Poll: You ____ do it.

Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 76

Thread: Had better

Hybrid View

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 47,038
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Had better

    Does anyone really understand this structure? To be honest, it escapes me.

  1. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2
    I wouldn't use had there. Some do, but it doesn't change the meaning.

    :)

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 47,038
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3
    In BE, the omission of 'had' would be regarded as an error by some. It is certainly colloquial here.

  2. silversea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 270
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Had better

    'd better not

  3. tuangpi's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 73
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Had better

    'Had better' is used to say what is the best thing to do in a situation that's happening now.

    You'd better go home now or your girlfriend will leave you for ever.

  4. silversea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 270
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by tuangpi
    'Had better' is used to say what is the best thing to do in a situation that's happening now.

    You'd better go home now or your girlfriend will leave you for ever.
    hey Tuangpi, U have had such an experience

  5. tuangpi's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 73
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by silversea
    hey Tuangpi, U have had such an experience
    No! But it could happen, couldn't it?

  6. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 15,879
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    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

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 47,038
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Had better

    It'll probably catch on.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 3,454
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Had better

    I voted for option 2: had better not.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •