Be careful in joining mailing lists,

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taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Excuse me.

1.
Be careful in joining mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.


2.
Be careful when joining mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.

3.
Be careful to join that mailing list, some may make your personal information public.


Which is idiomatic?

I guess all of them are OK. If so, how about this one:

4.Be careful to join mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.

I think 4 doesn't sound natural.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    1.Be careful in joining mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.
    This may be possible, but sounds very strange to me.

    2.
    Be careful when joining mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.

    This is the only natural-sounding sentence.

    3.
    Be careful to join that mailing list, some may make your personal information public.
    This does not make sense.

    4. Be careful to join mailing lists, some may make your personal information public.
    And this makes even less sense
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    "To be careful to do something" means make sure that you do it. So
    Be careful to join that mailing list
    would mean make sure that you join the list; it's similar to "be sure to join the list".

    Here is an authentic example of this usage:
    "Vegetarians have to be careful to include the following key nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet..."
    They should ensure that they include the nutrients in their diets.

    However, careful in your sentence means cautious, not sure, and refers to how you should act, generally, at the time of joining the group, and after joining it: you should be careful. So what you need in your sentence is when (at the time of): it's similar to "Be careful when crossing the road".

    "Be careful in joining the group" makes sense, I think, and seems to mean what you intend, but does not sound very natural.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Panjandrum and Matching Mole.

    I should have consulted with a dictionary.

    'Careful' can mean to be 'cautious' and to be 'sure'.

    There's surely a long way to go for me to be a good English speaker.

    Thanks again,
    taked4700
     
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