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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    I had better not babysit

    Source : Grammar Zone by Neungryul Education, p74, C6

    Choose the better one.
    1. I'd rather not babysit. I don't have a lot of time
    2. I had better not babysit. I don't have a lot of time
    =====================================
    The answer is 1. But can't 2 be an answer?
    It's all related to the comparison that "would rather" is about choice, while "had better" is about advice.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I had better not babysit

    What the answer should be depends on the question.

    (If I said I'd rather not babysit I would mean I don't want to babysit.)
    Not a professional teacher

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I had better not babysit

    Yes, both are possible. It's a bad question.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I had better not babysit

    The instruction says Choose the better one. I suppose it is open to interpretation what this means but the test-taker ought to use some common sense. Notice that the test-setter did not ask Which is correct?

    If Choose the better one means 'choose the option which is easier to make sense of', I think it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to justify 2 as the answer. Even if it means 'choose the option that is more likely to be uttered', option 2 would be just as unjustifiable, I'd say.

    1 is the answer.

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    #5

    Re: I had better not babysit

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I think it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to justify 2 as the answer..

    I had better not babysit. I don't have a lot of time - and if the parents return late, I won't get home early enough to get my packing finished. I have to leave at the crack of dawn to catch my flight.
    I had better not babysit. I don't have a lot of time - and if the kids won't go to bed, I won't get my assignment finished. It's due in tomorrow,


    the test-taker ought to use some common sense.


    The contexts I have suggested could seem reasonable enough to some people.

    1 is the answer.
    For you. Not necessarily for everybody.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I had better not babysit

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post

    I had better not babysit. I don't have a lot of time - and if the parents return late, I won't get home early enough to get my packing finished. I have to leave at the crack of dawn to catch my flight.
    I had better not babysit. I don't have a lot of time - and if the kids won't go to bed, I won't get my assignment finished. It's due in tomorrow,


    Right. These are contexts in which option 2 makes sense.

    The contexts I have suggested could seem reasonable enough to some people.
    Yes. They are perfectly reasonable.

    For you. Not necessarily for everybody.
    No. I meant generally. Are you sure you haven't missed my point?

    Can you provide a reasonable interpretation of Choose the better one which allows for option 2 to be better than option 1?

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    #7

    Re: I had better not babysit

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Can you provide a reasonable interpretation of Choose the better one which allows for option 2 to be better than option 1?
    No. Nor can I find a reasonable interpretation that allows for option #1 to be better than option #2.That's why I agree with teechar (post #3) - it's a bad question.
    Last edited by teechar; 16-Jul-2019 at 17:14. Reason: added full stop

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