In life there are times when we have to warn people about all sorts of things. We might need to warn someone to avoid taking too many risks or if they a climbing up a ladder you might warn them to be safe. We often see formal notices around us that act as warnings about dangers or warning us not to do something.

In every language there are expressions that are used to warn people. In this latest post in my English Skills series, I’d like to share 10 expressions we use to warn people. I’ve categorised the expressions under the different scenarios that we could find ourselves in.


When we want to tell someone to be careful as they leave to go somewhere we often use these expressions:

1. Take care
Take care on the roads. They are really icy” I often use this expression when I say goodbye to people.

2. Mind how you go
“It was great seeing you. Mind how you go, the traffic is terrible on the motorway.”


When there is a risk of immediate danger, we would say the following:

3. Look out!
Look out! There’s a car coming.”

4. Watch out!
Watch out! The pavement is slippery.”



If you have to move or carry heavy or fragile objects around, the people around you will want to ensure that you do it carefully and gently. They are either worried that you may fall or that you may break the object!

5. Easy does it
“Ok, you’re almost there, easy does it. That’s great. Thank you so much for helping me move the sofa.”

6. Steady
Steady! Are you sure you don’t want some help carrying your bags?”


Most people will advise you not to take risks. After all, it’s in our nature not to take too many risks unless we are risk junkies!!!!


7. Better safe than sorry
“You should pack a couple of torches and some blankets for your journey. Better safe than sorry“. (We can also say “it’s better to be safe than sorry)

8. You can’t be too careful
“I’ve locked all the doors and windows and padlocked the gate. You can’t be too careful these days.”

9. Be careful
“Are you going to walk through the park at this hour? Well, be careful. You never know who’s lurking in the park.”


The common formal expression we see on the roads and public buildings is:


10. Beware
“No entry. Beware of the guard dogs”
Beware of the dangers of drink driving”


Can you think of other expressions you use or would use to warn people? Are the above expressions similar in your native language?

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Ciao for now.


NB: My English Skills series is inspired by Macmillan’s wonderful Life Skills campaign that they have been running this year. There are some wonderful resources including lesson plans here for EFL teachers to use. Their skills topics and blog posts have been the backdrop for my own posts on my English Skills series.