Can I replace "careful" with "cautious"? Is there any nuance difference if I change it?
Good question! These two adjectives actually have very similar meanings. However, in this context, we can differentiate between them based on action. Being "cautious" is often linked to an emotion, feeling, or state of mind, such as feeling cautious around new people or walking cautiously down a hill. "Careful" in this context, however, refers to the action of treating things delicately or as if they are fragile. Thus, we can see that the action of being very gentle with a baby would be more closely connected to being "careful" than "cautious." Ex: Be careful with that box! It's super heavy. Ex: My dog is very cautious around strangers.
Get more Native English Expressions >