Why I asked a question like that? Well, because I came across many contexts where "caveats" is close in meaning to "rules" instead of "risks" or "warnings".

The goal here is to tell someone that "you should follow the rules", "stick with the rules", etc...

Here's an example:

IDK-L33T is a powerful device that can abstracts away many complex tasks; However, there are few rules to follow here.

If we replace the "rules to follow here." part with "caveats to adhere.", will the former sentence still valid?

In fact, is "caveats to adhere" itself valid?


  • Can you show us one context where the word was used to mean "rules"? To me, it is (mainly) used as a legal term. Why not just use "rules", "regulations" or even "principles"? Note that using "few" and "a few" could make a world of difference. – user24743 May 14 '16 at 15:31
  • I would not employ caveat to mean rule. Caveats may be observed; rules may be observed or followed or adhered to, but bare adhered is ungrammatical. – StoneyB on hiatus May 14 '16 at 15:31
  • Can you give some examples where it looks like caveats means rules rather than warnings or things to be wary of? Is this in Indian English? Because I don't think it means that in American or British English. – Peter Shor May 14 '16 at 15:51

The phrase caveats to adhere is incorrect for two reasons.

adhere is intransitive (does not take an object) and on its own it simply means stick.. you have to use a preposition to if you wish to attach an object like rules or guidelines, for example adhere to guidelines.

caveat is not a rule but "a warning to consider something before taking any more action". The literal meaning (in latin) is "let a person be aware".

You cannot adhere to a caveat or warning- you can only consider it or take it into account.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.