English language -- difference between "serious" and "careful"?

  • #26
PeroK
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I am not an English-speaker, so I may be wrong in this, but I think being serious is an attitude a person takes, i.e., it may mean a person is determined to do what he/she is intended to do, or he/she is not taking things easy, while being careful is related to actions and how they are done.
I don't think you can distinguish them like that. You can definitely be serious in your actions. E.g.

I'm in serious training for the marathon. But, I must be careful not to get injured.

He committed a serious crime. And, after careful consideration, the court sentenced him to a term of imprisonment..

That's a serious mistake! You must be more careful.

There was a serious road accident. Caused by careless driving.

It's interesting that these words cause confusion. To a native speaker they seem very different. Although, both are for English typically flexible and can be used in a wide range of contexts. So, I guess there is no easy way to explain all the differences. But, perhaps the examples above help.
 
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  • #27
gleem
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Actually google dictionary uses the word careful in the explaination of serious.It causes confusion.
This is a pair of words no one talks about yet a lot of non- primary english speakers have an issue in distuinguishing
Both on-line Cambridge and Merriam-Webster dictionaries clearly distinguish between serious and careful.
 
  • #28
Merlin3189
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