Can I write many verbs after "Do not". For example:

Do not eat, catch and buy blue crabs.

Is the above sentence correct?

  • Apart from the and/or issue, I personally would much prefer that the prohibited activities be specified in their more normal temporal sequence: Do not catch, buy, or eat them. Jul 15, 2021 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


Yes, that's perfectly good, though it would be more natural with or rathr than and: your sentence suggests that it is telling you not to do all three things, rather than not to do any of the three things.

Almost all contexts that accept a verb will accept two or more coordinated verbs in the corresponding form:

I will wait and ask him.

He is eating and sleeping.

They have washed and put away the dishes.

Don't talk or move around.

Note that it depends on the particular verbs and the particular construction whether an object applies to one or all the verbs - sometimes it is actually ambiguous.

  • Which one should we use “and” or “or” in this sentence: “Don’t drink and drive.”
    – Jay Ho
    Jul 15, 2021 at 11:21
  • Multiple prohibitions usually have 'or' if each action is separately forbidden, and 'and' if they are forbidden to be done at the same time. Jul 15, 2021 at 11:51
  • If a male priest is forbidden to smoke, drink, or have sex, that is normal. If he is forbidden to smoke, drink, and have sex, that would be difficult and uncomfortable in any case. Jul 15, 2021 at 11:53
  • Thanks you for clarifying me. You really helped me a lot.
    – Yari Nukul
    Jul 16, 2021 at 4:56

It is not well worded.

Take the sentence: "Do not catch and eat blue crabs." It is correct, but it might be taken to mean that only the combination is prohibited - and so you are permitted to catch them without eating them or to eat them without catching them.

Similarly, "Do not eat, catch and buy blue crabs" is badly worded. Your intended meaning is better expressed with "or" rather than "and":

Do not eat, catch or buy blue crabs.

But the answer to your main question is "yes". "Do not" can be followed by multiple verbs.

  • Thanks so much. You really helped me a lot.
    – Yari Nukul
    Jul 16, 2021 at 4:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .