‘be careful not to disturb them’ (adjective + ‘NOT TO’ + infinitive)

Here’s a student example in a speaking test of ‘BE + adjective + not + to-infinitive‘ to give emphasis:

TLC male Sri Lanka B1

*We can also write: You should be careful that you do not disturb them…


Point 230 in the category of MODALITY is defined as:

‘BE’ + ADJECTIVE + ‘NOT’ + ‘TO + infinitive for emphasis

*Any verb before this structure would mark more complexity than ‘BE’, and the difference between an adjective and a past particple is very small in corpora tagging so we do two searches:

_V _JJ not _TO * (verb adjective not to-infinitive)

1 BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET 1994
2 BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET 1096
3 BE SURE NOT TO MISS 1037
4 BE CAREFUL NOT TO USE 952
5 BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN 750
6 BE CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE 693
7 BE CAREFUL NOT TO MAKE 667
8 BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERDO 603
9 BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT 538
10 BE CAREFUL NOT TO GO 459
11 BE CAREFUL NOT TO TAKE 393
12 BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH 371
13 BE CAREFUL NOT TO LOSE 367
14 BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUT 366
15 BE REMISS NOT TO MENTION 365
16 BE CAREFUL NOT TO FALL 364
17 BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK 358
18 BE CAREFUL NOT TO CONFUSE 354

19 MAKE SURE NOT TO MISS 353

You must make sure not to miss out on anything.

volunteeringsolutions.com

20 BE SURE NOT TO USE 331
21 BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK 329
22 BE CAREFUL NOT TO ADD 297
23 MAKE SURE NOT TO USE 282
24 MAKE SURE NOT TO GET 270
25 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO CUT 261
26 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO GET 261
27 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO CONFUSE 257
28 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO LET 248
29 BE CAREFUL NOT TO SCRATCH 247
30 BE CAREFUL NOT TO ALLOW 246
31 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO BURN 241
32 BE CAREFUL NOT TO LEAVE 235
33 BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUSH 231
34 BE CAREFUL NOT TO DROP 227
35 BE CAREFUL NOT TO PULL 225
36 BE CAREFUL NOT TO APPLY 223
37 ‘S IMPORTANT NOT TO GET 223
38 IS BEST NOT TO USE 218
39 BE SURE NOT TO GET 215
40 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK 194
41 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE 189
42 ‘S BEST NOT TO USE 181
43 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO LET 179
44 BE CAREFUL NOT TO HIT 177
45 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH 175
46 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FORGET 168
47 BE SURE NOT TO LET 165
48 ‘S IMPORTANT NOT TO FORGET 163
49 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO GET 163
50 ‘S IMPORTANT NOT TO LET 157
51 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO USE 148
52 BE CAREFUL NOT TO BEND 142
53 BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERHEAT 141
54 BE CAREFUL NOT TO GIVE 141
55 BE SURE NOT TO LEAVE 141
56 ‘S IMPORTANT NOT TO LOSE 136
57 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO LOSE 134
58 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO DISTURB 133
59 BE CAREFUL NOT TO CREATE 132
60 BE CAREFUL NOT TO MIX 131
61 BE CAREFUL NOT TO PRESS 131
62 BE CAREFUL NOT TO PLACE 130
63 ‘S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO FEEL 128
64 BE CAREFUL NOT TO REMOVE 127
65 BE CAREFUL NOT TO MOVE 115
66 WAS SURPRISED NOT TO SEE 109
67 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO TAKE 106
68 BE CAREFUL NOT TO RUB 105
69 BE CAREFUL NOT TO BECOME 104
70 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO TEAR 104
71 ‘S BEST NOT TO GET 103
72 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO MAKE 103
73 BE CAREFUL NOT TO DISTURB 101
74 BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERLOAD 101
75 IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO FEEL 101
76 BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERFILL 100
77 MAKING SURE NOT TO CUT 99
78 IS BETTER NOT TO USE 98
79 BE CAREFUL NOT TO ASSUME 92
80 BE CAREFUL NOT TO MISS 90
81 ‘S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO GET 88
82 MAKING SURE NOT TO GET 88
83 BE CAREFUL NOT TO TURN 86
84 BE CAREFUL NOT TO RUN 83
85 BEING CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST 83
86 BE CAREFUL NOT TO STEP 82
87 ‘S IMPORTANT NOT TO CONFUSE 82
88 ‘S DIFFICULT NOT TO FEEL 82
89 IS IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERLOOK 81
90 MAKE SURE NOT TO LEAVE 80
91 BE BLIND NOT TO SEE 79
92 ‘S BEST NOT TO TAKE 78
93 BE SURE NOT TO FORGET 77
94 BE CAREFUL NOT TO EXCEED 76
95 MAKE SURE NOT TO GO 76
96 BE CRAZY NOT TO TAKE 74
97 BE REMISS NOT TO INCLUDE 74
98 IS SURE NOT TO DISAPPOINT 74
99 BE CAREFUL NOT TO SET 73
100 IS BEST NOT TO TAKE 73

