their lost child.
In the next sentence, the salesman uses “rest assured” to inspire confidence in a customer that they’ll give them the best price they’ll encounter.
- Rest assured that you will get the best deal possible for your car.
When Not to Use “Rest Assured”
Unless you’re being sarcastic, deceitful, or offering false security, you would not use “rest assured” when the person has no reason to have confidence or certainty. Also, it would be best if you used it sparingly in casual conversation.
What Can You Use Instead of “Rest Assured?”
There are numerous idioms and phrases that you can use in the place of “rest assured.” Each of the following synonyms communicates a strong sense of certainty (source):
- You can be sure that we will have enough volunteers.
- You can be certain that we will have enough volunteers.
- You can trust that we will have enough volunteers.
- You can have confidence that we will have enough volunteers.
- You can take it for granted that we’ll be there.
Another popular phrase is “without a doubt.” This is a more informal idiomatic phrase, but it also emphasizes something as true.
- You will make it through this without a doubt.
This expression makes it clear to someone that there will be no doubt they will make it through some difficulty. We use “without a doubt” more casually, whereas “rest assured” is a little formal and business appropriate.
When we use imperative verbs, we tell someone to do something, whether as a command, request, or suggestion. Since we directly address someone when we do this, there is generally no need to include the subject or object (source).
We use many action verbs as imperative verbs, including “read,” “run,” and “listen.” Consider the following examples using these action verbs.
- Read all of the instructions carefully before starting the exam.
The instructor tells his student to “read” the instructions in their entirety.
- Don’t run in the hallways!
This example includes a negative imperative, “do not.” This is a direct order to stop running in the hallways and is something we would expect to hear from a parent or person in authority.
- Please listen to the presentation.
In this last example, the speaker adds the adverb “Please” to the imperative verb “listen” to soften the tone of the request.
Phrases and Clauses
Phrases and clauses are key syntactic units. The main difference between a phrase and a clause is the presence or absence of a subject-verb unit (source).
There are also numerous types of phrases and clauses, and we’ll discuss a few of them here.
Phrases are sets of words that form ideas but not complete sentences because they do not have a subject or verb. Idioms are phrases or expressions with a non-literal, figurative meaning (source).
A few common phrases include noun phrases, prepositional phrases, absolute phrases, and participial phrases (source):
Noun phrases include any modifiers, such as adjectives or adverbs, with a noun.
- The clear and rushing stream flows by.
Prepositional phrases contain prepositions, nouns or pronouns, and sometimes adjectives. They begin with a preposition, and the noun serves as the object of the preposition. Prepositional phrases tell us when or where something happened.
- Before the accident, Julia was always happy.
For more on prepositional phrases, check out “‘In Accordance With’ or ‘In Accordance To’: Which is Correct?”
Absolute phrases contain nouns, participles, and modifiers. They modify the entire sentence and work with one or two commas.
- Ice cream smearing her face, she happily went to play.
Participial phrases have verbs with –ing or –ed endings, modifiers, adjectives, and use commas.
- Skipping stones, Mary passed the time at the beach.
In contrast to phrases, clauses contain a subject and a verb and can be dependent or independent clauses. All sentences include at least one main clause, and compound and complex sentences contain more than one clause (source).
Dependent clauses include noun clauses, adverb clauses, and adjective clauses. We frequently use noun clauses after that-clauses or with question word conjunctions. In contrast, we use adjective clauses to modify nouns, and they start with relative pronouns (source).
An imperative clause is a form of minor sentence because it contains a verb whose subject we understand without someone mentioning it. For this reason, we can consider “Rest assured” as an imperative clause under the right circumstance. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
For more on imperative clauses, please read “Is It Rude to Say ‘Have a Good One’?”
Whether you use it as a phrase within a larger sentence or as an imperative clause, “rest assured” is a good way to express confidence that something is true or will happen. Using the imperative verb “rest,” you are advising someone to rest in a state of assurance about a matter.
While there’s really no limit to the context in which you can use the expression, some might see it as a little too stiff for casual conversation.