be careful vs be happy

Jignesh77

Senior Member
India- hindi
Be careful when you cross the road.
Don't worry be happy.
These are made up sentences.
What is the grammatical form and function of "be" in "be careful and be happy "?
Is the first one imperative?
I am not sure of the second type - be happy
 
  • Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    It tells the other person to do something or to adopt a feeling.

    Grammatically, this use of "be" is imperative.

    If you are telling children how to cross the road, I suppose it is a command.

    In many cases, it's more a suggestion or an encouragement.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Because we are familiar with imperatives like this:

    Be good.
    Be careful.
    Be nice to your sister.
    Be honest.
    Be strong.

    There's no reason to think it could be subjunctive.

    A couple of sentences I found with a subjunctive 'be happy' will illustrate its use, and show how different it is to the imperative:

    His soul is full of joy because he thinks only of the joy of others, and because it does not occur to him to ask himself whether he be happy or miserable.

    In brief, it is the conscience that pronounces upon the man whether he be happy or miserable.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    How do we confirm that "be happy" in "Don't worry, be happy lol is not subjunctive?
    Why do you think it might be a subjunctive?

    Why do you seem more sure that the first is an imperative than the second? What difference do you see between them?

    You say they are made-up sentences, by which I assume you mean you made them up. So you probably know what you mean by them. Please tell us what you mean by them and what difference you see between them.
     

    Jignesh77

    Senior Member
    India- hindi
    Imperatives sentences are types of order and subjunctive is used for unreal or hypothetical situations and also for wish and desires.
    Subjunctive uses "be" verb in plain form that caused the confusion
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Subjunctive uses "be" verb in plain form that caused the confusion
    Both your sentences use "Be" in "plain" form.

    But that's not what I was getting at. Everyone who's answered on this thread interpreted "be" in both sentences as imperative, based on what the sentences seemed to mean.

    However you weren't sure about the second, and thought it might be a subjunctive. What did you intend the second sentence to mean? Did you intend it to refer to an unreal or hypothetical situation?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top