Using 'had better'
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons for free!
Using 'Had better'I had better ('it would be a good idea if I', 'it would be better for me to') is used as a modal auxiliary verb:
I had (or I'd) better sleep now. It would be a good idea for me to sleep now.
You'd better discuss this issue with Bruno. You should discuss this issue with Bruno.
We'd better leave before the police come. Let's leave before the police come.
He'd better not come. It would be a bad idea for him to come.
Had better is always followed by a verb in the infinitive without 'to':
You had better BE on time. You must or should be on time.
Had better is ALWAYS formed from the auxiliary verb 'have' in the past simple ('has better' or 'will have better' do not exist!).
She had better be ready for next week's meeting. She really must be ready for next week's meeting.
In informal English, we sometimes say I had best, used with the same meaning:
I'd best go home. It would be good for me to go home.
You'd best listen to what he has to say. It would be a good idea for you to listen to what he has to say.
Still having difficulties with 'Using 'had better''? Want to improve your English? Test our online English lessons and receive a free level assessment!
Do you have smart way of remembering this rule? A tip to avoid making a mistake on 'Using 'had better''? Share it with us!