Bees again

Fri Apr 18 00:27:50 UTC 1997

The use of 'do' in
You be good for Grandma now and if you do I'll buy you an icecream

does sound a bit strange to me (a native speaker of Australian English).

It looks from all this discussion as though 'be' should be given a polysemy
analysis, in which it can sometimes be interpreted as 'become' or 'behave'.

But this is highly speculative. It would be more interesting to examine
a translation of this sentence in other languages, to see if verbs meaning
'be' are used in this context, especially those unrelated to English. What do
others think?

Debra Ziegeler

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