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Thread: Had better

  1. #1
    Ana Laura Guest

    Cool Had better

    Hello,
    I would like to know if there is any difference between these 2 sentences:
    1)'You'd better not touch her again;otherwise I will kill you'.
    2)'You'd better not touch her again or I will kill you'.
    Could you give me an example with 'only if' and 'On condition that'?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    There is no important difference between those sentence, because neither of them makes sense. (If you don't do what I do not want you to do then I will kill you.) Perhaps:
    I will kill you if you touch her again.
    If you touch her again I will kill you.
    ~R

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Only if it's not cloudy will we see the sun.

    ~R

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by Ana Laura View Post
    Hello,
    I would like to know if there is any difference between these 2 sentences:
    1)'You'd better not touch her again;otherwise I will kill you'.
    2)'You'd better not touch her again or I will kill you'.
    Could you give me an example with 'only if' and 'On condition that'?
    Thanks.
    IMHO, I think they make perfect sense, Ron. Paraphrased, they both mean,

    "If you touch her again, I will kill you."

    OR

    "My strong [yet purposefully understated] advice is, don't touch her again. If you do, I'll kill you."

    There is, to my mind, [and I could be missing something and if that's so, I'd like to have it pointed out to me], no other way that they can be glossed [interpreted/understood]].

    For different collocations we use differing forms of negation.

    'Only if you don't touch her again will you escape being killed'.

    'On condition that you don't touch her again, then and only then, will you escape being killed.'

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Had better

    "You'd better not touch her again" is fine. It's the "otherwise" that messes things up, IMO. "Otherwise" seems to me to say "if you don't touch her". Perhaps:
    You'd better not touch her again. If you do, I'll kill you.
    "You'd better not touch her again or I'll kill you" is, perhaps, better. Perhaps clearer (and definitely more idiomatic, IMO), would be:
    You touch her again and I'll kill you.
    Or:
    If you touch her again I'll kill you.
    ~R

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Had better

    P.S.

    In keeping with the title of this thread:
    You had better not touch her or I'll hurt you.

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    "You'd better not touch her again" is fine. It's the "otherwise" that messes things up, IMO. "Otherwise" seems to me to say "if you don't touch her".
    I think the meaning is as described in Cambridge - Dictionaries Online, below.

    1)'You'd better not touch her again;otherwise I will kill you'.

    ++++++++++++++++
    Cambridge Dictionary

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...6123&dict=CALD

    conjunction
    used after an order or suggestion to show what the result will be if you do not follow that order or suggestion:

    I'd better write it down, otherwise I'll forget it.
    Phone home, otherwise your parents will start to worry.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Had better

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I think the meaning is as described in Cambridge - Dictionaries Online, below.

    1)'You'd better not touch her again;otherwise I will kill you'.

    ++++++++++++++++
    Cambridge Dictionary

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...6123&dict=CALD

    conjunction
    used after an order or suggestion to show what the result will be if you do not follow that order or suggestion:

    I'd better write it down, otherwise I'll forget it.
    Phone home, otherwise your parents will start to worry.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Interesting examples, but I don't think they fit the situation.

    otherwise
    conjunction
    4.
    or else; if not: Button up your overcoat, otherwise you'll catch cold.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/sear...wise&x=33&y=18
    Is it ever used in the negative?
    You had better not touch her. Otherwise (if you don't not touch her) I'll hurt you.
    More idiomatic:
    You'd better not touch her. If you lay a hand on her I'll kill you.
    You'd better not touch her. Stay away from her if you know what's good for you.
    You'd better not touch her. Touch her and you're as good as dead.
    Keep your hands off her. Put your hands on her again and you'll have me to deal with.
    Stay away from her. Don't come near her again if you know what's good for you. Touch her again and I'll kill you.
    You'd better not touch her. I'm not playing with you. Touch her again and I will hurt you.
    ~R

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