English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My mother tongue is Hindi. I was watching an English movie when I came across the below sentence. Although it is a dual language movie and that helps me to understand English and improve my vocabulary, there is one sentence that I cannot understand.

And after searching on Google, now I am here.

What's the difference between:

You better take this.

and:

You take this.

share|improve this question
    
Downvoting for failure to provide context. – Hot Licks Jan 9 at 19:01
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"You better take this" is a common colloquial form of "You'd better take this", i.e. "You had better take this".

"Had better" is an idiom which functions as a modal auxiliary, meaning something like "should" or "need to". Literally it means something like "It would be better if you took this", but it is not really analysable in modern English.

share|improve this answer

You better take this.

This means, "You had better take this." In English, we use contractions. When we say, "You had," we simply say, "You'd." However, the way the "d" in "you'd" sounds when said against the "b" in "better," makes it almost inaudible. As a result, many English speakers end up saying and even writing, "You better."

What it actually means is: "You ought to take this," or, "It would behoove you to take this."

You take this.

This isn't something people would generally say as a sentence. We don't say "you" beforehand. When using the imperative voice, we simply say, "Take this." Occasionally, people will add an enunciated "you" before the imperative of a verb, but it's not standard fare. It's only done to make some kind of special emphasis.

It would be said like this in the present indicative. In the present indicative, though, it wouldn't be telling someone to take it.

share|improve this answer

you better take this

is advise.

you take this

is an order.

The difference has nothing to do with the word 'had'. It's whether or not someone who has the authority to give you orders is giving you a choice here.

Better indicates an opinion is being expressed. Without it, you are being told what to do.

share|improve this answer
    
No. This is plain wrong. It is possible that "You better" is now being reanalysed as something other than a rapid version of "You'd better", but even if it is, it has nothing to do with authority. You('d) better take this is better contrasted with you can take this, not with you take this, which is indeed usually an order. – Colin Fine Jan 9 at 20:56
    
You can say that. But you better not. – CandiedOrange Jan 9 at 21:11
    
"Take this" is a simple and direct order. "You take this" - the pronoun softens the order and makes it less brusque. – Dan Jan 9 at 22:47
    
I don't think pronoun means what you think it means. – CandiedOrange Jan 10 at 2:11

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.