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Anyone who undertakes the literary grind had better like playing around with words.
Roy Blount, Jr.

Meaning of "had better" in the English dictionary

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DICTIONARY
section

PRONUNCIATION OF HAD BETTER

had better play
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WHAT DOES HAD BETTER MEAN IN ENGLISH?

English modal verbs

The modal verbs of English are a small class of auxiliary verbs used mostly to express modality. They can be distinguished from other verbs by their defectiveness and by the fact that they do not take the ending -s in the third-person singular. The principal English modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will and would. Certain other verbs are sometimes, but not always, classed as modals; these include ought, had better, and dare and need. Verbs which share some but not all of the characteristics of the principal modals are sometimes called "semimodals".

Definition of had better in the English dictionary

The definition of had better in the dictionary is would be wise, sensible, etc to.

WORDS THAT BEGIN LIKE HAD BETTER

hacqueton
had
had best
had rather
hadal
hadarim
hadaway
haddie
haddock
hade
Hadean
hadedah
Haden
Hades
Hadhramaut
Hadith
hadj
hadji
Hadlee
hadn´t

WORDS THAT END LIKE HAD BETTER

better
cover letter
fetter
for that matter
for the better
getter
go one better
letter
love letter
netter
newsletter
open letter
petter
setter
the better
the letter
to the letter
trendsetter
vetter
wetter
with a capital letter

Synonyms and antonyms of had better in the English dictionary of synonyms

SYNONYMS

Translation of «had better» into 25 languages

TRANSLATOR
online translator

TRANSLATION OF HAD BETTER

Find out the translation of had better to 25 languages with our English multilingual translator.
The translations of had better from English to other languages presented in this section have been obtained through automatic statistical translation; where the essential translation unit is the word «had better» in English.

Translator English - Chinese

最好
1,325 millions of speakers

Translator English - Spanish

tenido mejor
570 millions of speakers

English

had better
510 millions of speakers

Translator English - Hindi

बेहतर था
380 millions of speakers
ar

Translator English - Arabic

كان أفضل
280 millions of speakers

Translator English - Russian

было лучше
278 millions of speakers

Translator English - Portuguese

melhor
270 millions of speakers

Translator English - Bengali

ভাল ছিল
260 millions of speakers

Translator English - French

il vaut mieux
220 millions of speakers

Translator English - Malay

pernah lebih baik
190 millions of speakers

Translator English - German

hatten bessere
180 millions of speakers

Translator English - Japanese

優れていた
130 millions of speakers

Translator English - Korean

더 나은 했다
85 millions of speakers

Translator English - Javanese

wis apik
85 millions of speakers
vi

Translator English - Vietnamese

được tốt
80 millions of speakers

Translator English - Tamil

நன்றாக இருந்தது
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Marathi

चांगले होते
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Turkish

Daha iyi oldu
70 millions of speakers

Translator English - Italian

sarebbe meglio che
65 millions of speakers

Translator English - Polish

lepiej
50 millions of speakers

Translator English - Ukrainian

було краще
40 millions of speakers

Translator English - Romanian

a avut mai bine
30 millions of speakers
el

Translator English - Greek

είχε καλύτερα
15 millions of speakers
af

Translator English - Afrikaans

het ´n beter
14 millions of speakers
sv

Translator English - Swedish

hade bättre
10 millions of speakers
no

Translator English - Norwegian

hadde bedre
5 millions of speakers

Trends of use of had better

TRENDS

TENDENCIES OF USE OF THE TERM «HAD BETTER»

The term «had better» is quite widely used and occupies the 29.286 position in our list of most widely used terms in the English dictionary.
0
100%
FREQUENCY
Quite widely used
87
/100
The map shown above gives the frequency of use of the term «had better» in the different countries.
Principal search tendencies and common uses of had better
List of principal searches undertaken by users to access our English online dictionary and most widely used expressions with the word «had better».

FREQUENCY OF USE OF THE TERM «HAD BETTER» OVER TIME

The graph expresses the annual evolution of the frequency of use of the word «had better» during the past 500 years. Its implementation is based on analysing how often the term «had better» appears in digitalised printed sources in English between the year 1500 and the present day.

Examples of use in the English literature, quotes and news about had better

EXAMPLES

10 QUOTES WITH «HAD BETTER»

Famous quotes and sentences with the word had better.
1
Ben Affleck
I've finally learnt how to say, 'No comment'. To appear in the tabloids is a real learning curve and a steep one at that. You had better learn quick or you get burnt.
2
Marc Anthony
First you date the songs, and then you get engaged and then you marry them. They have to stand the test of time, because they are going to be yours for the next 20, 30, 40 years. So you had better choose right.
3
Josephine Baker
Friends, to me for years St. Louis represented a city of fear... humiliation... misery and terror... A city where in the eyes of the white man a Negro should know his place and had better stay in it.
4
Jacques Barzun
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game - and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.
5
Jacques Barzun
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.
6
Anne Beatts
If you want to write for T.V. and movies, you will be subjected to kind and unkind criticism. You had better get used to it and develop a shell.
7
Roy Blount, Jr.
Anyone who undertakes the literary grind had better like playing around with words.
8
Joseph Brodsky
After all, it is hard to master both life and work equally well. So if you are bound to fake one of them, it had better be life.
9
Warren Buffett
Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business.
10
Ryan Cabrera
Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out.

