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. #31
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    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
    What hath God wrought!

  2. #32
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    What hath God wrought!
    If only we had stuck to Morse code - no dialects in that (although I'm told a trained receiver can recognize different 'hands').



    b

  3. #33
    Avalon is offline Member
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    Default Re: Had better

    Why simplify when you can complicate it? Thatīs what ticks us !:)

  4. #34
    matilda Guest

    Talking Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Which question, Matilda? Tdol answered it, and his answer is unquestionably right: I had better study - no gerund, no 'to', a bare infinitive.
    b
    what if we want to make it negative???

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by matilda View Post
    what if we want to make it negative???

    I'd better not. A lot of people - native speakers as well as English language learners - don't hear the "'d", so don't produce it. I better not is wrong, but very common.

    b

  6. #36
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'd better not. A lot of people - native speakers as well as English language learners - don't hear the "'d", so don't produce it. I better not is wrong, but very common.
    b
    No, it's not wrong, Bob. It's just a slightly different form. This occurs all the time in language. It's called phonological reduction.

    Do you want to go?

    D'you want to go?

    D'ya wanna go?

    Every ENL is fully aware that our language contains, "I had better"; "I'd better"; "I better".

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Had better

    Doens't make any sense a structure of the poll

  8. #38
    Marcus Aurelius Guest

    Default Re: Had better

    One thing that has been missed in this discussion is that the convention of using "had better" or "had better not" carries with it a threat of violence or other negative consequences if the person is to not heed the advice given. NEVER use this convention when simply offering friendly advice, especially when speaking with Americans.

  9. #39
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Had better

    So, if it's five minutes before the banks shut and I tell someone that they'd better hurry if they want to deposit their cheque, it's unfriendly advice, is it? That would definitely not be the case in British English. You can use it as a threat or to offer advice in British English, and I am interested to see what other American speakers have to say about never using it in a friendly way.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    No, it's not wrong, Bob. It's just a slightly different form. This occurs all the time in language. It's called phonological reduction.

    Do you want to go?

    D'you want to go?

    D'ya wanna go?

    Every ENL is fully aware that our language contains, "I had better"; "I'd better"; "I better".
    That this is a reduction is clear; that it is correct is a matter of opinion. Most teachers I know would call it incorrect.

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