Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 11 to 18 of 18
  1. #11
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,517
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I will fully own up to having previously "I didn't used to" because I it sounds the same as "I didn't use to." And that's an error, which I no longer make.

    But I agree with my fellow American. We use "You better..." quite frequently on this side of the pond. "You better watch your step!"

    In fact, the latter is in an Elvis Costello song, and he's from London. Granted, song lyrics are the bane of our existance. But here's one more: You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town.
    I always hear, and sing, "You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry" albeit it with a rather swallowed "apostrophe + d". It might not clearly come out of my mouth but if I wrote the lyrics down, I would use "You'd".

  2. #12
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,357
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Sure, but you're on the east side of the big pond.
    Just for fun, I checked about five sites that provide lyrics. All of them had "You better" (but they were American sites).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #13
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    I suppose I'd better admit that I have just checked with the British National Corpus.

    They have quite a few 'you better' citations.

  4. #14
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,357
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I suppose I'd better admit that I have just checked with the British National Corpus.

    They have quite a few 'you better' citations.
    Hmm. Now here's a weird thing. When making a threat or admonition, I'm pretty sure I'd use the "you better" form. Yet, the idea of "I'd better get going now" seems totally normal... I give up!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #15
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Santa Claus is coming to town.
    He better!

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,335
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by aachu View Post
    "You had better not gone there"? Can it, at all, be used in the past?
    You can say You'd better not have gone there, meaning that the speaker will be angry if they find out that you did go there.

  7. #17
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,517
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You can say You'd better not have gone there, meaning that the speaker will be angry if they find out that you did go there.
    Regular exchange in my flat, between me and my flatmate:

    Flatmate: Oh, I've used all the milk, by the way.
    Me: You'd better not have. I won't be impressed.
    Flatmate: OK, I haven't used all the milk then.
    Me: You have, haven't you?
    Flatmate: Yup.

  8. #18
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Using 'Had better' in the past

    You'd better look for a new flatmate.
    Last edited by 5jj; 31-Jan-2012 at 10:26. Reason: I forgot the 'd'!

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 27-Nov-2010, 22:08
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2009, 23:32
  3. past pefect, past simple, or past progressive.
    By fuadha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2009, 21:01
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2009, 19:14
  5. [Grammar] Past simple, past continuous and past perfect
    By fuadha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2009, 12:17

Posting Permissions

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