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Olena
how to use "lest" correctly in a sentence? give examples pls and is it commonly used in the US?
Sep 21, 2019 5:28 PM
Answers · 4
The word "lest" is almost never used anymore, even in writing, and certainly never in speech. The only time you will ever hear someone say the word "lest" is if they are deliberately trying to use archaic-sounding or biblical-sounding language. A preacher *might* use this word in a religious sermon, but nobody uses it in conversation. Even in writing, you will only see "lest" in older literature or literature that is intended to sound archaic, poetic, or biblical. Gdanning has given a good example of how to use the word. Note that the word "lest" is followed by the subjunctive case. A couple more examples: "We should leave soon, lest we be late." "Be careful what you wish for, lest it should come true."
September 21, 2019
It is an old-fashioned word. You will find it in older books. You may find it when someone is trying to sound old fashioned--when playing a fantasy role-playing game, perhaps. Here are some examples of use. Know what the word means, but don't use it unless there is some special reason. It is a dignified way to say "for fear of." It refers to something that is being done, in order to stop something bad from happening. J. R. R. Tolkien, "The Lord of the Rings," intentionally written in an old-fashioned style: "Gollum went to guard the entrance, lest the 'thief' should escape." He was afraid the thief would escape, so he guarded the entrance to prevent that. "Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation." This is a book title. The author was afraid this story would be forgotten, so she wrote this book to prevent the story from being forgotten. Emily Dickinson (1830-1866) "The maple wears a gayer scarf, The field a scarlet gown. Lest I should be old-fashioned, I'll put a trinket on." She was afraid people would think she looked old-fashioned, so she decided to put some pretty jewelry on.
September 21, 2019
You should bring an umbrella, lest you get wet if it rains unexpectedly.
September 21, 2019
In the US, this is probably the first time I've heard or seen the word in the past 10 years.
September 21, 2019
Olena
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English, German, Russian, Ukrainian
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English, German