_VVN

1 ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO PLACE 730
2 WAS DETERMINED NOT TO LET 241
3 WAS TOLD NOT TO WORRY 192
4 BE ASKED NOT TO EAT 173
5 ARE ADVISED NOT TO USE 148
6 IS DETERMINED NOT TO LET 141
7 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO GO 121
8 BE TAKEN NOT TO DAMAGE 111
9 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO USE 104
10 IS RECOMMENDED NOT TO USE 103
11 HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO USE 99
12 WERE DETERMINED NOT TO LET 97
13 ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO ASSUME 97
14 ARE ADVISED NOT TO TAKE 94
15 WAS TOLD NOT TO USE 92
16 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO TAKE 91
17 HAVE AGREED NOT TO DISCLOSE 83
18 HAS DECIDED NOT TO RENEW 81
19 ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO PUT 79
20 BEEN TOLD NOT TO USE 77
21 HAS CHOSEN NOT TO NAME 75
22 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE 69
23 HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO PARTICIPATE 68
24 HAS DECIDED NOT TO TAKE 68
25 HAS DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE 66
26 HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO TAKE 65
27 ARE ADVISED NOT TO DRINK 65
28 ARE DETERMINED NOT TO LET 64
29 HAS DECIDED NOT TO GO 62
30 WAS TOLD NOT TO GO 59
31 BE ADVISED NOT TO TAKE 59
32 BE CONCEIVED NOT TO EXIST 59
33 HAS DECIDED NOT TO PROCEED 58
34 ARE ADVISED NOT TO EAT 57
35 BE TOLD NOT TO EAT 56
36 ARE ADVISED NOT TO CONSUME 55
37 BE ADVISED NOT TO DRIVE 54
38 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO RENEW 53
39 HAS DECIDED NOT TO SEEK 53
40 HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO INCLUDE 52
41 IS ADVISED NOT TO USE 52
42 ARE ADVISED NOT TO DRIVE 51
43 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO MAKE 51
44 WERE TOLD NOT TO WORRY 48
45 HAVE DECIDED NOT TO PROCEED 48


C1 verbs:
exceed, overdo, proceed, pursue, twist
C2:

cautioned, conceived, disclose, overload


If we expand the C1 verbs without adjectives in iWeb:

1 NOT TO OVERDO IT . 602
2 NOT TO PROCEED WITH THE 509
3 NOT TO PROCEED WITH A 209
4 NOT TO OVERDO IT , 167
5 NOT TO PROCEED . 97
6 NOT TO OVERDO IT WITH 87
7 NOT TO PURSUE IT . 83
8 NOT TO PURSUE A CAREER 78
9 NOT TO OVERDO IT AND 74
10 NOT TO PURSUE THE MATTER 66
11 NOT TO OVERDO IT ON 49
12 NOT TO PURSUE THE CASE 49
13 NOT TO PROCEED WITH AN 44
14 NOT TO PURSUE CRIMINAL CHARGES 42
15 NOT TO OVERDO IT THOUGH 40
16 NOT TO PROCEED WITH THIS 40
17 NOT TO PURSUE CHARGES AGAINST 39
18 NOT TO OVERDO IT ! 37
19 NOT TO PROCEED WITH YOUR 31
20 NOT TO PROCEED WITH ANY 30