10 ENGLISH BOOKS RELATING TO «HAD BETTER»

Discover the use of had better in the following bibliographical selection. Books relating to had better and brief extracts from same to provide context of its use in English literature.
1
Even Custer Had Better Odds: Being Blue in a Red
A collection of letters to the editor, Even Custer Had Better Odds: Being Blue in a Red (Hendricks) County reflects Dean Pappas’ divergent political opinions on contemporary issues.
Dean T. Pappas, 2006
2
Modality in Contemporary English
Introduction My most general aim in this paper is to try and remedy the neglect that had better and might as well seem to have suffered in previous studies of modality.1 I should like to argue that this neglect is undeserved since the two ...
Roberta Facchinetti, Manfred G. Krug, Frank Robert Palmer, 2003
3
english grammar for toefl (rev)
HAD BETTER 92-1 "Had better" artinya sebaiknya dan diikuti oleh bare infinitife ( infinitive tanpa to). "Had better" mengacu pada present dan future tense. Bentuk contraction dengan subject pronoun lebih sering digunakan. I'd better/had better  ...
Dhany R.Cyssco
4
An Historical Syntax of the English Language
Idem III, iii, 92, I were better to be married of him. | 1601 Idem, Tw. N. II, ii, 27, she were better love a dream. | 1647 Ward, Simp. Cobler 57, They were . . . better speake plainer English (OED). b) I had better. C1410 Sir Cleges 425, Thou haddest ...
Frederik Theodor Visser, 1963
5
Golf's You Had Better Believe It!
With around 138,000 registered golfers in New Zealand it is obvious that there will be a lot of unusual happenings that have taken place. Some of the following golfing stories may have you wondering.
Brian Briggs, 2007
6
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition
The solution of the mystery lies in the peculiar nature of the phrase had better. You had better do it; It had better be done ; You had better have done it; It had better have been done; it will be granted at once that these are correct, & that have ...
H. W. Fowler, David Crystal, 2009
7
85 ESL Grammar Lesson Plans
N.B. Review previous lesson(s) orally. Correct written homework on board. ON BOARD HAD BETTER (It's a good idea (advisable) now and future.) AFFIRMATIVE QUESTION NEGATIVE I had better go Had I better go? I had better not go He ...
Grant Panter, 2009
8
The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style
To further complicate matters, words that begin with the sounds (hyoo) in many English dialects (such as huge, human, and humor) often begin simply (yoo) in other English dialects. had better Had better is an idiomatic verb phrase meaning  ...
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005
9
Parliamentary Debates
Some eonsented to do as I desired them, but the Ngatiapaand Rangitane tribes persisted in going to Patea to see and get some of the artieles spoken of. At that time Colonel MeDonnell eame there. He said to us, we had better get to Patea.
New Zealand. Parliament, 1869
10
Better, Deeper And More Enduring Brief Therapy: The Rational ...
They also had better do their homework, do supplementary reading and listening to therapeutic materials, ask the therapist pointed questions about what specifically to do next, talk to other people about what is happening to them in their ...
Albert Ellis, 2013

10 NEWS ITEMS WHICH INCLUDE THE TERM «HAD BETTER»

Find out what the national and international press are talking about and how the term had better is used in the context of the following news items.
1
Twin Rivers stars had better earn their pay
No one can accuse Superintendent Steven Martinez of pinching pennies in his effort to turn around the troubled Twin Rivers Unified School ... «Sacramento Bee, Jul 15»
2
Baltimore Orioles: The Chances of a Better Second Half
Since Buck Showalter became manager of the Baltimore Orioles, the Orioles have had better second half records in three out of four seasons. «The Baltimore Wire, Jul 15»
3
Qld budget 2015: Smoke and mirrors won't keep voters happy
... Treasurer Curtis Pitt thought he had been in for a rough time as part of a minority government over the past four months, he had better batten ... «The Australian Financial Review, Jul 15»
4
Citroen: Honda protest a "waste of time"
“I think Honda had better things to do last night and work on race strategy, that's my point of view. “It was better to focus on qualifying and what ... «Motorsport.com, Jul 15»
5
*N SYNC or Backstreet Boys? The Ultimate Boy Band Debate
JASON: All fair points, but your argument also leads me right back to mine: *N SYNC may had better moves, cooler personalities and tastier ... «Billboard, Jul 15»
6
Gefitinib (Iressa) Back in the US for Lung Cancer, Now as First-Line
The patients randomly assigned to receive gefitinib had better progression-free survival than patients receiving standard chemotherapy (up to ... «Medscape, Jul 15»
7
Super 30: Stillwater's Jordan Brown has humble personality, big talent
“It hurts because just knowing if we have that quarterback I could have had better stats, we could have made it to state, could have had better ... «NewsOK.com, Jul 15»
8
Phunky Elephant restaurant showed pirated prize fight, lawsuit alleges
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- This elephant had better put up its dukes. A Rosebank "gastropub" has been caught up in the latest wave of lawsuits ... «SILive.com, Jul 15»
9
The Welsh rugby star, the Vegas pool party, a £1000 bet and the …
I've had better mornings to be fair." Related: The boys who grew up to be Wales rugby stars. James Davies gets his tattoo in Las Vegas. «WalesOnline, Jul 15»
10
Tennis, baseball are serving high speed balls
Entering the all-star break, only 21 major-league hitters had better than a 30 percent success rate — a .300 batting average. Sports Science's ... «The Denver Post, Jul 15»

REFERENCE
« EDUCALINGO. Had better [online]. Available <https://educalingo.com/en/dic-en/had-better>. Jun 2020 ».
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