There's well-known expression: Don't you dare...

Is there a way to somehow make it stronger, to show more of your emotions when you "asking" person not to dare etc.? I've heard 2 cases, but don't really know the differences or even are they correct or not.

  1. Don't you just dare...
  2. Don't you even dare...

What do you think?

  • 2
    Hello, Lomi. Here, there may be a difference in frequency of use between the bald statement "Don't you just dare!" and "Don't you just dare [to] V ..." Why don't you Google first, and show an example or two, and data like ' "Don't you just dare to" shows only 5 Google hits'? You could include instances where the position of 'dare' is switched to immediately before a to-infinitive ("Don't you dare even to think [...] "). (Though 'dare' can take a bare or to-infinitive after the imperative 'Don't you', I think that 'dare even think' sounds rather unnatural.) – Edwin Ashworth Sep 3 '15 at 9:25
  • 'Don't [you] even dare' is a common variant. 'Don't you just X' is usually a different idiom, e.g. 'Don't you just love ice-cream?' As Edwin Ashworth says, can you indicate what you have done so far to investigate this? Thanks. – chasly from UK Sep 3 '15 at 9:31
  • @chaslyfromUK I searched on google before asking here and there is only usual usage of "don't you dare", difficult to find with "just" or "even". – Lomi Sep 3 '15 at 11:06
  • Though I see some people use it, and as far as I understood they use bith "just dare" and "even dare" in the same meaning. I was asking if it's possible to use those expressions in that exact form, with no changing the words order, because "don't you just love ice-cream" is completely different from original meaning. – Lomi Sep 3 '15 at 11:09

Don't you dare... Q: Is there a way to make it stronger?

There are several ways to express this more vehemently (U.S. English):

Don't even think about it!

Don't go there! (This doesn't mean physically going someplace -- it means the same as the previous phrase.)

Note also that "Don't you dare!" is stronger than "Don't you dare show them that photograph!" (or whatever the contemplated action is).


1.Don't you just dare... 2.Don't you even dare...

In the variant of English I am familiar with as a native speaker, (1) is incorrect and is a confusion with a different idiom. To give all the rules would take up a lot of space so I'll give some examples and offer a way to research this more.

I am used to hearing:

Just don't [you] dare.

Don't [you] even dare.

Don't you just love that?

By examining the links at the bottom of this ngram and trying your own searches you can discover more examples.

Google ngram: don't dare,don't even dare,don't just dare,just don't dare

Note that you may have to click the 'Search lots of books' button to get the full results.

  • (Also BrE) I think unqualified Don't you even dare! sounds decidedly odd. In such contexts, even effectively means [not] so much as, implying that "daring" is one of the least possible responses in the current context (you're being instructed not to even do that, let alone any more extreme response). I think the usage only makes sense if followed by an additional clause specifying some relatively restrained response, that even could reasonably refer to. Thus, Don't [you] even dare think about that! (or imho better, Don't dare even think about it!) – FumbleFingers Sep 3 '15 at 17:14
  • In "Don't you just dare!", 'just' is being used in the emphasiser pragmatic role (rather like a second exclamation mark). This expression is used as a variant of "Just don't dare!"; it can stand alone. With "Don't even dare ..." the use of 'even' is again as an emphasiser, but in this case fastens onto the to-infininitive or bare infinitive that must follow. "Don't even dare to mention his name [never mind writing to him]!" – Edwin Ashworth Dec 3 '15 at 23:20

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