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  1. FabioItalianStudent

    hadn't better...

    Hi there,
    i'd like to ask you if the negative form of 'had better' could be 'hadn't better...' thnx

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: hadn't better...

    I use had better not.

    There's a discussion about contracted hadn't better here:

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: hadn't better...

    Here's more on that topic. The following is taken from The Linguist discussion forum:

    "At the end of May, I raised a query about the acceptability of the
    following sentences.

    (1) You hadn't better stay here tonight.
    (2) You had not better stay here tonight.
    (3) A: I promise I'll pay you back. B: You better had.

    To my surprise, soon after my posting, I got as many as 64 reposes.
    Thank you very much for answering my query. I hadn't expected so may
    people were interested on this matter. I think I should mention all
    the names and e-mail addresses, but there are far too many to mention.
    If you feel this is inadequet, please email to Prof. Tanaka to write
    your names on the list. I will immediately prepare for writing your
    names. The result of the inquiry is as follows:

    (1) (2) (3)
    10 0 12 (OK)
    15 5 3 (Awkward)
    39 59 49 (Unacceptable)

    About two thirds of the respondents refused these usages and I can also
    add that these usages varies geometrically, especially British English,
    it seemed to me.

    I also asked for a few sentences using _It (or This) had better...
    Examples (4), (5) and (6) below are typical instances of _had better_
    with inanimate subjects:

    (4) It had better not rain tomorrow or we can't got to the beach.
    (5) I spent all day working on the TV. It had better work now.
    (6) Joe: I can explain why I am late. Jane: This had better be good

    Some people say that _This had better be good_ is a cliche and in (6) it
    implies the speaker kas expectations that the excuse will be fanciful
    or just plain untrue."


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