View Poll Results: You ____ do it.

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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

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  1. #1
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Had better

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

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    I wouldn't use had there. Some do, but it doesn't change the meaning.

    :)

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    In BE, the omission of 'had' would be regarded as an error by some. It is certainly colloquial here.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Had better

    'd better not

  5. #5
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    Default 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.

  6. #6
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    Default 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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Had better

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

  8. #8
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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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

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

    It'll probably catch on.

  10. #10
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Had better

    I voted for option 2: had better not.
    Red5
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