despite its slightly archaic flavour, lives on in the language and is one of the mainstays of the subjunctive in English:

• I shall say nothing about alcohol lest I be pilloried by publicans —Julian Critchley, 1987.

• The site also contains a convenient link to PayPal lest anyone want to donate money —weblog, AmE 2002.

An alternative construction, especially after verbs of fearing or apprehension, is with should:

• I can see you're in a fever lest slick Ben and his moll should get back…before you make your getaway —Ngaio Marsh, 1962

• And she also felt slightly nervous lest the large house should suddenly disgorge many other hidden residents —Margaret Drabble, 1988.

Use of the indicative is already evident, and often sounds perfectly natural (the subjunctive is identifiable only in the third person singular anyway):

• He would never have repeated the story lest it weakened our war effort —A. N. Wilson, 1977

• Mr. Howard had better do some research, lest he wants to be a party to a huge white elephant rapid-transit line —news website, CanE 2004.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lest — lest …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • lest — [ lɛst ] n. m. • 1208; néerl. last, frison lest 1 ♦ Poids dont on charge un navire pour en abaisser le centre de gravité et en assurer ainsi la stabilité (⇒ charge, 1. estive). Sacs de sable, cailloux, pierres, gueuses de métal, eau des ballasts …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • lest — (lèst ) s. m. 1°   Terme de marine. Assemblage de morceaux de fer ou de petits cailloux, ou de matières lourdes, qu on entasse avec ordre jusqu à une certaine hauteur dans le fond d un navire, pour abaisser par leur pesanteur spécifique le lieu… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Lešť — Wappen Karte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lest — LEST, lesturi, s.n. Încărcătură formată din nisip, pietriş, plumb etc. care asigură stabilitatea navelor de apă sau aeriene; balast, savură. – Din fr. lest. Trimis de RACAI, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  LEST s. (mar.) balast, savură. (lestul unei… …   Dicționar Român

  • Lešť — (zone militaire) (Village) Administration Pays  Slovaquie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lest — [lest] conj literary [: Old English; Origin: thy lAs the by which less that ] 1.) in order to make sure that something will not happen ▪ She turned away from the window lest anyone see them. 2.) used to show that someone is afraid or worried that …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Lest — Lest, conj. [OE. leste, fr. AS. [eth][=y] l[=ae]s [eth][=e] the less that, where [eth][=y] is the instrumental case of the definite article, and [eth][=e] is an indeclinable relative particle, that, who, which. See {The}, {Less}, a.] 1. For fear… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lest — [ lest ] conjunction FORMAL in case something unpleasant happens: Helen turned the radio down lest she should miss the phone ringing. lest we forget OFTEN HUMOROUS used when reminding people of something very important: He saved a political party …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • lest — ► CONJUNCTION formal 1) with the intention of preventing; to avoid the risk of. 2) because of the possibility of. USAGE The word lest takes the subjunctive mood, meaning that the correct construction is she was worrying lest he be attacked (not … …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”