"Be careful" versus "Take care"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Little_LIS, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member


    Can I warn someone telling him "Take care " instead of "Be careful" ?

    Like warning a student to stop talking otherwise he will be kicked out.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    "Take care" is probably slightly too friendly in tone for that exact context. To me, it implies genuine concern for the person's well-being.

    On the other hand, "watch out", "watch yourself" or "consider yourself warned" would be perfect phrases for your context.
  3. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Thanks a lot. But what about "Be careful" ? Is it wrong ?

    Sorry, I meant; is "Take care" wrong ?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  4. Mangoes56 Member

    Hi, in this context it's definately "be careful"
  5. Mangoes56 Member

    (I mean as opposed to "take care" but "watch out" or be warned is also good)
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think the choice between "Take care" and "Be careful" is personal.
    I couldn't say whether one is more friendly than the other, but I am sure that the way it is said and the context in which it is said will convey more information about the friendliness of the advice.
  7. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Thanks all, but I'm still confused, as in Arabic they have the same meaning.

    So, can I say that both of them can be used to warn someone ?

    In another way, can I tell my friend " Be careful " when we are playing any game? I want to tell him that I'm going to beat him so he should be careful/ take care ?

    Thanks again.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  8. Grammar Fan Member

    American English
    (1) Take care = Have a nice day; I shall/will see you later; goodbye for now. (2) Be careful = Watch out for a dangerous situation (It could be the traffic on the streets or it could be a threat that the speaker is planning to take action against the listener).

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