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Thread: had better

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    #1

    had better

    Good day teachers!
    had better = should
    Could I replace "should" by "had better" in any instance?

    I should go. I had better go.
    I should have read this book. I had better have read this book.
    thanks teachers.

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    #2

    Re: had better

    Quote Originally Posted by smelvanzq View Post
    Good day teachers!
    had better = should
    Could I replace "should" with "had better" in any instance? no

    A) I should go. I had better go. (talking about the present or future) The meanings are the same.


    B) I should have read this book. has two possible meanings
    1) I think I read it, but I'm not sure if I did.
    2) I should have read it, but I didn't.

    I had better have read this book. (talking about the past)
    This is a correct sentence, but it doesn't have the same meaning as the "should have" sentence.
    It means 'I'm not sure if I read it, but if I haven't read it I'm in big trouble.'


    So here "had better" can not be used instead of "should", because the meanings are not the same.
    thanks teachers.
    2006

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    #3

    Re: had better

    thanks teacher! now I know that "had better" can be used in replacement of should but not in all instances. Thanks!

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