Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to use take it down a notch in English

Have you ever had a noisy roommate?

Maybe they were a musician?

Or they had loud parties?

Did you ever have to ask them to be quiet or “take it down a notch”?

What does that mean?

Today we’ll show you how to use the phrase “take it down a notch” to indicate that something should be reduced in tone, volume, or intensity.

Find out how useful this phrase can be today.


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What does it mean?

To reduce, to lower, to lessen, to take it easy, to relax, to bring the energy level down


Contexts where it’s useful:

  • Volume: Your roommate is playing with his band in the room next door
    • A: Hey guys can you take it down a notch? I’m going to bed soon.
    • B: Yeah no worries we didn’t realize we were so loud.


  • Intensity: The amount that events are packed together into a short period of time. 
    • Example: During our Boston Adventure weekend Friday and Saturday were super intense with challenges with native speakers, but on Sunday morning we took it down a notch with a group discussion about Good Will Hunting in the park. 


  • Frequency: How often something occurs.
    • A: So how often do you go to the gym?
      B: I used to go 7 days a week but I took it down a notch this spring and now I go 5 days a week.


  • Speed: Hey you’re speaking too fast. Can you take it down a notch?


Your Takeaways:

  • Listen for this on TV, in movies, or on the subway if you live in the US.
  • Choose one context where it fits and try using it.
  • Continue to try to use it.


What questions do you have from today?

Try it out by making a sentence and write it in the comments!

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