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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    had better, should

    I'm sometimes mixed up with the usage of "had better" and "should." The use of "had better" can be warning in a certain context, but as far as I know it's not always the case. Is "had better" a stronger expression than "should" when you tell people something urgent or obligatory? or can it be a softer expression than "should" in some cases? I think "should" and "ought to" are comparable but there is some difference between "had better" and "should."

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had better, should

    You will get better answers if you post example sentences.

  3. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: had better, should

    For instance,

    You had better go to bed early today.
    You should go to bed early today.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: had better, should

    OK. In general, "had better" is stronger than "should" or "ought to". In this case, the difference is slight because "going to bed" is a minor issue.

    Consider these alternatives:(from the boss)

    A: You had better finish this report by five o'clock.
    B: You should finish this report by five o'clock.
    C: You ought to finish this report by five o'clock.

    Which do you think is stronger or more threatening?

  5. Junior Member
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    #5

    Re: had better, should

    I guess A is stronger than B and C.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: had better, should

    Yes.

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