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Hi,

I read the following sentence in a leading magazine -
"If it is to secure its long-term relationship with Iraq, the superpower had better adjust fast to the idea that Iraq is once again a sovereign country, one that has a powerful sense of wounded pride and some prickly sensibilities."
Is it a correct usage?Shouldn't it be "superpower should better" ?I have not come across this usage in any of the usage guides or dictionaries.Please help.
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Hi,

I'm not sure of the analysis, but it's a very old and still common usage. "Best" is less often used in place of "better." The better/best thing for you to do is to adjust quickly.

It's a warning sometimes followed by an "or else" statement. You'd better mind your manners or else you're gonna get a whipping.

Another interpretation might be, It is / would be better if / that you take my advice.

I agree that "should better" would appear to be the correct version, but it's never used.

Best regards, - A.

Edit. Here's a Google reference: http://www.englishpage.com/modals/hadbetter.html
Comments  
Thanks a lot Avangi for your reply.