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    #1

    Your scores aren't

    Your scores aren't up to the mark. You had better work harder next time.

    Your scores aren't up to the mark. It would be better if you work harder next time.

    Are these sentences OK and do they convey the same meaning? I didn't understand why did we use "had" in the first sentence. I understand we use had for past whereas here we are talking about the future.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Your scores aren't

    Quote Originally Posted by Anil Giria View Post
    Are these sentences OK, and do they convey the same meaning? I didn't don't understand why did we use "had" in the first sentence. I understand we use "had" for the past, whereas here, we are talking about the future.
    "Had better" means "should."
    I would avoid using "up to the mark" in that context because of the potential pun. I also find the second sentence unnatural.
    Try:
    Your scores aren't good. You'd better work harder next time.
    or
    Your scores aren't good. You need to study harder.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Your scores aren't

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    "Had better" means "should."
    I think they do not mean exactly the same because a teacher here once told me that 'had better' was used as a command while 'should' was politer, or words to that effect.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Your scores aren't

    I used to follow those definitions until I read this post.
    Have I misunderstood him?
    I am not a teacher.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Your scores aren't

    I see the reason for your confusion. "Had better" can be used for advice/suggestions or for stronger orders/commands. It depends on the context and tone.
    Mike was right in that "had better" is usually a strong "should"; and this tallies with the context of post #1 in this thread.

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