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Unit 35. Had better It's time …
(использование оборотов Had better и It's time …)

Had better (I'd better / you'd better etc.)

I'd better do something = it is advisable to do it. If I don't, there will be a problem or a danger:

The negative is I'd better not (= I had better not):

You can use had better when you warn somebody that they must do something:

Note that:

The form is ‘had better’ (usually ‘I'd better / you'd better’ etc. in spoken English):
  • I'd better phone Carol, hadn't I?

Had is a past form, but in this expression the meaning is present or future, not past:

  • I'd better go to the bank now/tomorrow.

We say ‘I'd better do…’ (not ‘to do’):

  • It might rain. We'd better take an umbrella. (not ‘we'd better to take’)


Had better and should

Had better is similar to should (see Unit 33) but not exactly the same.

We use had better only for a particular situation (not for things in general).

You can use should in all types of situation to give an opinion or to give advice:

Also, with had better, there is always a danger or a problem if you don't follow the advice. Should only means ‘it is a good thing to do’. Compare:

It's time

You can say ‘It's time (for somebody) to do something’:

You can also say:

Here we use the past (went) but the meaning is present or future, not past:

It's time you did something = ‘you should have done it already or started it’. We often use this structure to criticise or to complain:

You can also say: It's about time… / It's high time… . This makes the criticism stronger:

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