if he doesn't be

boggiee

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi,

- If he doesn't be quiet, he will go to bed!

I tried to write a sentence like that, and I would like to ask if it is correct. If it is, does it seem old-fashioned?

Thank you!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No. 'If . . . be' is archaic or old-fashioned for most ordinary uses of 'be', as in this recent thread, but in your sentence 'be' has the meaning of "behave". It sounds quite normal here, and that use has other special grammar too: progressive 'He is being naughty.'
     

    GoKyu

    Member
    US English
    Are you saying that If he doesn't be quiet, he will go to bed! is normal modern English? So people would say that?:eek:
    Kayve: Absolutely correct. That's a readily understood sentence.

    You can even change it so that you're speaking TO the child:

    "If you don't be quiet while we're watching TV, I'm sending you to bed."

    Or if you're talking to your spouse:

    "If he doesn't be quiet while we're watching TV, I'm sending him to bed."
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Kayve: Absolutely correct. That's a readily understood sentence.

    You can even change it so that you're speaking TO the child:

    "If you don't be quiet while we're watching TV, I'm sending you to bed."

    Or if you're talking to your spouse:

    "If he doesn't be quiet while we're watching TV, I'm sending him to bed."
    Ok, I see, thanks a lot!
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    - If he doesn't be quiet, he will go to bed!
    I would like to ask if it is correct. If it is, does it seem old-fashioned?
    It sounds fine to me (I assume it refers to a child), although I think I'd say "he'll be sent to bed!"
     
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