1. Don't dare to go shopping without me.
  2. Don't you dare go shopping without me.

What is the difference in their meanings? Do they both mean exactly same?

  • Not what you asked, but the idiom is "go shopping", not "go for shopping".
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 11, 2017 at 19:22
  • 3
    The version with you is just a little bit more intense, mostly because it rises through three stressed monosyllables instead of just two. In a warning or threatening context like this most people will use the unmarked infinitive: Don't you dare go shopping without me. Jun 11, 2017 at 19:28
  • "You" is implied in the first sentence. Making it explicit in the second sentence is like a parent being especially assertive with a child in an admonition, and not only addressing them by name, but including their middle name. The unnecessary specificity eliminates any potential for "doubt" as to who is being addressed.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 11, 2017 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Sentence number 1 sounds strange to me. The idiomatic expression I'm familiar with is

"Don't you dare....".

Saying, "Don't dare", without the "you", gives a weirdly formal feel to an inherently informal expression. When I read it, I hear it in the voice of a television announcer, or something, reading poorly written advertising copy.

TV: Don't dare to miss these outrageous deals at Furniture Barn!

Viewer: Change the channel.


The first one is a caution in a fairly neutral tone. It implies that going shopping alone is a dangerous activity that should not be attempted without the speaker.

The second one is an intense order. This time, shopping is not dangerous. Instead, it means that going shopping without the speaker would hurt the speaker or go against the speaker's wishes.

More detail on each expression below.

The expression "dare to (do something)" means "be bold enough to (do something)".

Esther dared to speak to the king as if he were a friend.

This is very mildly literary, and I think @GTonyJacobs is onto something when he suggests an association with adveritising copy nowadays.

[footage of car driving along steep mountain roads] Dare to be adventurous. Buy an all-new 2018 offroad Carmake Carmodel. Yours now with zero downpayment.

But the expression "don't you dare (do something)" is more of a fixed idiom. It's a very emphatic way to say "don't (do something)". It also implies that you know the rules or the wishes of the speaker, but that you would defiantly go against them.

Don't you dare eat any of that pie while I'm gone, Jebediah Jr.! You know it's for tomorrow.

In modern movies, books, and music, it has also gained a sort of poetic/romantic sense by extension, to suggest that what the person is being told not to do would be really bad or inconsiderate.

Don't you dare jump off that ledge, Alex. You mean too much to all of us.

Don't you dare leave me.

These are probably influenced by "don't you (do something)", which is, as far as I know, some kind of regional and/or generational variant of "don't (do something)" often parodied for cutesy or poetic effect. (Notice the linguistic phenomenon, present in various other languages, of keeping the subject pronoun in an imperative.)

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