had better

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Alternative forms[edit]


See better (adverb)


  • (file)


had better

  1. (idiomatic, with bare infinitive, informal) Should; ought to; need to; must.
    You had better finish that homework on time, if you want to get a good grade.
    “Will we get it finished?” / “We had better.
    The project had better get finished by the current deadline.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The negative form is had better not, but in question hadn’t is also possible (see also bettern't).
  • Had better is a strong expression. It usually indicates that there will be a consequence or negative result if someone does not follow the suggestion.
  • Colloquially, had is often reduced to the clitic 'd or omitted. See better.
You better have my money by tomorrow.