be careful not to (do something)

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be careful not to (do something)

Proceed cautiously, in an attempt to avoid potential problems or pitfalls. This phrase is often said as a warning or instruction. I was careful not to make any noise as I crept into the house after curfew. As you plan your talk, be careful not to bore the audience with scientific terms they won't understand. This plate is very hot—be careful not to burn yourself.
See also: careful, not
References in classic literature ?
"We must be careful not to confuse the physical and the moral.
Be careful not to overstretch the o ring--i.e., not beyond 75% of its original diameter.
But they should be careful not to use such broad strokes that they're seen as attacking religion in general.
But I want to be careful not to raise unwarranted hopes.
So, I have to be careful to be aware of my fatigue, my anxiety, my guilt, my resentment I have to be careful not to lash out at them or make them feel guilty for being normal teenage boys.