View Poll Results: You ____ do it.

Voters
2354. This poll is closed
  • hadn't better

    395 16.78%
  • had better not

    1,782 75.70%
  • Either

    177 7.52%
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Thread: Had better

  1. #21
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Does anyone really understand this structure? To be honest, it escapes me.
    It's pretty old, presumably like 'I'd rather', which derives not from would rather (which some people say nowadays) but from had rather: of two options, I gave more weight to one.

    As to the negative, I prefer the version my son coined many years ago: I'd bettern't

  2. #22
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Had better

    It'll probably catch on.

  3. #23
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    Post Re: Had better

    i want to know after had better the verb should be gerend or infinitive
    which example is correct
    example:I had better study , I had better to study, or I had better studying

  4. #24
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Had better

    I had better study.

  5. #25
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: Had better

    but finally, which one is the best answer to this question, dear moderator?

  6. #26
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by matilda View Post
    but finally, which one is the best answer to this question, dear moderator?
    Which question, Matilda? Tdol answered it, and his answer is unquestionably right: I had better study - no gerund, no 'to', a bare infinitive.

    b

  7. #27
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I had better study.
    To answer your initial question, IMO, "had better" is a modal idiom. This is why we can't use the contraction "hadn't better".

  8. #28
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    ... we can't use the contraction "hadn't better".
    Well you all can't.

    b

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Well you all can't.

    b
    Do you?

  10. #30
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Do you?
    I think so, though maybe it's a regional variant (northern ) - anyway, it's quite widespread now (perhaps because of the BBC's decision to allow newsreaders and continuity announcers to keep their regional accents).

    b

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