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  1. Farbauti's Avatar
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    #1

    Problem - "We'd better go"

    Hello forum,

    I struggle with an exercise in an english workbook. I must complete the following sentence with a question tag:

    "We'd better go, ____ "

    My first guess was

    "We'd better go, wouldn't we"

    But this is wrong. The correct answer is

    "We'd better go, hadn't we "

    But what is that for a sentence, what does it mean? Is that a kind of hypothetical present, does it mean something like "I wish we were now somewhere else and not here."

    Thanks for help

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2
    "We'd" can be "we would" or "we had." You need to know the grammar to know which one is meant.


    We'd better = We had better. The sentence "We would better go" is not grammatical, but "We had better go" is, so you know the 'd is "had" not "would."

    (I would be very unlikley to actually tag that statement with "hadn't we" -- it sounds very unnatural to me. But it's grammatically correct.)

    An example of "We'd" being "We would":
    We'd know one way or the other, wouldn't we? = We would know... woudn't we.
    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.

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    #3
    It's not very natural.

    You'd more likely hear "We'd better go, huh?"

    Or (in Canadian) "We'd better go, eh?"

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4
    Or "We'd better go, don't you think?"
    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.

  4. Roman55's Avatar
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    #5
    I am not a teacher.

    I don't think it's very unnatural, just slightly uncommon.

    You could also say "We'd better go, had we not?"

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6
    When we were children, my sister and I would says things like "We better go, bettern't we?" Of course, we knew it was wrong, but at least in AusE, "We better go" is as common as "We'd better go". Even natives have problems with some of these more unusual constructions, and I think this was our way of protesting.

  6. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #7
    I don't understand why "we had better go" is gramatically correct. Can you explain to me why it's correct? I've no idea.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  7. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    I don't understand why "we had better go" is gramatically correct. Can you explain to me why it's correct? I've no idea.
    I've found this, Boris (Please see Usage Note): http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rather
    ...and this: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=94021

    You'll need to learn Middle English and the subjunctive.


  8. Roman55's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    I don't understand why "we had better go" is gramatically correct. Can you explain to me why it's correct? I've no idea.
    I am not a teacher.

    It's a verb phrase, had better do something; "had better" followed by a bare infinitive.

    It is a strong suggestion to do something with the implication that if you don't do it there will be negative repercussions.

    "We had better go, or we'll be late."
    "We had better run, or we'll miss the bus!"

    The same thing works with "had best".
    "We'd best behave or we'll get into trouble."

  9. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #10
    I am a Non-NEST (Non-native English Speaking Teacher)
    To learn a foreign language well one doesn't need to know WHY, it's enough to know HOW.)))
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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