In prompt: You will be penalized if


On a number of occasions, I have seen people recommending to include in prompts the words “You will be penalized if…”.

I wonder if this makes any sense, considering a LLM will never be actually “penalized”.



This expression in the prompt is one of the items summarized in the “Overview of 26 prompt principles.”

What’s important here is that the expression “You will be penalized if…” does not actually mean that the LLM will be penalized, but rather, it is generally recommended to use such expressions to effectively instruct the LLM.

How the LLM responds to different expressions may change over time, so it’s just a guideline, but it might be helpful to consider.

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Thank you - I am busy reading your paper.