we would do better to have

kingston_123

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Telugu
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
Debelzaq and Behman are about to an abbey, which is 100 leagues away:

Debelzaq: But these are the best maps in the land.
Behman: But we would do better to have a guide.

Does changing "to" with "if we" change the meaning?
Source: Season of the Witch (2011)
 

tedmc

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
Does changing "to" [STRIKE]with[/STRIKE] to "if we" change the meaning?

Yes, you could do that.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
I think it is an implied conditional.

'We would do better to have a guide' = 'We would do better if we had a guide'.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
In your sentence, 'to have' is a to-infinitive.
In my sentence, 'had' is the past subjunctive used in the second conditional.
 
Top