careful not to (do something)

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careful not to (do something)

A warning or instruction that one proceed cautiously, in an attempt to avoid potential problems or pitfalls. 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

careful not to do something

using care to avoid some difficulty or difficulties. Please be careful not to discuss politics with Mr. Brown. Please be careful not to leave the house unlocked.
See also: careful, not
References in classic literature ?
Standing, for the most part, on the hallowed precincts of the quarter-deck, they were careful not to speak or rustle their feet.
2) The Cyclic poets (as we can see from the abstract of Proclus) were careful not to trespass upon ground already occupied by Homer.
I may have gone too far; in which case I shall be careful not to trouble myself or my readers in the same way again; but when we have to do with vice and vicious characters, I maintain it is better to depict them as they really are than as they would wish to appear.
But in the hut her mother was waiting for her return, and as she grew impatient she said to her husband: 'Get out the horses, old man, to go and fetch her home; but see that you are careful not to upset the sledge and lose the chest.'
Among the deputations of all kinds which assailed him, that of "The Lunatics" were careful not to forget what they owed to the future conqueror of the moon.
This made the Tin Woodman very unhappy, for he was always careful not to hurt any living creature; and as he walked along he wept several tears of sorrow and regret.
Jim had to be careful not to step upon the tiny piglets, who scampered under his feet grunting and squealing, while Eureka, snarling and biting at the thorns pushed toward her, also tried to protect the pretty little things from injury.
So you will be very careful not to hurt me until I have carried out your wishes.
"So get in, my dears, and be careful not to mar the gold or put your dusty feet on the embroidery."
Yields, under irresistible pressure, to t he exertion of her guardian's authority, and commits the expression of her feelings to Sir Patrick, who is a born tyrant, and doesn't in the least mind breaking other people's hearts.' Sir Patrick, speaking for himself, places his sister-in-law's view and his niece's view, side by side, before the lady whom he has now the honor of addressing, and on whose confidence he is especially careful not to intrude.
"Surely; go ahead, but be careful not to lose your way.
"We must be careful not to confuse the physical and the moral.
When the waiter had felt my fast cooling tea-pot with the palm of his hand, and had looked imploringly at me, and had gone out, Drummle, careful not to move the shoulder next me, took a cigar from his pocket and bit the end off, but showed no sign of stirring.
But I was careful not to go through the hole myself, for I knew that Erik was inside.
Careful not to touch him, or be noticed by him, he yet drew near to him, and stood there.