The word "behave" is a verb used to describe a person’s actions and attitude.

simplepastpast participle
  • The students behaved well in class today.
  • We expect everyone at the party will behave.
  • You don’t have to worry about anyone behaving badly. (The word "behaving" is a gerund in this sentence.)
  • Everyone behaves when the boss is in the office.
  • David’s mother told him that if he didn’t behave she wouldn’t take him to the park.
  • Faduma was not behaving properly at the dinner table.
  • Please, behave. (This is a command.)
  • Please behave yourself. (Said to one person.)
  • Please behave yourselves. (Said to more than one person. Notice the use of reflexive pronouns with the word "behave.")
  • Those people clearly don’t know how to behave.

You can also use the word "behave" for an animal or a thing:

  • My car has been behaving strangely lately.
  • Rick’s puppy doesn’t know how to behave when it’s in the house.
  • Plants and trees behave according to the environment in which they grow.

The word "behavior" is a noun:

  • The boy’s behavior is so bad he can’t remain in school.
  • His behavior is becoming an issue.
  • The man’s behavior is embarrassing.
  • He embarrassed himself with his bad behavior.
  • We were offended by the behavior of a rude couple on the plane.

behaving badly

His behavior has been very odd lately.

To be on one’s best behavior is a type of expression:

  • The children are on their best behavior.
  • He’s on his best behavior.
  • She’s on her best behavior.
  • You had better be on your best behavior today.

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May 2, 2018