+0
Hi!

Please tell me, are following sentences correct?

She better be awake.

She better sing nicely.

Are those examples of the imperativ or subjunctive? (Is there always the base form with "better..." for instant: "You better be sorry!")

What about following:

It's better when she is awake.

It's better when she sings nicely.

In what ways is it different to:

It would be better if she were awake. Or is it: It were better if she would be awake? Or: It were better if she were awake?

It would be better if she sang nicely. Or is it: It were better if she would sing nicely? Or: It were better if she sang nicely?

Something totally different?

Thanks in advance,

Jake
1 2 3 4
Comments  
Hi,

She better be awake.

She better sing nicely.

Are those examples of the imperativ or subjunctive? They are really examples of giving advice, similar to 'you should. . , you ought to . . .'. The full structure is 'had better', but in informal speech the 'had' is often omitted. She had better be wake. She'd better be awake. She better be awake.

She had better be awake. She had better sing nicely.



What about following:

It's better when she is awake. Factual statement. 'This has happened'. She has woken up in the past and will wake up in the future, and on such occasions it has been and will be better.

It's better when she sings nicely. Likewise

In what ways is it different to:

It would be better if she were awake. Hypothetical. She may never wake up, and thus it may never be better.

It were better if she would be awake. I wouldn't rush to say this is wrong, but it's archaic tone sounds loke very contorted English to a modern ear.

It were better if she were awake. Very hypothetical, unreal situation.

It would be better if she sang nicely. Say it this way.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi,

I'd like to add a bit to my answer.

'You had better ... ' is like giving strong advice.

'She had better . . .' is not exactly advice, since 'she' may not be present. It's like giving a recommendation for a future action, possibly even implying a threat if the recommended action does not occur.

Best wishes again, Clive
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi Clive,

thank you for responding.

'You had better ... ' is like giving strong advice. So, a mother may say: "Son, you had better clean up your room when I come home." Or is it: "Son, you had better cleaned up your room when I come home."

To the other example; wife says: "Honey, Ashley had better clean(/ed) up her room when I come home."

Thanks again,

Jake
More of a threat than advice when it comes from us mums. There is an implied 'or else!'
Hi,

So, a mother may say: "Son, you had better clean up your room when I come home." Yes, but say Son, you had better clean up your room before I come home

Or is it: "Son, you had better cleaned up your room when I come home." You need to say Son, you had better have cleaned up your room when I come home (future perfect)

To the other example; wife says: "Honey, Ashley had better clean(/ed) up her room when I come home." Same comments.

Best wishes, Clive
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi Clive! Thanks a lot.

I have another question I just watched TV and they said:

"He better not needs stiches." Why isn't it: "He better not need stiches or he better don't need stiches?

Son, you had better have cleaned up your room when I come home. It is not "Son, you had better have cleaned up your room before I come home.??

Thanks a lot.

Jake
Hi again,

I just watched TV and they said:

"He better not needs stitches". Why isn't it: "He better not need stiches This is correct. I think you just heard it incorrectly, or maybe the TV person spoke badly. 'Needs' ends with an ess sound and stitches starts with an ess sound, so they just blend in together in speech. This is probably the cause of what you heard. The problem is in your ear, I think.

or he better don't need stiches? This is terrible grammar

Son, you had better have cleaned up your room when I come home. It is not "Son, you had better have cleaned up your room before I come home.?? You hear people say it both ways. However, the future perfect focuses on a state that exists at a point in the future, and 'when' more precisely identifies that point. So, 'when' is better.

Best wishes, Clive

Jake
Clive,

The problem is in your ear, I think.

ooh, oh... That may be. But since English, sadly, is poorly spoken around where I live, I can't trust the people's speech. (most the time) And I ask because I was not sure, in English are so many exception that I just wanted to go sure.

Anyway, thanks a lot for helping me! I really appreciate it!

Have a nice day, Jake
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more