General Writing and Grammar Help/Beware & be aware

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "beware" and "be aware"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "beware" and "be aware"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** There is a difference.  "Be aware" is advice.  It is similar to saying "be alert" or "be on the lookout for something."  "Aware" is actually a synonym for "alert."

Because of all the tornadoes we have had this year, we should always BE AWARE of strange-looking, dark clouds.

You should BE AWARE of the rules and regulations before you begin your camping trip in the national forest.

*** "Beware," although it also suggests that you look out for something, is different, because there is a connotation of danger involved.   Instead of "being alert," you are advised to "be very careful" when the word "beware" is used.

Because his bulldog was very ferocious, Mr. Smith put a "BEWARE OF THE DOG" sign in his front yard.

Most poles or towers that support electrical wires had "BEWARE" warnings posted on them.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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