Be Sure [Infinitive]

How to use "be sure to" correctly

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

The expression “be sure and” followed by a verb, and the related expression “try and [verb],” are considered nonstandard. Instead of andbe sure and try should be followed by an infinitive (to + a verb):

be sure and clean up after yourself
be sure to clean up after yourself

try and solve the puzzle
try to solve the puzzle

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.