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Is it correct to say "Better call Saul!"? Or do I need to say "It's better call Saul!"? Or even "It's better to call Saul!"?

I guess the third one is the correct one.

Obs.: "Better call Saul" is from the "Breaking Bad" crime drama of AMC.

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    What is the context? Either your first or your third formulations could be correct, but they mean different things.
    – choster
    Dec 17, 2013 at 16:53
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    The first and third sound fine to me, but are you going to tell us what the phrase is supposed to mean? Also, it this seems like a question that would be better asked on English Language Learners.
    – J.R.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 16:55
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    Try complaining about the construct of this idiom - "Long time no see!" Or the expression popular in the US during the 80s: "No fair!" Dec 17, 2013 at 18:09
  • "Better call Saul" is from the "Breaking Bad" crime drama of ABC. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Call_Saul Dec 18, 2013 at 18:48

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The correct expansion of the phrase is not "It's better (to) call Saul", what it means is "You had better call Saul".

Looking up better in the dictionary, it offers some phrases, one of which is:

had better do something would find it wiser to do something; ought to do something: you had better be careful.

And later in the usage notes:

usage: In the verb phrase had better do something the word had acts like an auxiliary verb, and in informal spoken contexts it is often dropped, as in you better not come tonight. In writing, the had may be contracted to 'd but should not be dropped altogether.

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No, Better call Saul is exactly the way it is said. That is because it was created to fit one specific situation and is understood by all Breaking Bad fans as exactly in it's correct context.

To change it would be to lose its connotation immediately. This is a case of context, not grammar.

Got busted with a kilo of meth? Better call Saul!
Looking at possible jail time for that little indiscretion you got caught for? Better call Saul!

Edited to explain etiology of the phrase. In Vince Gilligan's AMC runaway TV hit Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman is a sleazy but inventive lawyer to the criminals of Albuquerque, New Mexico, one who will go to great (and unethical) lengths to get his clients free from the legal consequences of their crimes. Hence, the phrase was created as an advertising slogan by the writers for the often humorous lawyer. His most famous client is, of course, the show's protagonist-turned-antagonist, high-school-chemistry-teacher turned crystal-meth-kingpin Walter White, who needs such a shady but resourceful lawyer to help him launder his millions and keep him out of jail.

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Advertising slogans are often ungrammatical and idiomatic --they are more memorable that way. In this case the slogan is based on the longer idiomatic phrase "you had better [do action]," which roughly means "you should [do action] or else [something bad will happen]."

This is a reasonably common American idiom, containing an implicit threat, as in the phrase "Child, you better get your butt downstairs," used when you are trying to go someplace and your child is uncooperative.

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    You better watch out, You better not cry, … Santa Claus is coming to town! Dec 17, 2013 at 17:36
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    -1 for implying that “Better [do X]” is grammatically incorrect or idiomatic. It is neither. Dec 17, 2013 at 19:02
  • There is the idiom "had better", with deontic modality. It seems reasonable to me, with the examples so far, to allow the interpretation that either front matter or just the word "had" had been dropped out. E.g. "~~You had~~ Better call Saul", "You ~~had~~ better watch out", "You better go now" (last example from CGEL, pg. 113). Related material in the 2002 reference grammar CGEL by Huddleston and Pullum et al., pages 113, 196. So, I thought there was useful info in that above answer, and did a +1 -- the idiom is grammatical and is standard usage.
    – F.E.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:07

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